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    MONTREAL – Connor McDavid is a man of few words and, so far, few goals at the World Junior Championship. Brett Favre Jersey . Asked to assess his play through three games, McDavid only offers up: Been alright. Does that mean he wants to be better? I guess, yeah. McDavid broke his right hand in a fight Nov. 11 and only returned to game action on Dec. 21 so there is a sense he isnt quite back up to top speed. So, how close is McDavid to being at the top of his game? Not sure, he said with a shrug. McDavid has one goal and two assists so far, all against Germany and all on the power play. The top line – Max Domi, Sam Reinhart and Anthony Duclair – has been thriving. Third-line centre Nic Petan leads the tournament in scoring with six points. Third-line winger Robby Fabbri has four points. But the second line headlined by McDavid and captain Curtis Lazar has been somewhat quiet. McDavids three-point total is certainly respectable, but the expectations are sky high for the Newmarket, Ont. native, who has 51 points in 18 OHL games this season with the Erie Otters. For most of the championship, it has been big Anaheim Ducks prospect Nick Ritchie skating on left wing on the line, despite questions about whether he was fast enough to keep up with the 17-year-old phenom. Midway through the win over Finland on Monday, though, head coach Benoit Groulx made a switch, replacing Ritchie with Jake Virtanen. That seemed to spark the group. In fact, the move worked so well that the Canadian bench boss will leave the Canucks 2014 first-round pick (sixth overall) on the line for the New Years Eve showdown against the United States. This is a big opportunity for Virtanen, an 18-year-old from Abbotsford, BC. This is a big step up for me, he readily admits. Those two guys, Curtis and Connor, are high-end guys. Im looking forward to stepping up. WATCH: Jake Virtanen chats with Ryan Rishaug about his new role and facing the Americans on New Years Eve How does Virtanen see himself fitting in? I can try and make space for them out there, he said. I know those two guys can put the puck in the net and make plays. Ill try and make space and be physical out there. But Virtanen isnt just there to create space. Also, I can make plays. I know, personally, I can play with those guys. I cant wait to get going with them. Both McDavid and Lazar mention Virtanens motor when asked about the Calgary Hitmen forward. A big body and he flies out there, said McDavid in one of his longer answers during a media session on Tuesday. Hes a real presence. Im excited to play with him. Hes so powerful, Lazar said. His speed is incredible and hes tenacious on the puck. For our line, it will open up the ice a little more. Lazar, meanwhile, said he and McDavid have good chemistry, but they cant buy a goal right now at even strength. Just running into some hot goaltenders, the Ottawa Senators forward noted with his trademark smile. So maybe, just maybe, Virtanen is the man to provide the spark that lights the McDavid-Lazar powder keg. Hes certainly capable. He had 45 goals in 71 games last season. A shoulder injury required off-season surgery, which led to Virtanen getting off to a slow start this year, but hes turned it on of late with four goals in his last four WHL games, including a highlight-reel beauty in his final game before departing for Team Canadas selection camp. Virtanen kept on scoring at Canadas camp, picking up six points in two scrimmages against university selects in a performance that likely sealed his spot on the roster. Virtanen has a goal and an assist in three games so far in his world junior debut while playing mostly on the fourth line with face-off ace Frederik Gauthier and draft-eligible Lawson Crouse. Its not just speed that Virtanen brings to the top-six forward group. He also brings a bit of an edge. In the third period against Finland, Virtanen went after Alex Lintuniemi, who had elbowed Lazar up high. Just sticking up for my teammate and letting them know were not going to take that lightly, especially with our captain, Virtanen said. Jake and I were bugging Connor, said Lazar, who hails from BC just like Virtanen. He didnt want to get in there. Up to us Western guys to take care of that, I guess. Thats OK, Virtanen said with a grin. We dont need Connor to be a part of that stuff. But they do need him to score and Virtanen hopes he can help with that starting on New Years Eve against the Americans. People are always talking about this game and looking to this game and wondering whats going to happen and its an honour to be a part of this game, said Virtanen. Its going to be fun. Mike Daniels Jersey . LeBron James leads the Miami Heat in a quest for three consecutive championship titles, while Tim Duncan looks to add his fifth ring with the San Antonio Spurs when the series tips off with Game 1: Miami @ San Antonio on Thursday, June 5 at 9 p. Aaron Rodgers Jersey . Numbers Game looks into the Canadiens securing the services of Thomas Vanek in a trade with the New York Islanders. The Canadiens Get: LW Thomas Vanek and a conditional fifth-round