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Ranking the 10 Most Popular Sports in Canada

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Ice Hockey Player Background Playing with Pluck and Stick

Canada boasts a diverse array of games and sports, showcasing its prowess on the global stage and at prestigious events like the Olympic Games. Renowned for its winter sports excellence, Canada’s sporting achievements resonate worldwide. Beyond mere recreation, Canadians view sports as a means to foster unity and solidarity within the nation.

From local tournaments to international stages, Canada’s sporting landscape offers ample opportunities for individuals to showcase their talents and gain recognition on the global sporting arena.

Ice Hockey (1/10)

Regarded as Canada’s quintessential sport, ice hockey holds the mantle as the nation’s official national sport. Canada has been a dominant force in international ice hockey, winning numerous Olympic gold medals and World Championship titles. Hockey Canada, the national governing body, has been instrumental in growing the sport at all levels across the country. The National Hockey League (NHL), spanning both Canada and the United States, boasts seven Canadian teams, including Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Lacrosse (2/10)

Dating back to its declaration as a national game in 1859, lacrosse has entrenched itself as a beloved pastime in Canada. Governed by the Canadian Lacrosse Association since its formation in 1925, lacrosse enjoys widespread participation across the country. The Canadian Lacrosse League stands as a testament to the sport’s enduring popularity. The Canadian Lacrosse League features teams from across the country competing in box lacrosse. The league has also seen the national team win major international tournaments, showcasing Canada’s dominance in the sport.

Soccer (3/10)

Soccer is a very popular sport in Canada, with over 2.7 million Canadians playing the game according to FIFA’s Big Count. Canada has a well-developed soccer infrastructure, including a national governing body (Canada Soccer), a professional league (Canadian Premier League), and representation in Major League Soccer (MLS). With a rich history dating back to the inaugural match in Toronto in 1876, soccer has steadily risen in prominence within Canada. Notable achievements by the Canadian Women’s soccer team, including qualification for the 2012 London Olympics, underscore the sport’s growing influence.

Baseball (4/10)

A cornerstone of Canadian sports culture, baseball traces its roots to the country’s earliest days. The Toronto Blue Jays, Canada’s lone Major League Baseball team, clinched the World Series title in 1992, marking a historic moment in Canadian baseball history.In addition to the Toronto Blue Jays, Canada has a robust amateur and minor league baseball scene, with baseball being governed by the national governing body Baseball Canada, which was founded in 1964. There are various professional, independent professional, semi-professional, and collegiate summer baseball teams throughout the country.

Cricket (5/10)

Fueled by its diverse population, Canada’s cricket scene enjoys a vibrant following. While the national team competes in One Day International Matches, the sport’s popularity continues to soar, particularly among Asian communities.

Tennis (6/10)

Tennis is a popular sport in Canada, with a strong national organization (Tennis Canada) that oversees the development of the sport at all levels. Canada has produced many top professional tennis players, including Milos Raonic, Denis Shapovalov, Eugenie Bouchard, and others. The country hosts several major tennis tournaments, including the National Bank Open (previously known as the Canadian Open), which is one of the biggest annual tennis events in the world.

Rugby (7/10)

Rugby has been played in Canada since the 1860s, making it one of the oldest team sports in the country. The first recorded game of rugby in Canada took place in Montreal in 1864. Canada has hosted several major rugby events, including matches in the Rugby World Cup and the Canada Sevens, which is part of the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Basketball (8/10)

Rooted in Canada’s sporting heritage, basketball owes its inception to Canadian James Naismith, who crafted the modern game in 1891. With a storied history, basketball remains ingrained in the nation’s athletic fabric.

Curling (9/10)

Curling Canada was founded in 1990, but its roots trace back much further, as curling has been a popular sport in Canada for centuries.Curling Canada plays a significant role in Canada’s participation in international curling competitions, including the Winter Olympics, where Canadian curlers have achieved considerable success over the years. Canada has been highly successful in curling at the Olympics, winning a total of 11 medals – 6 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze. Canadian teams have consistently performed well, winning medals at nearly every Winter Olympics since curling was reintroduced as an Olympic sport in 1998.

