Topic: e won," said Jagr. "It is sad that the Czech Republic is losing
Jeff Stoughtons 11th Canadian mens curling championship is a bit of a homecoming. [url=http://www.pelicansbasketballpro.com/Solomon-Hill-Pelicans-Jersey/]Solomon Hill Pelicans Jersey[/url] . Kamloops, B.C., the host city of this years Tim Hortons Brier, is where he won his first Canadian mens curling crown in 1996. He has won twice since -- the last in 2011 -- and is a two-time world champion. "Its kind of special being able to come back after so many years to a place with some great memories," he said in an interview. "Its pretty cool and the team is really looking forward to getting on with the week." The Brier starts Saturday and runs to March 9. Last year Stoughton lost the Brier final in Edmonton 11-4 to Brad Jacobs and his Northern Ontario rink. Stoughton had a disappointing 3-4 finish at the Olympic Curling Trials in December, as Jacobs went undefeated in claiming the right to wear Canadas colours in Sochi. Stoughton had lots of company. No one could slow the juggernaut from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.. "There was only one happy team coming out of those trials and that was obviously Jacobs," said Stoughton. "We just sort of decompressed for a few weeks and then got right back at it, had a great Skins Game, great fun Continental Cup with the guys, and then just carried right through to the Safeway championship in Winnipeg." In this years Brier field -- with both Jacobs and Alberta veteran Kevin Martin absent -- Stoughton and Albertas Kevin Koe are favourites. Manitoba has a record 27 wins at the Brier, followed closely by Alberta with 25. Koe is representing Alberta this year for the third time, after beating Martin 7-5 to take the provincial title. Koe won the Brier in 2010, his first appearance, and went on to win a world championship. Just getting out of Alberta is tough for Koe, who curls out of Calgary. "Youve got to get through one of the top teams in the world in Kevin Martin and its definitely not realistic to think you can do that every year," he said. He recognizes hes going to be one of the favourites along with Stoughton but says thats no different than any other year and the rest of the field may be deeper than some suspect. "Theres quite a few teams that a lot of people dont know about that I think will do pretty good, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, maybe even the Territories. I think its a pretty tough field actually." Theres maybe a little family pride creeping in there. For the third time in five years, hell be joined at the Brier by brother Jamie, who skips the Northwest Territories-Yukon entry. Jamie Koe is making his eighth appearance. In 2012, the brothers met in the 3 vs. 4 Page playoff. Kevin won and Jamie later lost to Manitobas Rob Fowler in the bronze-medal match but it was still a strong finish for a Territories team. Saskatchewan is led by 2003 World Junior champ Steve Laycock, back for his second appearance as skip at the Canadian championship with a new team of Kirk Muyres, Colton Flasch and Dallan Muryes. Jean-Michel Menard is back for his eighth try after becoming just the second skip from Quebec to win the championship in 2006. His lineup consists of Martin Crete, Eric Sylvain and brother Philippe Menard. One of the only new faces this year is Ontarios Greg Balsdon, who stopped Glenn Howard from making his ninth straight appearance at the Brier. "I dont want to say we lucked out because weve had good games but theyve obviously beaten us more than weve beaten them," Balsdon said of the final, that saw Howard miss with his last rock and give up the winning point. Balsdon is new to the Canadian mens championship. He was part of the Cory Heggestad-led team that won the 2013 Canadian Mixed, but he says this feels bigger. "It feels just amazing. I dont think well truly appreciate it until were there," he said. Another team that has the chops to run with the best is also the hometown favourite -- John Morris and his B.C. rink, that features former skip and Kamloops native Jim Cotter at third. "Its exciting," says Cotter. "I think back 18 years ago when it was in Kamloops and Barry McPhee was the hometown team and I remember watching in the crowd there and I was pretty excited for those guys. . . Here we are 18 years later and Ive got the same opportunity." They made it all the way to the final against Jacobs at the Olympic Trials by beating Martin. After a disappointing loss, they took a few weeks off during the holidays to regroup but Cotter says they took good things out of the trials into the provincial finals in B.C. The addition of the veteran Morris, now curling for his third province, has made a huge difference, Cotter says. "We really have clicked. Johns just a phenomenal guy on and off the ice." Jacobs, meanwhile, is still celebrating his Olympic gold-medal win. The schedule made it virtually impossible to compete for a berth in this years Brier, although starting in 2015 the previous years winner will get an automatic berth, something the women already do. With Jacobs out of the mix, 1996 Canadian junior champ Jeff Currie was able to shift the Northern Ontario title from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay with his team of Mike McCarville, Colin Koivula and Jamie Childs. Former Olympic champ Brad Gushue from Newfoundland and Labrador is still the headliner out of the Atlantic provinces and James Grattan is making his 11th appearance for New Brunswick. Eddie MacKenzie has led Prince Edward Island to the Brier for three of the last four years and Jamie Murphy is back after also representing Nova Scotia at the 2012 championship. Brier finalists each receive $40,000 in prize money, the bronze medallist gets $30,000 and the $20,000 goes to the fourth-place team. [url=http://www.pelicansbasketballpro.com/customized/]Custom New Orleans Pelicans Jerseys[/url] . According to a report from ESPN, Lynch wants a new contract from the Seahawks, and will likely skip all off-season workouts until he can renegotiate his deal with the Seahawks. [url=http://www.pelicansbasketballpro.com/Demarcus-Cousins-Pelicans-Jersey/]DeMarcus Cousins Pelicans Jersey[/url] .Y. - Lou Williams scored 21 points and the Toronto Raptors beat New York 81-76 on Monday night in the Knicks preseason home opener. [url=http://www.pelicansbasketballpro.com/Hollis-Thompson-Pelicans-Jersey/]http://www.pelicansbasketballpro.com/Hollis-Thompson-Pelicans-Jersey/[/url] .com) - Eric Fehrs goal 42 seconds into overtime lifted the Washington Capitals to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Columbus, halting the Blue Jackets seven-game win streak.Former NHL defenceman Pavel Kubina announced his retirement on Friday through the NHL Players Association. The 13-year veteran won a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning and also skated with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Atlanta Thrashers and Philadelphia Flyers. Kubina, 36, skated in 970 NHL games, where he had 110 goals and 276 assists. He also added 10 points in 51 playoff games. "Making my way to the NHL and playing in the best league in the world for 13 seasons has been a dream come true," said Kubina in an NHLPA statement. "I will be forever grateful for the experiences and friendships that I have gained over the course of my career, including capturing the Stanley Cup in Tampa in 2004." Tributes from several players were also included by the players association. "I would like to congratulate Pavel Kubina for his 14 years in the NHL, what a great accomplishment," said Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier. "Pavel has always been a great teammate on and ooff the ice. [url=http://www.pelicansbasketballpro.com/Donatas-Motiejunas-Pelicans-Jersey/]Donatas Motiejunas Pelicans Jersey[/url]. I had the pleasure of playing with and becoming a great friend and roommate of Pavels during his nine years with the Lightning. I had the chance to watch him become a top defenseman in the league and more importantly was his teammate when we won the Stanley Cup in 2004. I wish all the best to him and his beautiful family." "Pavel was one of the best defencemen I played with during my NHL career," said former Toronto teammate Mats Sundin. More importantly he was a great teammate and friend. I will always care about Pavel as one of my best friends." Fellow Czech Republic and Flyers teammate Jaromir Jagr added his thoughts as well. "I have great memories from when we played together on the national team at the Olympics, and also the World Championship in 2005, which we won," said Jagr. "It is sad that the Czech Republic is losing another great defenceman in the NHL, as he was a very experienced, quality hockey player." 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