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A look at 10 memorable Canadian sports stories

A look back at 10 memorable Canadian sports stories from 2014
Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

There were some golden moments, a number of surprises and some unforgettable magic across the sports world in 2014. Here's a look back at 10 memorable Canadian stories:

GRAND SEASON

Eugenie Bouchard showed she had arrived on the women's tennis scene by reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open last January. The young Canadian star proved it was no fluke a few months later by making the final four at the French Open.

Arsenal's top-4 consistency a target for Liverpool

Struggling to rejoin elite, Liverpool hosts an Arsenal side used to overcoming blips in season
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - However many blips and bumps Arsenal endures through the season one outcome is a constant: finishing in the Premier League's top four.

Arsenal has spent 17 consecutive seasons among the elite, ensuring itself of a place in the Champions League year after year. Fans might be frustrated by the shortage of silverware, but it's a level of predictable consistency Liverpool would accept now.

Two-speed labour system in Qatar for 2022 World Cup

To assuage critics, Qatar builds two-speed labour system of haves, have-nots for 2022 World Cup
John Leicester And Rob Harris, The Associated Press

DOHA, Qatar - Men crammed together, dozens to a room, on bunk beds so close they can reach over and shake hands.

Qatar, on paper at least, has rules that forbid such uncomfortable conditions for its massive workforce of migrant labourers. Yet this is how the government-owned transport company, which the Gulf nation will use to ferry visitors around the 2022 World Cup, has housed some of its workers.

Cycling chief seeks end of Dr. Ferrari's influence

AP Interview: Italian cycling federation chief asks authorities to end Dr. Ferrari's influence
Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press

ROME - Law enforcement authorities need to prevent banned physician Michele Ferrari from seeing riders and conclude his long-running stain on the sport, according to the president of the Italian Cycling Federation.

"It needs to be law enforcement and judicial officials that put an end to it," Renato Di Rocco told The Associated Press. "Unfortunately, teams don't have these means."

Djokovic, Williams get top ITF annual awards

Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams selected for ITF's top annual tennis awards
The Associated Press

LONDON - Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have been selected as the International Tennis Federation's world champions for 2014.

Djokovic won the annual award for a fourth time, while Williams claimed it for a fifth time.

Djokovic won Wimbledon for his seventh Grand Slam title and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking. Williams won the U.S. Open for her 18th major championship and stayed No. 1 throughout the year.

Lehtonen, Stars shutout Canucks 2-0

Weak second period swings momentum as Canucks extend losing streak to five
Nicholas Wells, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - A weak second period, marred by a soft goal on Eddie Lack, was all the Vancouver Canucks needed to extend their losing streak to five games.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots for his second shutout of the season and the 29th of his career as the Dallas Stars defeated Vancouver 2-0 on Wednesday night.

Lehtonen the difference early for Stars

Difference Maker: Kari Lehtonen stellar early as Stars down Canucks
Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - Kari Lehtonen got to work early against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.

The Dallas goalie stoned Radim Vrbata just over 30 seconds into the first period, and stared down a number of other great chances in the opening 20 minutes in the Stars' 2-0 victory.

"That's always huge when you are able to make a great first save," said Lehtonen, who made 27 stops to pick up his second shutout of the season. "That gave me lots of confidence and that carried later on in the game."

Wednesday's Scoreboard

Wednesday's Scoreboard
The Canadian Press

Wednesday's Games

NHL

Ottawa 2 New Jersey 0

Boston 3 Minnesota 2 (OT)

Dallas 2 Vancouver 0

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AHL

Hamilton 5 St. John's 2

Adirondack 4 Chicago 1

Manchester 8 Portland 2

Lehigh Valley 5 Binghamton 3

Syracuse 3 Rochester 2

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NBA

Toronto 105 Brooklyn 89

Phoenix 111 Charlotte 106

Atlanta 127 Cleveland 98

Utah 105 Miami 87

Dallas 117 Detroit 106

Boston 109 Orlando 92

Memphis 117 San Antonio 116 (3OT)

Portland 104 Milwaukee 97

L.A. Clippers 102 Indiana 100

Drake says "Drake Night" not about him

Drake says "Drake Night" not about him, but about Toronto Raptors as a team
Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey said he often gets asked about Drake.

"I get texts: 'Do you know Drake? Have you met Drake?' He sits there every night, he hears me cuss out the referees every night," Casey said, laughing. "He knows all my cuss words."

Part rapper, part Raptors mascot, Drake is the basketball team's global ambassador, and has his own courtside seat at the Air Canada Centre, about an arm's length away from where Casey paces and hollers at the referees.

Payback: Toronto Raptors beat Nets 105-89

Lowry has 20 points, 12 assists as Toronto Raptors beat Nets 105-89
Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Patrick Patterson said the memory of last year's Raptors' playoff run, and the heartbreaking way it ended, was on his mind from the moment he woke up Wednesday morning.

If Wednesday night was a chance at payback, the Raptors accomplished it with a slam dunk — a 105-89 rout of the rival Brooklyn Nets.

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