Golf (10/10)

Canada is a major golfing destination, with over 2,300 golf facilities across the country, including both 18-hole and 9-hole courses. The provinces of Ontario and Quebec have the highest concentrations of golf courses. Canada is known for its diverse range of golf courses, from championship-level layouts to scenic, scenic public courses.

Read More: Is Crypto Mining Finished in British Columbia?

A lifelong sports enthusiast with a recent interest in technology, Web3, and cryptocurrency. Every weekend you can find me watching football(soccer) and keeping up to date with stocks and crypto. Writing about the things I love and hopefully painting a picture for the reader.

Soccer

Euro 2024 Action: Germany vs. Hungary, Croatia vs. Albania, and Scotland vs. Switzerland Review

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UEFA EURO 2024

Scotland vs. Switzerland

Qualification hero Scott McTominay’s deflected shot nearly brought the house down at Cologne Stadium 13 minutes into the game. 

However, a bewildering blind back pass from Anthony Ralston handed Xherdan Shaqiri the chance to sweep a sublime first-time shot high beyond Angus Gunn. 

Kieran Tierney pulled up clutching his hamstring as Dan Ndoye wasted a golden opportunity when through on goal, ruling Tierney out of the Hungary game on Sunday. 

Despite being already depleted in defense, the Scots heroically rallied in the closing stages, with Grant Hanley hitting the post with a header from an Andy Robertson free-kick. 

The Swiss missed several late chances, but Scotland managed to secure a point, moving them to third in Group A. A victory against Hungary would likely see them advance past the group stage for the first time in their history.

Germany vs. Hungary

Hungary manager Marco Rossi emphasized the importance of avoiding mistakes on the eve of the match, but his side faltered just 22 minutes in.

Defender Willi Orbán tried to shoulder-barge Gündogan in his own area but ended up falling to the ground. The German captain capitalized, pulling the ball back to Musiala, who smashed it in off defender Attila Fiola while some Hungarian players paused, appealing for a foul.

VAR quickly confirmed the goal.

Hungary responded well, with German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer making a crucial save, diving to the top corner to parry away a Dominik Szoboszlai free-kick shortly after.

They thought they had equalized just before half-time when Sallai headed in from a rebound, but it was ruled out for offside. Hungary had another chance to level after the break when Barnabás Varga headed over the bar.

Germany continued to apply pressure, with Musiala being a constant threat to the Hungarian defense. He was also instrumental in the build-up when Gündogan doubled their lead in the 67th minute, sweeping in a low cross from Maximilian Mittelstädt.

“We are getting better but as we improve we have to overcome some problems, that is what this game showed today, especially in the first half. But that’s the tournament — you have to survive such situations. We survived and then hit back,” said Gündogan, 33.

Germany managed to maintain possession and run down the clock, securing their place in the next round ahead of their final group game against Switzerland on Sunday.

Hungary still has a chance to progress if they beat Scotland and other results go in their favor.

“We made some mistakes, but mistakes happen in football. Teams like Germany and other world-class teams play better than us, we know that. I’d say Germany is possibly the biggest favorite to win the Euro,” Rossi commented.

Croatia vs. Albania

Qazim Laci’s 11th-minute header gave Albania an early lead, mirroring their quick start against Italy when they scored after just 23 seconds.

This time, they took a bit longer, withstanding early pressure before Jasir Asani whipped in a cross from the right. Laci’s glancing header slipped under goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, who could have done better but redeemed himself with two crucial saves later in the first half, denying Kristjan Asllani and stopping Rey Manaj’s diving header, preventing Albania from doubling their lead.

Albania’s gritty determination and rapid counterattacks belied their lowly ranking, some 56 places below 10th-placed Croatia.

Croatia made a double change at the break, intensifying their pressure on the Albanian goal. Thomas Strakosha made key saves from Luka Sucic and Mateo Kovacic to maintain the lead until the 74th minute when Kramaric, on his 33rd birthday, scored from close range. He shot through the legs of Elseid Hysaj, wrongfooting Strakosha.

An own goal followed as Ante Budimir’s shot, set up by Mario Pasalic’s pullback from the byline, was blocked by Berat Djimsiti, only for the rebound to hit Gjasula and go into his own net.

