Top sports advisory for 6 p.m., Jan. 8, 2022

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Here are our top stories:


Players share past in effort to rid NHL of racism


UNDATED - Akim Aliu recalled how no one knew what to expect when he and four NHL players of color sat in a circle inside a dimly lit locker room and, with cameras rolling, were asked to share their most personal and painful experiences involving racism. 1,050 words. PHOTO. By John Wawrow. MOVED.



Canada reaches ATP Cup final


SYDNEY - Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov qualified Canada for its first ATP Cup final on Saturday when they defeated Daniil Medvedev and Roman Safiullin 4-6, 7-5, 10-7 in doubles to complete a 2-1 win against Russia. 320 words. MOVED.



Jeffcoat follows championship tradition


WINNIPEG - When Jackson Jeffcoat had a day with the Grey Cup, he followed the championship tradition of eating something out of the trophy. Jeffcoat and fellow defensive-line bookend Willie Jefferson both recently signed one-year extensions with the Bombers, who recently won their second straight CFL championship. 825 words. By Judy Owen. PHOTO. MOVED.



Ontario curling decision met with "surprise, disappointment"


UNDATED - The members of Team Rachel Homan remained in a holding pattern Saturday after being named as Ontario reps for the national championships, but only if their skip gets named to the Olympic mixed doubles team. Team Homan lead Joanne Courtney said her teammates were very excited that Homan could get to represent Canada at the Games, but were "really disappointed" in the Ontario Curling Association decision Friday afternoon. Curl ON decided that if Homan is tabbed for Beijing, Team Hollie Duncan would go to the national championships instead of Team Rachel Homan. "A lot of emotions yesterday," Courtney said Saturday. "It's been tough to take." 600 words. PHOTO. By Gregory Strong. ETA 7:30 p.m. 



Schizas wins Canadian figure skating title


UNDATED - Moments after clinching her first Canadian figure skating title, teenager Madeline Schizas was asked about her goal for the Beijing Olympics. "My biggest goal is to avoid catching Covid," Schizas said. "That’s my biggest goal, for the next three weeks I’m going to do everything in my power to stay healthy." 650 words. By Lori Ewing. PHOTO. MOVED. Will be Updated.


James and Radford withdraw from nationals


UNDATED - Vanessa James and Eric Radford withdrew from the pairs competition at the Canadian figure skating championships before Saturday's free program. James and Radford were fourth in Friday's short program. Both skaters contracted COVID-19 over the Christmas holidays and only returned to the ice to train earlier this week after spending 10 days in quarantine. 400 words. MOVED.  



Toronto FC lands Italian star Lorenzo Insigne


TORONTO — Sometimes it pays off making a list. In announcing the signing of Italian star winger Lorenzo Insigne on Saturday, Toronto FC president Bill Manning said the hunt to acquire the Napoli captain started last summer out of concern at the struggling MLS club's direction. So he started writing down names of possible player targets. Months later, TFC has its man. 1,520 words. By Neil Davidson. PHOTO. MOVED.


TFC sells Laryea to Nottingham Forest


TORONTO - Toronto FC fullback Richie Laryea, who made no secret about wanting to test his skills in Europe, has got his wish. The 27-year-old from Toronto has been sold to Nottingham Forest, which currently stands ninth in England's second-tier Championship. 650 words. By Neil Davidson. PHOTO. MOVED.



Canada's Kripps wins bobsled bronze


WINTERBERG - Germany's Francesco Friedrich won Saturday's two-man bobsled race at Winterberg while Canada's Justin Kripps joined him on the podium with a third-place finish. 400 words. PHOTO. MOVED.



Kingsbury wins gold again


MONT-TREMBLANT - Canada's Mikael Kingsbury won moguls gold Saturday for his second World Cup crown in as many days. 125 words. PHOTO. MOVED.


AP Plans:


DENVER — The Kansas City Chiefs go for their 13th consecutive win over the Denver Broncos in their quest to catch the Tennessee Titans for pole position in the AFC playoffs. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 4:30 p.m.


PHILADELPHIA — The NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys visit the playoff-bound Philadelphia Eagles in a game that will only determine seeding in the playoffs. By Dan Gelston. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8:15 p.m.


Lawyers for Novak Djokovic have filed court documents in his challenge against deportation from Australia that show the tennis star contracted COVID-19 in the middle of last month. The No. 1-ranked Djokovic was denied entry at the Melbourne airport late Wednesday after the Australian Border Force cancelled his visa for failing to meet its entry requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. By John Pye. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


INDIANAPOLIS — Alabama's Bryce Young has been flashing star potential since middle school, seemingly destined to play quarterback in games such as the College Football Playoff championship game against No. 3 Georgia. Young's counterpart, Stetson Bennett, seemed better suited to play in the Sun Belt than the SEC. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 900 words, photos. Also: FBC--CFP Championship-Why Georgia Will Win (Sent), FBC--CFP Championship-Why Alabama Will Win (Sent) and FBC--CFP Championship-Notebook (Upcoming).



INDIANAPOLIS — The picture making the rounds on social media sums up the feelings of an entire state: "For The Love of Gad, Beat Bama," it says. "Go Dawgs." Its been 41 long years since Georgia captured its only consensus national championship. In all the seasons since then, five other Southeastern Conference teams have won it all. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 5 p.m.



KAPALUA, Hawaii — Cameron Smith has a three-shot lead over Jon Rahm and Daniel Berger, with Patrick Cantlay another shot behind, going into the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 10:30 p.m. Also: GLF--Maui Musings (Sent).


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Alysa Liu is expected to join Mariah Bell and Karen Chen on the U.S. figure skating team at the Beijing Olympics, even though she was forced to withdraw from this week’s national championships after a positive test for COVID-19. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Team announced 5 p.m. Also: FIG--US Nationals-Men (Upcoming) and FIG--US-Nationals (Sent).


Members of the recently formed Hockey Diversity Alliance are sharing their painful experiences in launching a campaign to eradicate racism in the NHL. The five current and former players are featured in a powerful two-minute video which is the centerpiece to what the HDA is calling its “TapeOutHate” campaign. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. SENT: 1000 words, photos.


FRISCO, Texas — North Dakota State is back from Fargo to Frisco looking for its ninth FCS championship in 11 seasons. Montana State, which won its only tile in 1984, beat both teams who played in the pandemic-delayed 2020 title game last March in these playoffs. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game started at noon.

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