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The maker of Jack Daniel’s whiskey has dropped its long-running sponsorship of Alaska’s Iditarod sled race Jesper Bratt Jersey Kids , the company said Wednesday.

The move by Louisville, Kentucky-based Brown-Forman followed a tough year for organizers of the 1,000-mile (1,610 kilometer) Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race who have faced financial hardships, the loss of other sponsors and its first-ever dog doping scandal.

Jack Daniel’s decided to go a different direction by shifting most of its marketing efforts to a partnership with the National Basketball Association, company spokesman Svend Jansen said in a statement.
 
He said a campaign against the Iditarod by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had nothing to do with the decision, which will affect the 2019 race in March.

”As a sponsor of The Iditarod for 15 years we have been particularly impressed with the utmost care in which the animals are treated by the race veterinarians, the dog sled teams and everyone associated with this event,” Jansen wrote in a follow-up email to The Associated Press.

Iditarod spokesman Chas St. George said organizers were notified by Jack Daniel’s that the company made the move to focus on sponsorships in other areas.

”We are confident that we will continue to grow the race with new sponsorship opportunities,” St. George said in an email.

PETA said Jack Daniel’s did the right thing. Spokeswoman Tricia Lebkuecher said the organization believes it had an impact on the decision following public protests and after thousands of PETA members and supporters flooded the company with emails urging the company to end its ties with the race.

PETA said it first contacted Jack Daniel’s following the deaths of five dogs connected with the 2017 race. One dog died in this year’s race as well, with the cause of death blamed on aspiration pneumonia.

”This is a victory for all the dogs who’ve been forced to run this cruel race,” Lebkuecher said in a phone interview.

PETA says its tally of dog deaths totals more than 150 in the Iditarod’s history. That number is disputed by race officials, who say there are no records of dog deaths during the early years of the race Marcus Foligno Jersey , and an accurate count is not available.

In June, the board for the race implemented a major change regarding dog deaths. Organizers will now remove mushers from the race if one of their dogs dies while on the trail. If a dog’s death is caused ”solely by unforeseeable forces,” then a musher may be allowed to stay in the race, according to the change.

Iditarod officials also responded after one if its veteran mushers, Hugh Neff, was banned from competing in the 2019 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race over dog care issues.

Registration for the upcoming Iditarod start Saturday. Organizers say they have the right to ”reject any entrant that does not conform with or demonstrate humane animal care practices.”

The Iditarod also has been suffering financially and lost Wells Fargo bank as a major sponsor last year. Organizers have blamed animal rights activists for pressuring sponsors.

Last year’s race also was marked by fallout from the Iditarod’s first-ever dog doping scandal. Race officials announced that the team of four-time champion Dallas Seavey tested positive for an opioid painkiller after his second-place finish in 2017 but said they could not prove he gave tramadol to his dogs.

Officials didn’t punish Seavey but changed race rules to make mushers responsible for any positive drug test. Seavey, who won four titles between 2012 and 2016, denied giving drugs to his dogs and sat out this year’s race in protest.



Follow Rachel D’Oro at Tuukka Rask tossed a broken skate blade up the ice in frustration, but hardly lost his cool.

”I didn’t throw it at anybody,” the Boston goaltender said Saturday. ”If I threw it at somebody, I’d like to apologize, but I didn’t. I just wanted to make sure that everybody saw that my blade was off.”

Rask settled after allowing a second-period goal while trying to let officials know he had a problem with his left skate, finishing with 34 saves in the Bruins‘ 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.
 
Rick Nash had two goals and the Bruins’ high-scoring line of Patrice Bergeron Ryan Strome Jersey , David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand combined for 11 points, however Rask’s ability to retain his composure after Mikhail Sergachev’s goal trimmed Boston’s lead to 3-2 was every bit as important.

”He was really good,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. ”He gave us more than a chance to win early on when we were still trying to find our legs. We weren’t executing very well. They were better than us, and then our top guys started finishing their chances.”

Bergeron also scored twice and had an assist on one of Nash’s goals for the Bruins, who finished one point behind Tampa Bay for the Atlantic Division title, as well as the No. 1 seed in the East.

Marchand had a goal and three assists, while Pastrnak finished with four assists in a dominating performance.

A second goal by Marchand was waved off because of a cross-checking penalty on Pastrnak.

”You need your best players to be your best players, and clearly that happened tonight for us,’ Cassidy said.

Dan Girardi also scored for the Lightning, who trailed by one goal entering the third period.

Marchand and Bergeron hiked Boston’s advantage to 5-2 before Jake DeBrusk added an empty-netter with 6:19 remaining.

The Bruins had just 10 shots against Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy over the last two periods, but made the most of the limited opportunities.

Game 2 is Monday night at Amalie Arena.

The Lightning, in the conference semifinals for the third time in four years, remain confident.

”We have a lot of experience. Guys have been in this position before Youth Christian Djoos Jersey ,” center Tyler Johnson said. ”It’s one game. It doesn’t matter if you lose a game 3-2 or 12-2. It’s the same thing.”

Rask won three of four starts against the Lightning during the regular season, with Tampa Bay’s lone victory coming in the final meeting.

Pastrnak assisted on each of Boston’s first three goals and added another on Bergeron’s third-period goal, giving him 12 helpers in eight playoff games.

”They’re good. … They’ve played together for a while and they know where to find each other,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Boston’s top line.

”They play both ends of the rink. They’ve played on Olympic teams, World Cup teams, and every time you look up and Canada is winning, usually Marchand or Bergeron had something to do with it,” Cooper added. ”They’ve done it for a long time.”

Nash, meanwhile, got his second and third goals of the postseason, scoring on the power play at 17:11 of the opening period and 12:33 of the second to put the Bruins up 3-1. Sergachev countered on the power play, trimming Tampa Bay’s deficit to 3-2.

”We lost 6-2, so it doesn’t matter how we feel about how we played Casey Cizikas Jersey ,” Cooper said. ”We’re going to wake up in the morning, somebody is going to look at the score and say Tampa is down 1-0. Is there stuff we can build off this game? No question. But they got six, and in the end we have to raise the level of our game to get back in this series.”

NOTES: Vasilevskiy stopped 18 shots. … When Rask lost the blade on his skate, play was allowed to continue because losing a blade is not considered a safety issue. … The Bruins and Lightning are meeting in the playoffs for only the second time. The teams also met in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final, won by Boston in seven games. Six current Bruins – Bergeron, Marchand, Rask, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Adam McQuaid were part of that team, which went on win the Stanley Cup.



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