However, Albania was not to be outdone, and Gjasula sidefooted into the net with five minutes of additional time already played, leading to a dramatic conclusion to the contest.

“This is why everyone loves football. In the last seconds, sometimes you score a goal to win, sometimes you concede,” said Kramaric.

Albania finishes their group schedule against Spain in Dusseldorf on Monday, and Gjasula expressed hope.

“We know that the game with Spain is very difficult, but in football, everything is possible. If we play like today, anything can happen,” he told reporters.

Croatia will meet Italy in Leipzig at the same time, with the odds against them.

“The first half was very bad, but the second was much better, which is encouraging for the match with Italy,” added Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic. “We are still in the game. We shall prepare and do everything in our power to go on.”

Read more: Euro 2024 Begins with Germany’s Thrashing of Scotland, Injuries Plague Poland vs Netherlands, Modric Leads Croatia Against Spain

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Ice Hockey

Panthers Near Stanley Cup with Game 3 Victory, Bobrovsky’s Heroics

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Stanley Cup Ice Hockey

The venue shifted for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, but the outcome mirrored that of Games 1 and 2, with the Florida Panthers securing a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. This win puts the Panthers just one victory away from clinching the franchise’s first championship.

Game 3 Recap

Florida struck first in the game, but Edmonton quickly tied it at 1. The Panthers responded with three consecutive goals, taking a commanding lead. Despite a late push from the Oilers, who scored two goals to come within one, clutch defensive plays and key saves from Sergei Bobrovsky ensured Florida held on for the win.

The Panthers allowed Edmonton to chip away at their 4-1 lead in the third period, resulting in a tense one-goal finish. The victory was largely protected by Bobrovsky’s crucial save on Ryan McLeod in the final minutes of a frantic third period.

Ultimately, the final score is all that matters, and Florida is now just one victory away from their first championship. This wouldn’t have been possible without another stellar performance from Bobrovsky, an all-out effort from the entire Panthers lineup, and a penalty kill that has consistently neutralized Edmonton’s powerful power play. Despite Edmonton’s late comeback attempt, the Panthers remained composed. This calm under pressure is a significant strength they will rely on as they aim to clinch the Cup in Game 4.

Edmonton’s struggles against the Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final were evident once again in Game 3. Despite a heavy number of shots on goal, they failed to create high-quality scoring chances to consistently challenge Bobrovsky. Defensive breakdowns led to Florida scoring as many goals in the second period as Edmonton had managed in the first eight periods of the series. Though the Oilers’ third-period rally added excitement, it ultimately fell short.

Aleksander Barkov on Another Level

Concerns about the Panthers captain’s availability after his Game 2 injury were dispelled as he emerged as the best skater on the ice by far. Barkov set the tone early, stripping Evan Bouchard of the puck, protecting it, and feeding Gustav Forsling, who set up Sam Reinhart for the opening goal at 18:58 of the first period. Barkov scored the game-winning goal on a 2-on-1 in the second period and was the key forward in defusing the 6-on-5 situation in the final minute of the game.

While Edmonton’s stars have been quiet on the scoresheet throughout this series, Florida has not faced such issues, particularly with Aleksander Barkov. The Panthers’ captain was the standout player in Game 3, not only as his team’s best forward but the top skater overall.

Other Key Players

Connor Brown (Edmonton Oilers): One of the most active players for the Oilers, Brown was a constant presence throughout the game. He used his speed to pressure Florida’s defensemen on the forecheck, generating four shot attempts. Notably, he created two scoring chances during a short-handed rush in the first period, though he was ultimately denied both times.

Sergei Bobrovsky (Florida Panthers): Florida’s goalie continues to be the MVP of the series. Bobrovsky needed to be at his best for the first 30 minutes until his teammates pulled ahead. He allowed a breakaway goal by Warren Foegele early in the second period but then shut the door, frustrating the Oilers at every turn. Through two periods, he stopped 28 of 29 shots, including 14 from Edmonton’s top threats: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Evan Bouchard. Bobrovsky finished with 32 saves, moving the Panthers one game away from their first Stanley Cup championship.