pick.ANAHEIM, Calif. -- David Freese is starting to pick up his run production, which is something the Los Angeles Angels have been waiting half a season to see. Freese hit a two-run double, Matt Shoemaker pitched in and out of trouble for six innings, and the Angels beat the Houston Astros 5-2 Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series. Freese has six RBIs in his last five games, two more than he had in the previous 27 games in which he had an at-bat. "Weve been talking about David for a while, and we need him," said manager Mike Scioscia, who has kept Freese in the bottom third of the batting order since June 17. "Hes a guy that potentially deepens the middle of your lineup. He hasnt gotten off to a good start, and were at the halfway point. "Hopefully hes finding a comfort level. I think the last 30 or so at-bats hes been driving the ball a little bit better." Shoemaker (6-2) allowed two runs, seven hits and three walks, and worked with runners on base in every inning. The right-hander, who began the season in the bullpen, gave up eight runs and 11 hits in four innings on Friday in a loss at Kansas City. He had been 5-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his seven previous starts this season. "It was a successful outing, but a little bit of a struggle," Shoemaker said. "I had to make some big pitches to get out of some jams, and the defence picked me up huge, making some big plays. It was a positive thing to bounce back from that outing to this one." Shoemaker had seven strikeouts against the Astros, giving him 57 through his first 10 big league starts. That broke the franchise record of 56 set by Bo Belinsky in 1962. "He has it in his game, thats for sure," Scioscia said. "If you look at his career in the minor leagues, he has struck out his share of guys. But you never know how a guys stuff is going to play in the major leagues until he gets an opportunity. "Shoe definitely has some out pitches and some pitches that he can get strikeouts with. But the best games hes going to throw are going to be the ones where hes in the zone early with good stuff and changing speeds and maybe getting some easier outs. He had to work hard to get through six innings." Jason Grilli, obtained from Pittsburgh on Friday, pitched a scoreless eighth in his home debut, and Joe Smith worked a hitless ninth for his 10th save. The Angels have won seven straight at home, their longest streak since another seven-game stretch in August 2006. Brett Oberrholtzer (2-7) gave up five runs, nine hits and three walks over 6 1-3 innings in his third start since getting recalled from Triple-A on June 28. Ahmad Brooks Jersey. He was 0-6 with a 5.68 ERA in his first seven starts before back-to-back victories over Seattle and Baltimore. After the game, he was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Oberholtzer was bailed out by inning-ending double plays in the second and third innings, after giving up Howie Kendricks RBI single in the first. Mike Trout was doubled off second base in the third after rookie left fielder Enrique Hernandez made a diving catch of Albert Pujols sinking liner, but the Angels scored four runs in the fourth to grab a 5-2 lead. C.J. Cron tied it with an RBI single, and Freese doubled to right-centre, the fourth straight one-out hit. Freese scored on Chris Iannettas sac fly. Houston took a 2-1 lead in the third. Jose Altuve doubled after a leadoff walk to No. 9 hitter Marwin Gonzalez, Jason Castro singled off the glove of first baseman Pujols to drive in the Astros first run, and Altuve scored on a grounder by Springer. Shoemaker retired Dominguez on a double-play grounder after a walk to Singleton. "Its just tough, not scoring runs when you have situations with men on base early in the game where you can jump on a team," designated hitter Chris Carter said. "Were in a little rough patch now, but I think well be better the rest of the series." Altuve, who had three hits, leads the AL in batting (.347) and stolen bases (37). The only players who finished a season atop the league in both categories were Ty Cobb (1909, 1911 and 1917), George Sisler (1922), Snuffy Stirnweiss (1945) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001). "Hes definitely a phenomenal hitter and hes tough to get out, so you have to mess up his timing and make good pitches," Shoemaker said. NOTES: Scioscia earned his 1,281st regular-season victory, tying Whitey Herzog for 34th place on baseballs career list. Scioscia reached the mark in 57 fewer games. ... RHP Josh Fields will be reinstated from the disabled list on Friday to fill Oberholtzers roster spot. ... It was the 44th anniversary of the first no-hitter at the "Big A," thrown by Clyde Wright against Oakland. ... The Astros are tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the majors worst record (36-51). ... Houston is 0 for 44 when trailing after eight innings. ... The Astros became the final team this season to draw one million spectators on the road. Black China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys China Jerseys Cheap Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Discount Jerseys ' ' '