Sports Vancouver Whitecaps agree to two-year deal with head coach Vanni Sartini
Kadri, Rantanen register three-point nights as Avs down struggling Canucks 4-2
VANCOUVER — A woeful penalty kill was once again the undoing of the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. The team gave up three power-play goals — including two in the third period — en route to a 4-2 loss at home to the Colorado Avalanche. “It’s a bit of a broken record, I’m sure," said Canucks defenceman Tucker Poolman. "Just every game it’s a play here or there and it happens to be on special teams one way or another. But we’ve got to stick with it as a group here, play hard for each other and just keep grinding.” Vancouver came into the matchup with the worst penalty kill in the league, weathering just 62.
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps are sticking with Vanni Sartini, removing the interim tag the head coach held while leading the club through a big late-season comeback.
The 'Caps announced the news in a release Tuesday, saying Sartini has agreed to a two-year contract through the 2023 season.
The exuberant native of Florence, Italy, was handed the job on an interim basis on Aug. 27 when the 'Caps fired former head coach Marc Dos Santos.
Vancouver fell to the bottom of the Western Conference in early August following an eight-game winless skid, and later lost to Canadian Premier League side Pacific FC in the Canadian Championship.
Underdog Vancouver Whitecaps know anything can happen in MLS playoffs
VANCOUVER — Defender Jake Nerwinski knows the Vancouver Whitecaps aren't considered the favourites heading into the Major League Soccer playoffs. After all, the 'Caps (12-9-13) are set to make their first post-season appearance in four years Saturday when they visit Sporting Kansas City (17-10-7). Nerwinksi doesn't see being the underdog as a disadvantage, though. “We’ve been that the entire season. We’ve been that since I’ve been here, for five seasons now. That’s fine, we own that," he said. "But anything can happen in MLS playoffs. We’re going to go in with just as much confidence as they have.
The 'Caps finished the regular season sixth in the Western Conference with a 12-9-13 record — including a 7-2-5 stretch under Sartini — and made the playoffs for the first time in four years before losing to Sporting Kansas City 3-1 in a first-round matchup.
Sartini came to the Whitecaps in 2019 as Dos Santos's assistant coach and spent two seasons with the first team before he was named the club's "director of methodology" and took over coaching the U-23 team in 2020.
Before joining the 'Caps, he worked as a coach educator for the Italian Football Federation and the U.S. Soccer Federation, and coached at several different clubs in Italy.
Sartini said in a statement Wednesday that the last three months have "completely changed (his) life."
“When the club gave me the chance to be the head coach in August, I didn't know how long I was going to last but I knew that I had to give everything and make the most of the opportunity," he said. "I am fortunate to be surrounded by a great team and I'm so honoured, but also so excited, to help grow this club and continue this journey. Everyone now knows we are a good team, there are certain standards that need to be met, and the best is yet to come.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2021.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press
Pettersson scores, Canucks top Jets 4-3 in shootout for third straight win .
VANCOUVER — Elias Pettersson scored the lone goal in the shootout and the Canucks took a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in Vancouver on Friday. The Swedish centre deftly stick handled his way in, outwaiting Winnipeg’s Eric Comrie, then wrapping a shot around the outstretched goalie. Nils Hoglander had a pair of goals for Vancouver (11-15-2), while Conor Garland also found the back of the net and Bo Horvat added a pair of assists. BlakeThe Swedish centre deftly stick handled his way in, outwaiting Winnipeg’s Eric Comrie, then wrapping a shot around the outstretched goalie.