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Home Advantage? Goaltending Pains? Why Team Canada might win the 2017 World Juniors — and why it Might Not



Canadians don’t collectively pound their chests with pride anymore when it comes to the world juniors. No, we’re too busy chewing our fingernails down to the nubs in a sign of coast-to-coast angst.

Since the late Pat Quinn led Canada to the title at the 2009 tournament in Ottawa, Canada has captured gold just once, that coming two years ago thanks to a dramatic 5-4 victory in the championship game in Toronto. And while home-ice advantage proved key in that event, playing at home did not result in titles in 2010 (Regina/Saskatoon) and 2012 (Calgary/Edmonton).

Keeping that in mind, how will Canada fare in the 2017 edition, which kicks off on Boxing Day in Toronto and Montreal? Here is a breakdown of why Canada might — and might not — win this upcoming tournament.


Team Canada accrued plenty of momentum their opening pair of pre-tournament games, which were impressive, to say the least. A 5-0 victory over Finland Monday was followed by an equally dominating 5-0 decision over the Czech Republic on Wednesday, results that should help cure the butterflies churning inside the guts of those Canadian players participating in the tourney for the first time.

The most pleasing aspect of those lopsided wins for coach Dominique Ducharme was the fact they didn’t allow a goal in 120 minutes, the type of stingy defence he hopes will carry over into the preliminary round and beyond.

Unfinished business

It is a phrase you keep hearing from captain Dylan Strome — over and over again. It has become the unofficial mantra of Team Canada 2017, with Strome and the other four returnees from last year’s team — forwards Mathew Barzal, Julien Gauthier and Mitchell Stephens and defenceman Thomas Chabot — still haunted by the disappointment of not even advancing deep enough to play for a medal at the 2016 event in Helsinki, Finland.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted last year, but we’re excited to be back,” said Chabot, the Ottawa Senators blueline prospect who plays for the Saint John Sea Dogs. In the minds of these five, it’s time to make amends from the shortcomings of 12 months ago.

Home cooking

What does playing on home ice mean? Here’s what Connor McDavid had to say after his Canadian squad beat Russia 5-4 in the 2015 gold medal game at the Air Canada Centre. “Crazy,” McDavid said at the time. “The crowd out there was unbelievable. They were with us every step of the way. Such a loud building. Just standing on the blue line and singing the national anthem with 22 of my good buddies. The crowd. It’s hard to explain.”

It’s the type of snapshot in time members of Team Canada 2017 will be yearning for in Toronto and Montreal. This much we do know: there will be no shortage of energy and support coming from the stands.

Captain Catalyst

If anyone has a chip on his shoulder heading into this tournament, it’s Strome. Sent back to the OHL’s Erie Otters by the Arizona Coyotes late last month, Strome found himself as the only top-5 selection from the 2015 entry draft not playing in the NHL.

As such, while McDavid (1st overall pick, Edmonton Oilers), Jack Eichel (2nd, Buffalo Sabres), Mitch Marner (4th, Toronto Maple Leafs) and Noah Hanifin (5th, Carolina Hurricanes) remain with their parent clubs, Strome is transforming his frustration into motivation to eclipse the nightmare that was Team Canada’s performance at last year’s tournament. The message he continues to pound into his 2017 teammates: there are no shortcuts in this event.

“I want to stress to the young guys how hard this tournament is,” Strome told Postmedia. “I want them to know every game is important — otherwise, you might end up with a tougher match-up in the quarters and semis than there needs to be … It’s all there in front of us. But to be successful, we cannot take anything for granted.”

Obviously, there will be no resting on one’s laurels in the Team Canada dressing room under Strome’s leadership — and that’s a key for Ducharme and his coaching staff.

“Last year left a bitter taste,” Strome said. “Nothing I can do to change that except go out and hopefully lead Canada to a gold medal.”

