Edmonton Elks sign former Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Jordan Lucas

The Edmonton Elks have come to terms on a deal with a defensive back who was a member of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs when they won the Super Bowl in 2020.

In a news release issued Friday, the Elks announced the CFL club has signed 29-year-old Jordan Lucas, who was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Kansas City Chiefs Jordan Lucas, left, tackles San Francisco 49ers Richie James during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Kansas City Chiefs Jordan Lucas, left, tackles San Francisco 49ers Richie James during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Lucas played college football at Penn State from 2012 to 2015.

READ MORE: Elks lock up offensive lineman David Foucault for 2 more seasons

The Elks also announced the signing of running back Shannon Brooks on Friday. The club said the Georgia native has spent the past two football seasons playing in the Indoor Football league.

The 26-year-old played college football at the University of Minnesota.

The Elks missed the CFL playoffs in 2022 after finishing the regular season with a 4-14 record.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Morrissey's second OT winner of the week lifts Jets past Stars in wild finish

Have you blown a late lead? Did you just give up multiple goals to a team that pulled their goalie? Looking to regroup heading into overtime?

Josh Morrissey is just the guy you need to save the day.

For the second time in the last three games, the Winnipeg Jets collapsed late in the third period before Morrissey scored the overtime winner, this time in a wild 5-4 win in Dallas on Friday night.

This game had everything and even a little controversy.

The Jets appeared to be well on their way to victory, leading by two goals with just over two minutes left. But the Stars pulled within one, before scoring a controversial game-tying goal with just 20 seconds to play.

Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck was slammed into the goal post causing him to lose his mask. And with Hellebuyck lying stretched out on the ice, Jason Robertson scored into the vacated net.

The goal stood up after a review due to Morrissey hitting Jamie Benn into Hellebuyck to cause the mask to come off.

“Somebody is going to have to explain to me the difference between their goalie losing his goalie pad and a whistle, and our goalie being flat down with no mask on, and no whistle,” said Jets head coach Rick Bowness. “Somebody has got to explain that to me.

“The explanation was – our guy caused it to happen, but regardless our goalie is down on his stomach with no mask. Listen, I’m as confused as anybody.”

The Jets eventually won the game on a Morrissey breakaway just 34 seconds into the extra frame. And going through all this just a few days earlier certainly didn’t hurt.

“We’ve done it before in such a recent period,” said Morrissey. “What are you going to do at that point? You gotta kinda pull your lip off the ice and get skating again. So, no time to be upset.”

Morrissey has three goals in the last three games.

“I love him,” Bowness said. “Did you see him skate there at the end ? He was flat out flying. He’s just been great for us all year. You get him into a foot race and look out.”

Dallas picked up at least a point for the seventh straight game, but the Jets moved within three points of the division leading Stars.

“That was a great effort tonight,” said Bowness. “It really was. I’m very proud of the way they played. They should be proud of the way they bounced back.”

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Salming impacted Swedish players here in Winnipeg as well

The Jets wasted no time in getting on the board as Cole Perfetti took a pass in stride from Blake Wheeler and deked out Jake Oettinger for the opening goal just 92 seconds into the game.

But Dallas had the answer, and quick. Benn led a Stars rush into the Winnipeg end and snapped a shot off the pad of Connor Hellebuyck, which ricocheted right to the stick of Wyatt Johnston for a tap-in equalizer 26 seconds after Perfetti’s goal.

Winnipeg would regain the lead less than four minutes later after Dallas mishandled a Jets dump in. The puck bounced off the end boards to Adam Lowry who fed Jansen Harkins for his first of the season.

Once again, though, the lead was short-lived. With Dallas on the power play, Benn banged home a loose puck for his 10th of the season at the 8:27 mark of the first. Jason Robertson picked up an assist on the goal, extending his point streak to a franchise-record 14 games.

After the chaotic start, the teams stiffened up defensively until the Jets third line cashed in for a second time in the middle frame.

A point shot from Dylan DeMelo was redirected by Axel Jonsson-Fjallby right to the stick of Lowry, who slid it into a yawning net to restore Winnipeg’s one-goal lead just over eight minutes into the second.

For a brief moment, Dallas thought they had again tied the game. The Stars dumped the puck into Winnipeg’s end and the Jets thought it hit the netting out of play, so they stopped playing. But there was no whistle, so Robertson took the puck and put it into the net.

