MINSK, Belarus -- Before Mark Scheifele got injured in early March, the Winnipeg Jets sat one point out of a playoff spot. Geron Christian Redskins Jersey . A sprained right knee derailed any hope of making a run. Now Scheifele is healthy, and Team Canada heads into the playoff round at the world hockey championship with legitimate medal aspirations thanks in part to his progression. "Every game hes got better and better," coach Dave Tippett said. "Hes been good in the faceoff dot, puck control. ... Were going to need everybody to be a good team in the quarter-final, and Scheif, his game has improved every game we played." Scheifele assisted on Ryan Elliss overtime winner against Sweden, scored against Norway and is making use of his increased ice time. Along with the Toronto Maple Leafs Morgan Rielly and Nazem Kadri and the Calgary Flames Sean Monahan, the 21-year-old Jets centre is making big strides in Minsk. "You just gain experience," Scheifele said. "You play against different kinds of hockey. Its just kind of a matter of learning how to adapt to who youre playing against, what kind of competition youre coming against. Obviously just playing with and against the best players in the world helps." Each game is a new test for the young Canadian team, but Scheifeles journey to the world championships showed Paul Maurice something. Maurice, his coach in Winnipeg and an assistant to Tippett at this tournament, was impressed by how hard Scheifele worked to recover from a sprained MCL to be ready. At first, the coaching staff saw a player who hadnt experienced game action in more than two months. Then Maurice saw the player who was so vital to the Jets when healthy. "Hes responded like Mark does: He just got better," Maurice said. "He didnt play a lot in the (first) few games and kept working hard in practice and hed get his handful of shifts one night and show you something in each shift. Dave Tippett is really strong at recognizing that in players during games, so hes gotten more and more opportunity." Scheifele, who is expected to again centre the fourth line in Thursdays quarter-final game against Finland, had a leg up on Monahan going in because he had a little more experience. But he wasnt quite himself. That made Scheifele the 13th forward and his ice time dropped. The Kitchener, Ont., native played just 2:20 in the second game against Slovakia and then 2:34 the next one against the Czech Republic. A leg injury to Alex Burrows -- who practised Wednesday and is set to return against Finland after a two-game absence -- gave Scheifele another chance. His patience set up arguably Canadas biggest goal of the tournament, and he scored another to help ensure first place in the group. "I think every game I kind of get a little more ice, a little more comfortable," Scheifele said. "Every game, just getting my legs under me, and thats the biggest thing. I feel more comfortable every game, and I just got to continue that." The tests are just beginning for the world championship rookies, including 20-year-old Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau, whose U.S. team faces the Czech Republic on Thursday for the right to face the winner of Canada-Finland. "Playing with NHL players and playing against NHL players obviously will help me in my game and help me develop as a player," Gaudreau said. "Playing college the last three years I felt this would be the best opportunity to help me become a better pro." Olli Jokinen, a teammate of Scheifeles with the Jets and captain of Finland, agrees wholeheartedly. "Everybodys goal is to make the playoffs and have a long run. At the same time with the younger players coming here, I think for them understanding the games like this. Its like a Game 7 in the playoffs," Jokinen said. "Having experience like that, its going to help you to get even better. And at the same time, for the younger guys, its an eye-opener, probably, too, how tough this tournament actually is." Tippett likes that his younger players get an opportunity to play in "real competitive, playoff-style games." Rielly considers it beneficial to work with three different coaches he didnt know before and thinks that itll help him learn quicker in the future. "You get a chance to kind of learn new breakouts, new power-play things," the 20-year-old Leafs defenceman said. "I think if youre trying to keep learning like that, thats always helpful. I think Ill be able to carry that back to Toronto with me." Scheifele and Maurice will be able to carry something back to Winnipeg, as well. The tournament is just another chance for the coach who signed a four-year deal and the Jets franchise forward to get better accustomed to each other after just half a season together. Maurice said hes still learning about Scheifele, but he has a lot to be proud of over the past couple of months. "What I really like is how hes handled the adversity of the injury," Maurice said. "When something doesnt go his way, he doesnt quit. He digs in and works harder and competes and then I also recognize that this is a learning experience for him. Over the course of his career hes going to have some adversity. "The question is how do you learn to handle it, and hes learned to handle it here with some pretty high-level hockey where he wasnt handed ice time and he fought his way through it and became a real important part of the team here." According to Jokinen, Scheifele followed the same path in his first full NHL season as he has at the world championships. As a result, he has a chance to be a major contributor for Canada now that every game is an elimination game. "It took him a little bit of time to get used to it," Jokinen said. "But once he started feeling comfortable, he was really good for us. Hes a highly skilled player, he can be the difference-maker every time when he steps on the ice." NOTES -- Tippett would not reveal which goaltender, Ben Scrivens or James Reimer, would start Thursday against Finland, which has no such dilemma thanks to the presence of a healthy Pekka Rinne. ... Defenceman Tyler Myers missed Wednesdays practice because of the flu bug thats going around the team. Tippett expects him to be OK to play in the quarter-finals. Geron Christian Jersey . - In about six minutes, the Memphis Grizzlies had allowed their 23-point lead to be cut to seven. Jonathan Allen Redskins Jersey . - The Cleveland Indians will place centerfielder Michael Bourn on the disabled list before their opener at Oakland on March 31. http://www.theredskinsshoponline.com/Youth-DaRon-Payne-Redskins-Jersey/ . PETERSBURG, Fla.The Jamaican bobsled team may be headed to another Olympics. The catch: It needs a lot of money, and it needs it fast. Olympic organizers said Saturday that Jamaica has qualified for the two-man competition at next months Sochi Games, though it remains unclear if the fledgling squad will get a chance to race. Funding is a serious problem and sled driver Winston Watts told The Associated Press on Saturday that hes trying to raise as much as $80,000 in the next couple weeks to cover travel and equipment costs. "Right now," Watts said, "were at zero." They are certainly among the worlds most storied bobsled teams, and that has little to do with results. Jamaica first competed in Olympic bobsledding in 1988 at the Calgary Games, a story that inspired the "Cool Runnings" film. For a nation lacking bobsled tradition, or snowy winters, Jamaica has often fared quite well on the international circuits. Its been 12 years since Jamaica has had a sled in the Olympics, with Watts finishing 28th at the Salt Lake City Games with Calgarys Lascelles Brown -- now a key part of Canadas national team. Brown won a medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games, one where the Jamaicans were hoping to compete but were again thwarrted by funding issues. Pernell McPhee Jersey. Still, the 46-year-old Watts -- who called himself "retired" from sliding for nearly a decade -- has held on to hope of sliding again on the sports biggest stage. "Were pretty good," Watts said. "Were not there with the rest of the world, of course. But we if had some more sources for funding, wed have a better chance." He started the season thinking he could get a four-man sled ready for Sochi, before quickly realizing that was too expensive. His focus then shifted to the two-man sled and by racing in a number of lower-tier events at tracks in Park City, Lake Placid and Calgary in recent months, Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon piled up enough points to get into the Olympic mix. Sochi officials tweeted word Saturday that the Jamaicans were in, but the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation -- the sports governing body -- is not expected to confirm before Sunday at the earliest how many nations qualified for the Olympic fields. Watts said hes confident that Jamaica is qualified. "Im not a person who likes to quit," Watts said. "I put my heart into it and I know for a fact that people are going to help this team." 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