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Sports Roundup – March 2 *Updated 11:50 am*

LOCAL SPORTS

In Nova Scotia Junior Hockey, the Strait Pirates took the first game in their best of 7 series with the Antigonish Farmers Mutual Bulldogs 4-2. Game two is in Antigonish tomorrow night at 7:30.
Meanwhile, the Pictou County Scotians lost to the Junior Miners 8-2, giving the Miners a 2-1 series lead. The teams play game four Sunday night in Trenton at 6.


The X-Men are going to the AUS Men’s Hockey finals after winning the deciding game 3-1 over the Saint Mary’s. That’s the third straight win for the team who started the semi-final with two losses to the Huskies. The X-Men host Game One of the Finals versus UNB on Wednesday night.


The Basketball X-Men were not as fortunate, as they fell 89-66 to the Cape Breton Capers. The Capers advance to the semi-finals against the Huskies.


The X-Women Hockey team begin their AUS championship final on the road Sunday.  They travel to Fredericton to face the St. Thomas Tommies in the opening game of a best of three series.  Game time in Fredericton Sunday is 7 p.m.


The Pictou County Weeks Crushers are in western New Brunswick playing three games in three days. Friday, they edged the Grand Falls Rapids 2-1. Tonight they will be in Edmunston to tangle with the Blizzard at 7:30 and Sunday Afternoon they face the St. Stephen Aces at 3 p.m.


The Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League Playoffs open this weekend.  The Cape Breton West Islanders meet the Valley Wildcats.  Game one in the Best of Five series will be Saturday night at 6 at the Al MacInnis Sports Centre in Port Hood.  Game 2 will also be in Port Hood Sunday afternoon at 12 noon.  The Pictou County Weeks Major Midgets will face the Cole Harbour Wolfpack with Game one in Cole Harbour Saturday night at 7:15.  Game Two is Sunday morning at 11:15.


The Nova Scotia Major Bantam Hockey League begin their playoffs this weekend, in best of 3 affairs.  The Novas host the Harbour Storm at 5 p.m. at the Antigonish Arena.  The Pictou County Wear Well Bombers open their playoffs at 11 Sunday morning in East Hants against the Rangers.


The Dr JH Gillis Senior Boys Basketball team is playing for the provincial banner today after defeating Middleton 84-72 in the semi-final at Millwood High. The championship goes at 4 today vs Breton Education Center.


The David Fry Sr. Championships are underway this weekend at Dalplex  PHAST has a 6 swimmer squad at this top level meet to compete in a pool of 23 teams from Atlantic Canada and Ontario. In the first full day of competition PHAST saw 4 top 8 finishes.  Malcolm Cameron placed 7th in the 200m Breaststroke. Aidan Doucet placed 5th in the 50m Butterfly. Anna Robinson placed 5th in the 50m Butterfly and 3rd in the 50m Backstroke.


NATIONAL SPORTS

Forward Kevin Hayes did what the Jets expected him to do when they acquired him at the trade deadline. Hayes scored his first goal with the Jets and added two assists as Winnipeg beat the Predators 5-3 at Bell M-T-S Place. Veterans Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele also had a goal and two assists each.


Joel Armia was the difference at Madison Square Garden. Armia had three goals and the Canadiens beat the Rangers 4-2. Brendan Gallagher also scored and Carey Price stopped 28 shots for Montreal. The Canadiens host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight before a three-game California trip.


NHL

Winnipeg 5 Nashville 3
Montreal 4 N.Y. Rangers 2
Buffalo 4 Pittsburgh 3 (OT)
Washington 3 N.Y. Islanders 1
Philadelphia 6 New Jersey 3
Carolina 5 St. Louis 2
Vegas 3 Anaheim 0
San Jose 4 Colorado 3


Kawhi (KAH’-wy) Leonard kept the Raptors’ winning ways against Portland going. Leonard hit the winning basket with three seconds to play to lift Toronto to a 119-117 victory over the Trail Blazers at Scotiabank Arena. Leonard finished with 38 points. Toronto has won seven of its last eight meetings against Portland, including four in a row at home.


NBA

Toronto 119 Portland 117
Charlotte 123 Brooklyn 112
Chicago 168 Atlanta 161 (4OT)
Boston 107 Washington 96
New Orleans 130 Phoenix 116
L.A. Clippers 116 Sacramento 109
Milwaukee 131 L.A. Lakers 120


Brendan Bottcher earned his way into the Tim Hortons Brier the hard way. Bottcher defeated John Epping 8-4 in the wild-card game to gain entry into the main draw of the Canadian men’s curling championship. Bottcher and his Edmonton team open the Brier against Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs today.


MLB Pre-season

Atlanta 4 Toronto (ss) 3
Pittsburgh (ss) 1 Toronto (ss) 1
Tampa Bay 10 Baltimore (ss) 5
N.Y. Mets 7 Detroit 1
Minnesota 4 Boston 3
Philadelphia 7 Pittsburgh (ss) 3
Washington 5 Miami 4
Chicago White Sox 8 Texas 5
Oakland 6 Colorado 3
L.A. Angels 10 Kansas City 7
Chicago Cubs 10 Arizona 2
Seattle 7 Milwaukee 3
St. Louis 4 Houston 4
Baltimore (ss) 2 N.Y. Yankees 2
Cleveland 8 L.A. Dodgers (ss) 4
San Diego 5 L.A. Dodgers (ss) 4
San Francisco 5 Cincinnati 3