Winnipeg challenged the goal and officials quickly realized on review that the whistle should have been blown, so the goal was called off.

The Jets stayed in charge into the third and looked like they’d put the game on ice when Kyle Connor redirected a pass from Pierre-Luc Dubois past Oettinger with less than nine minutes to go.

But Jets fans remember what happened on Monday against Carolina. Winnipeg was cruising along with a three-goal lead, but the Hurricanes scored thrice with their net empty to send it to overtime.

A sense of deja vu began setting in when, with Oettinger on the bench, Robertson beat Hellebuyck through a screen to make it 4-3 with 2:12 to go.

Surely it wouldn’t happen again, would it?

It did, but not without great controversy.

With less than 30 seconds left, Benn bumped into Hellebuyck at the side of the Jets net, knocking Hellebuyck’s mask off. But the refs did not blow the whistle as the Winnipeg goalie lay facedown on the ice.

Instead, officials let the play continue. The puck found its way to the stick of Robertson who fired it into an empty net, and it seemed impossible that the goal would not be overturned after replay.

But the situation room deemed that Benn was bumped into the goalie by Morrissey, so the goal was allowed to stand. The Jets were incensed but had to quickly regroup for the OT session.

After Dallas started the extra frame with possession, Wheeler won the puck in the corner in the Winnipeg end and hit a streaking Morrissey up the ice, blowing past a tired Robertson and beating Oettinger five-hole on a clean breakaway for his second OT winner in the last three games.

Hellebuyck made 37 saves in the win as Winnipeg improves to 6-1 in overtime this season. Oettinger turned aside 23 shots in the loss.

READ MORE: Jets carved by Wild again on eve of US Thanksgiving

Winnipeg wraps up this three-game road trip Sunday in Chicago. Pregame coverage on 680 CJOB starts at 4 p.m. with the puck dropping just after 6 p.m.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

RCMP hunt for man involved in serious incident, believed to be in Winnipeg

RCMP is trying to identify a man who is alleged to have been involved in a serious incident near Portage la Prairie Friday night.

He is believed to be in Winnipeg.

In a tweet issued Friday night, RCMP say he should not be approached.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Barkey and Brochu help London Knights blank the Kitchener Rangers 4-0

Brett Brochu made 28 saves for his fifth career shutout as the London Knights defeated the Kitchener Rangers 4-0 on Friday night at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.

Denver Barkey scored once and set up another for the Knights and now has 21 points in 20 games.

Barkey made good on a gorgeous pass from Easton Cowan after Cowan knocked a puck out of the air in centre ice and in one motion whipped it ahead to Barkey, who was already at full speed and raced to the Ranger goal.

Barkey then set up Oliver Bonk late in the second period as Bonk snuck in from the left point for his fifth goal of the year.

Read more:

Knights edge Greyhounds in Sault Ste. Marie

Connor Federkow and Ruslan Gazizov also got goals for London.

Federkow’s first of the season came on a deflection in the opening period and Gazizov banked a puck off a skate and past Marco Costantini in the Kitchener net just 24 seconds into the second period.

The Rangers outshot the Knights 28-24.

London is now 8-2 on the road in 2022-23 and will play their fourth consecutive game away from home on Sunday evening in Oshawa, Ont.

Coming Nov. 29th…

The London Knights have been giving fans little teasers on their social media as to what will be unveiled before they host the Guelph Storm on Nov. 29, 2022.

So far it’s clear that it will be a new jersey but it won’t just be worn one night and then retired. It will become a part of the Knights uniform collection going forward and will be worn multiple times this year.

Read more:

London Knights sign first round pick Luca Testa

One New Year’s Day in Kitchener, Ont.

The Kitchener Memorial Auditorium opened in 1951 and has been collecting hockey history ever since. The building has been home to Memorial Cup champions and has hosted Memorial Cup championships.

It also has a very little recognized claim to fame as the only building the 1995-96 London Knights won a game in outside of the London Ice House. That was the team that had a record of 3-60-3 and earned maybe the most improbable victory in team history at The Aud on Jan. 1, 1996. London was in the midst of four games in three in a half days in four different cities.

The OHL doesn’t allow scheduling like that anymore. The Knights had lost 5-3 at home to the Sarnia Sting on a Friday night and immediately headed east to Belleville only to lose 6-1 to the Bulls on the Saturday. London headed further east on the Sunday only to be blown out 10-0 by the Kingston Frontenacs on New Year’s Eve.

