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Healthy Cornish gives Stampeders edge

Healthy Jon Cornish gives Stampeders edge in playoff game versus Eskimos
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Injuries limited Jon Cornish to just nine games this season. Unfortunately for the Edmonton Eskimos, two were against them.

Cornish ran for 272 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries (eight-yard average) in the contests — both Calgary wins. Despite his abbreviated season, Cornish led the CFL in rushing with 1,082 yards, with just over a quarter coming against Edmonton.

So Cornish will again be a focal point when the Calgary Stampeders host Edmonton in the West Division final Sunday.

Penguins forward Dupuis out with blood clot

Blood clot in lung sidelines Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis for at least 6 months
Will Graves, The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Pascal Dupuis spent the first nine months of 2014 recovering from torn ligaments in his right knee, a grueling stretch that tested the veteran Pittsburgh Penguins forward's patience and commitment to the game.

The comeback barely lasted eight weeks.

Doctors diagnosed the 35-year-old Dupuis with a blood clot in his lungs on Wednesday, likely ending his season and possibly putting his career in jeopardy.

Maurice pleased with progress of Jets

Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice likes where the team is going but not there yet
Scott Edmonds, The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG - With almost a quarter of the season in his rear-view mirror, Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice is pleased with the team's progress but would still mark its report card "needs improvement."

"We've got the very early stages of a good foundation and a good understanding of the things we can do on a nightly basis, things we can replicate," he said Wednesday, a day after the Jets' 3-1 home-ice win over the New Jersey Devils.

Bills race clock to clear snow-filled stadium

Bills race clock to clear 4 feet of stadium snow in time to host Jets - and more snow coming
John Wawrow, The Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Buffalo Bills are looking for anyone with a snow shovel and plenty of spare time.

With 4 feet of snow having fallen at Ralph Wilson Stadium over the past two days, the Bills are racing the clock and Mother Nature to have the facility cleared in time to host the New York Jets on Sunday.

With another 1 to 2 feet of snow projected to fall by Thursday night, it's unclear whether they'll make it.

Seven Chivas players taken in dispersal draft

Montreal and Toronto both add talent as 7 Chivas players taken in dispersal draft
The Canadian Press

TORONTO - FC Dallas took goalie Dan Kennedy with the first pick of the Chivas USA dispersal draft Wednesday.

Only six other players were taken, with most teams passing. But the Montreal Impact picked up 22-year-old defender Donny Toia while Toronto FC chose 19-year-old midfielder Marco Delgado.

The emphasis was on youth, other than the 32-year-old Kennedy.

Expansion New York City FC selected 20-year-old midfielder Matthew Dunn with the second pick. D.C. United used the fourth selection on 23-year-old midfielder-forward Thomas McNamara.

Leafs looking for answers after ugly losses

Limp Leafs: Toronto players looking for answers after pair of ugly losses
Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The Toronto Maple Leafs players are taking the blame for back-to-back blowout losses as questions about the future of head coach Randy Carlyle swirl.

The Leafs were hoping for a bounce-back game Tuesday against Nashville after dropping a 6-2 decision to the lowly Buffalo Sabres over the weekend. However, Toronto came out flat and the Predators took full advantage in a 9-2 shellacking at Air Canada Centre, one of the Leafs' uglier defeats in recent memory.

Senators look for answers at centre

Senators tinker with forward lines as they look for improvements at centre
Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Never one to shy away from change, Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean tinkered with his forward lines again at Wednesday's practice as he looked for ways to improve his team's strength down the middle.

MacLean's line juggling included moving David Legwand up into the number-two centre position and shifting Mika Zibanejad to the left side. In addition, Zack Smith moved back into centre in between Milan Michalek and Chris Neil.

Big & Rich to play halftime of Liberty Bowl

Country duo Big & Rich to play halftime show of Liberty Bowl on Dec. 29 in Memphis
The Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Country duo Big & Rich will play the halftime show of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 29 after being honoured with the bowl's Outstanding Achievement Award.

Bowl officials announced the award Wednesday.

Big & Rich, known for hits like "Comin' to Your City" and "Lost in This Moment," will receive the award Dec. 28 at the President's Gala. Past recipients include Danny Thomas, Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Lou Rawls, Alabama and The Temptations.

Red Sox claim Juan Francisco off waivers from Jays

Boston Red Sox claim INF Juan Francisco off waivers from Toronto Blue Jays
The Associated Press

BOSTON - The Boston Red Sox have claimed infielder Juan Francisco off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Francisco played 106 games for the Blue Jays last season, batting .220 with 16 home runs and 43 RBIs.

He has played both first and third base in a major league career that also includes stops in Cincinnati, Atlanta and Milwaukee. In 404 games, he has batted .236 with 48 homers and 152 RBIs.

Indy groundskeeper rides mowing wave

Indy groundskeeper Joey Stevenson uses mower to make baseball field art
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Some use a paint brush or keyboard to create their vision. Joey Stevenson rides a lawn-mower.

The 31-year-old head groundskeeper for the Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball team is a three-time winner of the Class AAA Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award, presented by the Sports Turf Managers Association and Minor League Baseball.

He was also the inaugural winner of STMA's "Mowing Patterns Contest" in 2013.

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