Sports by Mike Townes
On Thanksgiving weekend, Michelle and Sandy Clarke made the trip to Saskatoon to watch their daughter Jamie play fastball for the Durham Lords in the Canadian Collegiate National Championship.
Jamie, in her third year of nursing, and her team, qualified for the Canadian championship by winning the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association championship in 2017.
Durham started on the right foot beating Saskatchewan 8-0 in game one, but then dropped game two to Calgary 9-2 and a squeaker 2-1 to Regina. They returned to the winner’s circle by beating last year’s national champions from Western University 4-3.
Their 2-2 record was enough to be seeded 3rd in the playoff round and they were matched up against Saskatchewan in game one. Durham was losing 6-2 going into the bottom of the 7th but the Lords rallied for five runs to win 7-6 in the biggest comeback of the tournament.
They then beat Western 3-2 to advance to the Bronze medal game against #2 seed Calgary and they won 5-1. With the victory, Jamie and her teammates were in the gold medal game against #1 seed Regina.
The ladies were playing their third game of the day and it showed as Durham went down to an 8-1 defeat to Regina and had to settle for the hard-earned silver medal. The result was the best for Durham at the Nationals since 2012.
The teams had to perform in 1 to 8 degree weather but it did not seem to hurt Jamie as she batted .277 in the tournament and was perfect on defense playing second base for the Lords.
Congratulations to Jamie and her teammates for a job well done in Saskatoon!

The major league baseball playoffs are down to four teams. Houston should win back-to-back World Series championships because of their pitching and great hitting. Boston is no match for the Astros even with the series tied after two games. Houston has a complete team from top to bottom…Milwaukee and Los Angeles should be a great series going likely seven games. I am cheering for the Brewers but the Dodgers may be just a little bit better especially if they get a lead and the Brewers bullpen is a non-factor. The only time they had the lead in the first two games was for the last two innings of game two…There is no truth to the rumors that the Blue Jays have contacted me to be interviewed for the manager’s job…Aaron Boone is the first year manager of the New York Yankees and his decisions in the playoffs are under review by management. Could he be gone? Not likely but stranger things have happened in New York…Is there a worse umpire than Angel Hernandez in the major leagues? Umpiring first base in the New York-Boston series game four was a nightmare. Thank goodness for instant replay!...Toronto Blue Jays will not make the playoffs again next year. Just so you do not get your hopes up…I still cannot figure out why major league teams celebrate when they win a division pennant, wildcard game or semi-final  playoff series, because, at that point, you have won nothing. I can see it if you win the league pennant, but only winning the World Series matters.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are a team on a mission. Winning four games on the road is very impressive especially against the defending Stanley Cup champs right in Washington…Auston Matthews will be getting at least John Tavares money when he signs an eight-year contract with Toronto. Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner will be getting good money also in the future. That will put a strain on the salary cap and if William Nylander wants to be part of the team he will have to bring his demands down at least 25%. Do not be surprised if he is traded soon…The Leafs are very entertaining and should have their best chance at the Stanley Cup in a long time. The definition of “old” is “You saw the Leafs win the Stanley Cup in 1967.”