The Knights arrived in Kitchener, Ont., to play on New Year’s Day against a Rangers team that challenged for top spot in their division that year. London jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead that day and an early third period goal by Joel Dezainde stood up as the unlikely game winner in a 3-2 Knights victory.

Read more:

London Knights: Back in time — May 23

Up next

London will play their fourth consecutive road game on Sunday, Nov. 27 in Oshawa, Ont.

The Knights and Generals have not met since the final game London played before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Matvey Guskov scored into an empty net on March 8, 2020 as the Knights polished off a 3-1 home ice win at Budweiser Gardens. London did not play another game until Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.

Coverage will start at 5:30 on 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Justin Trudeau appears on 'Canada's Drag Race' spinoff: 'Build a resilient society'

Canadian fashion maven, Brad Goreski, returns to the judges' panel for season 3 of 'Canada's Drag Race'. The celebrity stylist talks about excitement around this season's cast of queens and rates his style choices from years past in a game of ‘Toot or Boot?’.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an appearance on Friday’s episode of “Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs. the World” to offer the contestants words of inspiration before the main challenge.

Trudeau is touted as being the first world leader to visit the competition series founded by RuPaul.

Read more:

Justin Trudeau to become 1st world leader to appear in ‘Drag Race’ franchise

During the episode, the prime minister shared his thoughts on Canada’s efforts to embrace diversity, noting there is a lot more work to do toward building allyship in Canada.

After his remarks, the queens were touched by his words.

Competitor Stephanie Prince was teary-eyed, saying Trudeau’s work on immigration made it easier for the performer to migrate to Canada for a better life.

The pre-taped Crave series aired on the same day Trudeau testified before the public inquiry examining his government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to help clear last winter’s “Freedom Convoy” protest blockades.

The guest judges for the episode included “Canada’s Drag Race” winner Priyanka and activist Sarain Fox, who joined permanent judge Traci Melchor.

Host Brooke Lynn Hytes thanked Trudeau for supporting the LGBTQ community and marching in the Pride parade.

“Can we move beyond ‘tolerate’ and start embracing, and loving, and accepting, and learning from and being challenged by? That’s how you build a resilient society,” Trudeau responded. “That’s what we’re trying to do in Canada, and we have a lot of work still to do.”

Trudeau’s appearance was brief, matching the vibrant energy of the spinoff, in which international drag queens compete in challenges and lip-sync battles until a winner is crowned.

“Hate to see you leave, love to watch you walk away, baby,” shouted Icesis Couture as the group watched Trudeau make his exit – or sashay away.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Say it ain't snow: Metro Vancouver could see flurries next week as mercury dips

There are two potential chances for snow in the forecast. Senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon has the details in your Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, forecast for Metro Vancouver and British Columbia.

Metro Vancouverites will want to make sure they’ve got their all-season tires equipped next week, with chilly weather on the way and a chance of snow.

Global BC senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon says temperatures are set to drop across the province next week, as a pool of arctic air shifts down from the north.

Temperatures in southern B.C. are forecast to hover around 5 C below normal, while central and northern B.C. could see temperatures hitting 10 to 20 C below normal.

Gordon said the mercury should start to drop on the South Coast by Sunday, then dropping again Tuesday through Thursday as daytime highs range between 1 and 3 C, with temperatures below freezing overnight.

Read more:

Winter storm watch issued for Coquihalla, Okanagan Connector

“Based on the current forecast, the first chance of snow is on Sunday evening. Temperatures will be low enough later in the day and overnight into Monday we could see some snow. This is not likely to be widespread, instead quite spotty. Some neighbourhoods could see snow while others don’t see any at all,” Gordon explained.

“The second chance, is on Tuesday and Wednesday. A low pressure system will move on shore at this time and the current models are predicting the Arctic will remain in place. However, there is a chance the temperatures will warm as this system moves over the region.”

Gordon stressed that the forecast was preliminary and could easily change.

People should continue to monitor the weather forecasts daily for updates on the situation.

“This is the difficulty with forecasting snow across the South Coast. A shift in only one or two degrees is difference between 0 to 15 centimeters of snow,” she said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Croatian-Canadian soccer fans get ready for Canada's match against Croatia at World Cup

WATCH ABOVE: (From Nov. 23, 2022) Canada's 36-year-long wait to return to the FIFA World Cup has ended with a tough 1-0 loss to Belgium, despite dominating large portions of the match. Eric Sorensen looks at how fans were on the edge of their seats.