Spotlight delight

Pressure? What pressure? Obviously, the fact that this tournament means more to Canadians than it does to any other hockey fans puts Team Canada directly under the glaring spotlight of an entire country. How the players handle it will eventually determine whether it ends up being a positive or a negative.

Here’s the advice 2015 gold-medal winner Nick Ritchie, now of the Anaheim Ducks, had for the 2017 team. “There’s a lot of pressure, but if you embrace it and just play hockey, you’re good to go,” Ritchie said earlier this week. Indeed, by adopting such a glass-half-full attitude, Team Canada will have a much easier time concentrating on all the stuff that matters on the ice instead of all the stuff that doesn’t off it.



The weight of history

For whatever reason, Canada has just four medals at this event in the past seven years — the lone gold in that span coming in 2015, along with silvers in 2010 and 2011 and a bronze in 2012. The Canadians were shut out from the podium in 2016, a source of concern for Hockey Canada president Tom Renney and his staff.

“Canada’s struggles at this event recently have been puzzling,” a long-time scout told Postmedia. “The men’s team has dominated at the past two Olympics and at the World Cup in September, so it’s not like the Canadian product has sagged at all levels — just the junior one. It’s hard to figure out why.” It’s a dilemma Renney hopes can be solved over the next two-plus weeks.

Closing the gap

Canada’s recent struggles at the world juniors is a reflection that this country no longer is the dominating presence it once was at the junior level, with the rest of the field certainly having closed the gap. Consider, for example, the outstanding showing by Finland on the international stage this year, capturing gold medals at the under-20 and under-18 levels and winning silver at the men’s world championships.

In the end, the Canadians will enter the event as the +100 betting favourites at sports books monitored by But history dictates that Canada had best beware — the competition is closing in.

Missing in action

Pretty well every team in the tourney will be missing talent, whether it be due to injury or because NHL teams have opted to keep their junior-eligible players with their parent clubs. Still, it’s hard not to think of the juggernaut Team Canada would be if had all its potential stars at its disposal.

Consider the list of eligible players who won’t be lacing up for Team Canada: McDavid (Oilers), Marner (Maple Leafs), Travis Konecny (Philadelphia Flyers), Jakob Chychrun (Arizona Coyotes), Lawson Crouse (Coyotes), Anthony Beauvillier (New York Islanders) and top 2017 prospect Nolan Patrick (upper-body injury). Such a rich cache of raw skill that won’t be wearing Canada’s red-and-white for the holidays.

Net pains

While not solely to blame for Canada’s recent hiccups at the world juniors, the numbers show that the lack of dominant goaltending for Canada has been an issue. From 1982 to 2009 — a span in which Canada won 15 gold medals — a Team Canada puckstopper won the award for the best tournament goalie 10 times. In recent rocky times, there were zero best goalie awards and just one gold for Canada.

One sliver of optimism for Canada this time around: goalies Carter Hart and Connor Ingram posted back-to-back shutouts in pre-tournament wins over the Finland and the Czechs this week. “You just have to stay dialed in the whole time and just be totally engaged for a full 60 minutes,” Hart said.

Maybe. But those two victories matter little when the games that count kick off on Boxing Day. Canada hasn’t had a dominant goaltending performance since Carey Price in 2006. It’s a trend Hart and Ingram will attempt to change.

Spotlight fright

As mentioned earlier, the pressure of wearing that Canadian maple leaf can be a positive or negative, depending on how — and if — the players embrace it. If Canada fumbles and bumbles its way out of the gates early, a sense of national fretting will blanket this county with every passing shift. That’s a lot of weight to put on any teenager.

“I wish I could forget it,” Strome said when asked about Team Canada’s inability to finish in the top four a year ago in Finland. “It’s not a good feeling. So many people in your country and your family and friends watch the games … I’m still not over it.” Such are the high expectations an entire country puts on these kids, rightly or wrongly

“The true test comes when the tournament starts and we face more adversity and different situations,” coach Ducharme said. How Team Canada handles the white noise surrounding it might play as big a role as how they play on the ice.

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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