Topic: Overall, the Rangers have won seven of nine and
Jeff Stoughtons 11th Canadian mens curling championship is a bit of a homecoming. [url=http://www.usasoccerauthority.com/fabian-johnson-usa-jersey/]Fabian Johnson USA 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.usasoccerauthority.com/aron-johannsson-usa-jersey/]Aron Johannsson Jersey[/url] . The Tournament of Champions, which starts Friday, is his first event since a freak accident in Shanghai two months ago. Snedeker was on a Segway scooter during a corporate outing at Sheshan International when he took a tumble and injured his left knee. [url=http://www.usasoccerauthority.com/jordan-morris-usa-jersey/]Jordan Morris Jersey[/url] . Reimer is winless (0-2-1) since returning from a six-week absence due to concussion-like symptoms. The Maple Leafs dropped a 4-2 decision to the hosting Washington Capitals on Friday. [url=http://www.usasoccerauthority.com/bobby-wood-usa-jersey/]http://www.usasoccerauthority.com/bobby-wood-usa-jersey/[/url] .Y. - Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby captured his second career Art Ross trophy on Sunday after leading the NHL in scoring this season.The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to grab their first lead of the second round on Monday when the series shifts to New York City for Game 3 at Madison Square Garden. This best-of-seven set is tied at one game apiece. The Rangers opened the series with Fridays 3-2 overtime win in Pittsburgh, but the Penguins rebounded with a 3-0 victory Sunday in the Steel City. New York went 20-17-4 at Madison Square Garden during the regular season and posted a 2-1 record on home ice against Philadelphia in the opening round. The Rangers, of course, eliminated the Flyers with a 2-1 Game 7 victory at MSG on Wednesday. Pittsburgh and the Rangers split a pair of meeting in New York this season, but the Pens have claimed five of the last seven regular-season encounters in the Big Apple. Marc-Andre Fleury anchored Sundays home win over the Rangers, making 22 saves to set a franchise record with his seventh career playoff shutout. Pittsburghs frequently criticized netminder also picked up his 50th career postseason win, becoming the 17th goalie in league history to reach the milestone. "He was very good tonight," Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said of Fleury. "The calmness and how he made the saves ... It made it feel like it wasnt as many (chances). But the puck was in the crease a little bit and he played it really well. He deserved the shutout tonight." Kris Letang was credited with a goal and collected assists on third-period goals by Jussi Jokinen and Evgeni Malkin. Letangs goal was the 15th of his postseason career, tying Larry Murphy for the most by a defenseman in franchise history. Pittsburgh won despite giving the Rangers three power-play opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Pens killed off the three early penalties and New York finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play.. [url=http://www.usasoccerauthority.com/chris-wondolowski-usa-jersey/]Chris Wondolowski USA Jersey[/url]. . "Maybe the penalty killers set the tone for us," said Bylsma. "Maybe it was them stepping over the boards in those situations. You are not happy about having to kill three in a row but they do a great job for us and I thought, to a man, our players were extremely good tonight." Sidney Crosby is still without a goal in eight playoff games this spring, but the Penguins star captain did register six shots on net in Game 2. Crosby, who has 40 career postseason goals, has gone 13 straight games in the playoffs without scoring. He has six assists in this postseason. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 32 shots for New York, which has now failed to score on 29 straight opportunities with the power play. The Blueshirts are just 3- for-37 with the man advantage in this postseason. "Power play had some looks," Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said. "Could have given us momentum, we didnt finish. Power play ultimately is my responsibility, and Ive got to find the right trigger points here to make it work and spend the night trying to figure it out." New York is aiming for its first playoff series win against Pittsburgh, which has won all four previous postseason meetings. The Pens boast a 17-5 all-time record against the Rangers in the playoffs and a 7-2 mark at the Garden. Overall, the Rangers have won seven of nine and 12 of their last 17 home playoff games. Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik has missed three straight games for Pittsburgh with an undisclosed injury and expects to sit out again on Monday. 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