Marinko Buric and his family have their red and white Croatian soccer jerseys ready for when they’ll visit a friend’s house to watch Canada and Croatia play at the World Cup this Sunday.

Buric expects it to be a noisy morning, with a big breakfast and lots of cheering for the team from Croatia, despite the fact that it’s Canada’s first time at the tournament in decades.

“I have always been much closer, when it comes to soccer, to the Croatian national team than the Canadian one,” said Buric, a Halton Hills, Ont., resident who was born in Canada and is of Croatian descent.

“Soccer is a big part of the culture in Croatia.”

READ MORE: Canadian soccer fans make their presence felt as their national team returns to men’s World Cup

While many Canadians will be cheering on their men’s soccer team, numerous Canadians of Croatian descent say their loyalties lie with the opposing team.

Susan Katana Cork said it had been hard for her to choose between the two teams but she ultimately decided to cheer for Croatia.

“I am almost torn in a sense because I am a Canadian, but I am also Croatian because of my family heritage,” said the Markham, Ont., resident.

“I would like to see Croatia win despite the fact that… I was born and raised in Canada.”

Croatia's players pose for team photo before the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

Croatia's players pose for team photo before the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Canada is playing at the World Cup for the first time in 36 years and Sunday’s match will mark its second game at the tournament taking place in Qatar.

READ MORE: Johnston says Canadian men unfazed despite pressure ahead of World Cup showdown with Croatia

Croatia’s soccer team is making its sixth World Cup appearance since the country gained independence in 1991. The team came third in 1998 and lost the final to France in 2018.

Erica Zlomislic, a director at the Croatian Heritage Association, said though she loves Canada, she hopes Croatia clinches the match.

“When it comes to sports, people have divided loyalties,” she said, adding that she is planning to watch the game with her family at home in Toronto.

“Croatia is a very small country of less than five-million people. But we have excellent people in sports… For a country that small, it is amazing how well we do.”

Zlomislic, a Canadian of Croatian descent, spent years as a journalist covering the war in Croatia in the early 1990s. She’s so fond of Croatia’s team that she’s even kept its jersey from 1998 World Cup.

She said she hopes Canada, which is playing in group F, advances to the next stage of the tournament but she’s rooting for Croatia to win the World Cup.

READ MORE: Canadian men look to turn performance into points against Croatia at World Cup

The World Cup began last Sunday amid controversy surrounding host country Qatar’s human rights record. Human Rights Watch criticized the alleged abuse of migrant workers employed to build World Cup infrastructure, and violence against the LGBTQ community. Qatar has said “everyone” is welcome to visit during the World Cup but they should respect the country’s “culture.”

Canada defeated Mexico and the U.S., two powerful teams, among others in the World Cup qualifier matches, defying expectations as it cleared its path towards Qatar.

The team from Canada poses before the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Canada, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

The team from Canada poses before the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Canada, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Despite playing in a relatively difficult group — Canada lost its first game 1-0 to Belgium — Canada has a chance to advance to the knockout stage given its strong performance during qualifying competitions, said Marko Gotovac, a coach at Mississauga Croatia Soccer Club.

“When you look at Canadian soccer, certainly I would consider this team in this generation probably the best we have had in the history of our game here in Canada,” he said.

“I am sure that they will give trouble to every team that is in the tournament.”

READ MORE: Alphonso Davies offers his take on Canada’s loss to Belgium at World Cup

Gotovac said the Canadian side has stars like Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David in its roster, and all the team’s players this year have served as role models for many of the young players he coaches.

“Canadian boys are going to come out there and have that fighting Canadian spirit,” Gotovac said.

“My wish is for a high-quality match and whoever wins that match between Croatia and Canada, I am sure they deserve it.”

Fans cheer before the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Canada, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

Fans cheer before the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Canada, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Canada is set to play Morocco next in a match on Thursday.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Vancouver police defend use of beanbag gun in Chinatown arrest

WATCH: Vancouver police are defending their actions, after a video posted on social media shows a man in Chinatown Thursday being subdued by police firing a beanbag gun.

Vancouver police are defending the use of a “less lethal” beanbag shotgun during an arrest that was captured on camera.

The scene played out in Chinatown on Thursday, with the suspect at one point telling officers to shoot him.