What We Learned

Panthers’ Dominance on the Boards:

Florida’s control of the series is largely due to their dominance in winning 50-50 pucks, especially along the boards. Their relentless puck-hunting in the offensive zone has pinned the Oilers in their end and worn down Edmonton’s top offensive players by forcing them to fight through a gauntlet of bodies up the ice.

Oilers Need a Full 60 Minutes:

Edmonton has not played poorly throughout the series but has faltered during critical stretches. They controlled the first two periods of Game 1 but couldn’t solve Bobrovsky, leading to a dominant third period by Florida for a 3-0 win. Game 2 saw Edmonton stymied through two periods before improving in the third in a 4-1 loss. In Game 3, a strong first period was undone by a last-minute mistake, and after tying the game, the Oilers allowed three goals in a 6:19 span due to defensive breakdowns. Despite a strong third period, the deficit was too much to overcome.

Read more: Panthers vs. Oilers: A Clash for the 2024 Stanley Cup

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UFC

Alex Pereira vs. Jiří Procházka to Headline UFC 303 After McGregor Withdrawal

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Alex Pereira vs. Jiří Procházka UFC 303

Conor McGregor’s UFC comeback will be further delayed as he has withdrawn from his UFC 303 fight against Michael Chandler due to injury. UFC president Dana White confirmed the news on Thursday, stating only that McGregor had sustained an injury.

UFC Shake-Up

The main event, originally set for June 29, will now feature a light heavyweight title rematch between champion Alex Pereira and former champion Jiri Procházka. Pereira previously claimed the belt by defeating Procházka via second-round TKO at UFC 295 last November.

Additionally, the co-main event, initially slated to be between former light heavyweight champ Jamahal Hill and Carlos Ulberg, has also been reshuffled due to Hill’s injury. Brian Ortega will now face Diego Lopes, while Ulberg will take on Anthony Smith.

This upheaval comes as another blow to the UFC, following the disruption of the Fight Night event scheduled for the week before UFC 303. The main event between Khamzat Chimaev and Robert Whittaker was derailed due to a medical issue with Chimaev, prompting the UFC to announce that Whittaker would instead fight Ikram Aliskerov.

Inconsistent McGregor

McGregor’s last appearance in the Octagon was at UFC 264 in July 2021, where he lost to Dustin Poirier via TKO after breaking his tibia at the end of the first round. It has been over four years since McGregor’s last victory and nearly eight years since his last title fight win.

Rumors of McGregor’s withdrawal had been circulating for more than a week. Speculation grew after a scheduled press conference with Chandler was abruptly postponed on June 3, with little explanation from the UFC. As rumors and a video of McGregor partying with his fiancée circulated, McGregor posted on X, attributing the postponement to “a series of obstacles” but maintaining his eagerness to fight again.

McGregor’s last bout against Poirier was marked by a heated exchange and a broken leg, ending in a loss that led to soul-searching for the former champion. McGregor, who has never defended a UFC title and was stripped of both due to inactivity, took a slow recovery route, focusing on his business ventures and making his acting debut in the “Road House” adaptation.

Chandler’s Disappointment

Despite Chandler’s reassurances and ongoing promotion of the fight, veteran MMA journalist Ariel Helwani reported increased pessimism about the bout’s likelihood. Helwani later confirmed McGregor’s injury had occurred a day or two before the postponed press conference, and McGregor’s camp had hoped he could recover in time.

Chandler remained relatively quiet during the fallout of the UFC 303 main event. While he tweeted quotes intermittently to divert attention, he did not directly address the speculation. The former Bellator champion did share a message on Instagram through his sponsor, megafitmeals, a day after the cancellation.

This development is particularly tough on Chandler, who had been patient for what would have been the most lucrative fight of his career. Chandler last fought in November 2022, losing to Poirier. He and McGregor were set up as coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter,” but the fight date was delayed for months amid disputes over McGregor’s reentry into the USADA testing pool.

“[Conor McGregor] was never the safe bet as an opponent; he was always the highest risk,” Chandler wrote. “Maybe the highest reward… but the biggest opportunity. There is no right or wrong in business… you only take risks to grow or remain comfortable where you are.

Now, with his return to the UFC postponed once again, questions loom about how much longer the promotion can support and accommodate McGregor.

Read more: Does MMA Have a New Heavyweight Superstar?

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