After officers used the beanbag weapon to take the man down, a police dog was used to further subdue him.

Read more:

Beanbag gun used to arrest weapon-wielding woman at BC Women’s Hospital maternity ward: police

Onlookers in the video can be heard yelling that the suspect appeared to be putting his hands onto a vehicle to surrender before he was fired upon.

In a series of tweets responding to the video, Vancouver police said the suspect had commandeered a taxi and threatened to kill the driver before officers forced it to stop.

The man was a known high-risk and violent offender with a history of armed robberies, assaulting police and drug trafficking and was arrestable on a previous offence, police added.

“This is a good example of citizen journalism, viral videos and how things can be grossly taken out of context without people knowing all of the facts,” Sgt. Steve Addison told Global News.

“The force that was taken and the actions that were taken were reasonable, they were taken to lawfully arrest a person who was committing a crime, who has a history of violence, and who had chosen not to comply with the police commands”

The Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), which posted the video, said it was a clear case of police using excessive force.

Read more:

‘We want answers,’ says family of Ojibwa man who died after beanbag gun shooting

“This man who was under arrest had his hands up, he was surrendering himself to police, he was unarmed, and then VPD constables decide to fire three rounds from a so-called less than lethal device,” VANDU organizer Vince Tao said.

“And once he was on the ground, we just released additional footage that we received on our anonymous tip line that they fired again once he was already on the ground, prone, hands up surrendering.”

The suspect has been charged with two counts of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

'Setting boundaries': Dealing with stress around the holiday season

WATCH: We're now only a month away from Christmas which means for some a time to stress over having to have a perfect holiday season. As Jasmine King explains experts say the season not a time for competition but a time for celebration with friends and family.

We’re now only a month away from Christmas which means, for some, a time to stress over having to have a perfect holiday season. Experts say the season is not a time for competition but a time for celebration with friends and family.

Family dynamics around this time of year, though, can be a point of stress.

“Understanding boundaries and setting those boundaries. Also looking at triggers there might be within the family and trying to preplan to avoid those triggers and then having escape plans,” said psychologist Dr. Delaine Shackleton with the Kelowna Psychologists Group.

With rising prices and inflation, financial pressure is proving to be one of the biggest stressors of this Christmas season.

“I think people compare themselves to other families and the big thing there is to just not compare, to try and focus on yourselves, getting the basics in line and making sure that you’re reaching out for support as needed,” Shackleton said.

“People feel a lot of pressure and they feel like they need to be the provider that they want to be. They feel like they have to admit defeat if they can’t be what they had an idea of being.”

Kelowna’s Mamas for Mamas has seen a huge jump in people accessing their services this year and this holiday season isn’t any different.

The organization will be providing Christmas hampers to families, doing their best to help alleviate the pressure of the holidays.

“You just want to make sure that they have that special gift under the tree for their little one, you really want to make sure they’ve got a special meal they can have while they’re off of work,” said Mamas for Mamas founder Shannon Christensen.

“You really want to make sure that you’re reducing the mental health crisis that these families are often facing trying to do it all on their own.”

Read more:

Mamas for Mamas raises $500,000 during gala in Kelowna

Although the holidays can cause a lot of stress, Shackleton wants to remind people to enjoy this time of year.

“We can do the best that we can do and that’s all we can do, nobody can do more than the best that we can do. Just give yourself that grace and that period of just taking a breath. Embrace the lovely moments because (there) are lots of lovely moments about the holidays as well,” Shackleton added.

She also emphasizes the importance of self-care during the busy holiday season.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Johnston says Canadian men unfazed despite pressure ahead of World Cup showdown with Croatia

WATCH ABOVE: (From Nov. 23, 2022) Canada's 36-year-long wait to return to the FIFA World Cup has ended with a tough 1-0 loss to Belgium, despite dominating large portions of the match. Eric Sorensen looks at how fans were on the edge of their seats.

While the pressure is on Canada to get points out of its game Sunday with Croatia to preserve any chance of moving on at the World Cup, defender Alistair Johnston says the Canadian men are unfazed.

The Canadians find themselves in a hole at the bottom of Group F after their 1-0 loss Wednesday to Belgium. Another defeat will end their chance of advancing to the knockout round.

Canada's Alistair Johnston (left) and Belgium's Eden Hazard battle for the ball during the FIFA World Cup Group F match at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan. Picture date: Wednesday November 23, 2022.

Canada's Alistair Johnston (left) and Belgium's Eden Hazard battle for the ball during the FIFA World Cup Group F match at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan. Picture date: Wednesday November 23, 2022.

CANADIAN PRESS

Johnston says 41st-ranked Canada is up to the challenge.

“We know wherever we play here, we’re going to have an unbelievable Canadian crowd,” he said after training Friday. “We know that we can play at this level. We know that the moment’s not too big. I think having that now in kind of our back pocket after playing against Belgium in that opening game has only helped the group.

“I mean the morale is unbelievably high. I’ve never seen that after a loss before. The guys are still, obviously, frustrated that we didn’t find a way to get something out of that game, but at the same time we went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the world.”

READ MORE: Canadian soccer fans make their presence felt as their national team returns to men’s World Cup

Still, Johnston knows the Canadians need more than another good performance. They need a result.

So do the 12th-ranked Croatians, who had to settle for a scoreless draw with No. 22 Morocco in their opener.

Back in Croatia, Canada coach John Herdman made headlines for a pitchside interview that saw him asked what he had told his players in a post-game huddle following the Belgium loss.

“I told them they belong here and we’re going to go and eff— Croatia,” he said with a smile. “That’s as simple as it gets.”

READ MORE: Alphonso Davies offers his take on Canada’s loss to Belgium at World Cup

A popular Croatian tabloid, 24sata, put Herdman’s head on a naked body with a Maple Leaf covering his mouth and a much smaller one down below with a headline that roughly translates to “You have the mouth. But do you have the balls?”

Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic was cool in reacting to Herdman’s heat.

“We have to and we will certainly talk about it. It can only motivate us,” he said, according to Croatia Week.

READ MORE: Canadian men look to turn performance into points against Croatia at World Cup

Johnston, a 24-year-old CF Montreal defender with the gift of the gab, downplayed the off-field controversy.

“Look we know it’s a massive game. This is a team that finished runners-up in the last World Cup. It’s an unbelievably talented group. They don’t need any extra motivation. So I bet they were looking at it like ‘OK, who’s this team that we probably never heard of until a couple of months ago and talking a big game?’

“But we believe in ourselves. We believe that we can back it up. And at the end of the day, no matter what’s said, no matter what pictures are posted in tabloids, it’s all going to come down to what happens in those 90 minutes on the field. We understand that and we feel really good about that.”

Croatia will have four points if it can dispatch Canada. And no matter happens in the Belgium-Morocco game in the Sunday’s other Group F matchup, one of those teams will also finish the day with four points. A loss Sunday and the Canadians can finish with no more than three points.

READ MORE: Canada loses 1-0 to Belgium at World Cup

Canada’s final group game is next Thursday against Morocco.

Johnston has started 29 straight games for Canada, a men’s national team record. He moved past Bruce Wilson, who captained Canada at the 1986 World Cup and played 27 straight, in the Canadians’ final pre-tournament warmup — a 2-1 win over Japan on Nov. 17 in Dubai.

Johnston’s senior debut coincided with Canada’s opening World Cup qualifying match against Bermuda in March 2021. He won a second cap against the Cayman Islands before missing out on a game against Aruba in June 2021.

He was back for a match with Suriname later that month and has not missed a game since.

The young fullback/wingback has come a long way since being taken 11th overall by Nashville SC out of Wake Forest in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. Montreal spent big to get Johnston from Nashville, giving up US$1 million in general allocation money last December to get him. It then signed him to a new two-year deal with options for the 2024 and 2025 campaigns.

READ MORE: Canadian defender Alistair Johnston already feeling at home with CF Montreal

Now he has been linked with a move to Glasgow Celtic.

Johnston managed to deflect the transfer talk while talking up the Scottish powerhouse.

“To be linked with a club like Celtic is obviously something that I think every young footballer is excited by. I think it’s one of the most passionate fan bases in the world, if not the most passionate. It’s a club that even people who don’t follow football now who is.”

Johnston said the reports “nearly broke my phone.”

“Right now the focus is solely on the national team. Personal things, club things, that will all get kind of figured out once (the) January (transfer window) hits. We’ve got still a lot more business to take care of here in Qatar.”

Canada defender Alistair Johnston speaks to the media during a press conference at the World Cup in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.

Canada defender Alistair Johnston speaks to the media during a press conference at the World Cup in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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