Edmonton Journal from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on February 11, 2002 · 39
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Edmonton Journal from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada · 39

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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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Monday, February 11, 2002
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39
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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2002 EDMONTON JOURNAL D7 OILERS 4 COYOTES 3 Oilers' third - Z T Oilers defenceman Janne Niinimaa SUNDAY S NHL N.Y. RANGERS 4 PITTSBURGH 3 MINNESOTA 4 N.Y. ISLANDERS 3 NEW JERSEY 4 BUFFALO 1 EDMONTON 4 PHOENIX 3 DALLAS 5 ANAHEIM 1 SAN JOSE 4 CAROLINA 0 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS All-star MVP Kobe Bryant WEST 135 EAST 120 Triumph for Bryant The Canadian Press PHILADELPHIA It was some homecoming for Kobe Bryant. ' On a night marked by the return of Michael Jordan, a plethora of rookies, Bryant returned to the city where he attended high school, scoring 31 points for the West in its 135-120 win over the East. Bryant shot 12-for-25 in his fourth all-star appearance and added five rebounds and five assists. His efforts earned him MVP honours. But the sold-out, star-studded crowd, which included Muhammad Ali, P. Diddy, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin, and Samuel L. Jackson, booed him mercilessly from the moment he was introduced to when he received his trophy. Bryant's dad Joe played for Philly, and wore No. 23, but obviously the Philly fans haven't forgotten Bryant's Lakers beating the 76ers in last year's NBA final. "I was pretty upset, pretty hurt," said Bryant, whose points were the most in an all-star game since Jordan scored 40 in 1988. "I wanted to go out there and just play, just play hard. But I still like coming home, though. It's fun." "I just look at it as them being die-hard Sixers fans I guess, being kyal to their team." n-;-. celebrates his game-winning goal past JIM MATHKSON 1. Janne Niinimaa. Scored winner on a screened blast. 2. Daniel Briere. Dangerous throughout and robbed by Tommy Salo in the third. 3. Josh Green. Scored a big Ferbey rink dodges early Goatee Gang defends its Alberta men s curling title NORM COWLEY journal Curling Writer DAWSON CREEK, B.C. Dave Nedohin pumped his arm in the air when his draw shot to an open house stopped in the back four-foot Sunday afternoon at Memorial Arena. Then he pumped it again as he looked for his wife, Heather, in the stands. "As soon as it was over, I was glad I got to throw that rock," Nedohin said after the Randy Ferbey rink aka the Goatee Gang defended its Safeway Select Alberta men's curling championship with a 6-5 victory over Mike Vavrek of Sexsmith. "At the Brier, I didn't get to throw a rock to win it," Nedohin said, recalling his mad dash from a bathroom break to discover that Kerrv Burtnvk had conceded the game after the ninth end. Honestly, a quick game would have been fine but I was really hoping that we'd have the hammer coming home and I'd be able to throw last rock. "It's a good feeling. "As soon as I saw that four-foot open, that's all I needed," he added. "I hadn't missed the four-foot since Tuesday." Nedohin. 27. missed a takeout with his last shot to lose last year's world championship semifinal to Switzerland s Andreas Schwaller. I never doubted mvself." he said. "Everyone is Koine to throw a bad one once in a whilp hut T knew it wouldn't happen again." Neaonin snot a sizzling 91 per cent in Sunday's final, drawing the four-foot five times with the last shot as Edmonton extended period gusher sinks THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Coyotes goaltender Sean Burke. goal in the third period. WHY THEY WON Because they finally found a way to score some goals. Four in the last 20 minutes after only four in the previous 185. Because Ryan Smyth, who has eight YOSE CORMIER OE PEACE RIVER BLOCK NEWS, FOR THE JOURNAL From left, Randy Ferbey, Dave Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque savour the trophy representing their Alberta men's curling championship in Dawson Creek, B.C., on Sunday afternoon. its strangehold on the provincial title to eight consecutive years. The Ferbey rink, which includes second Scott Pfeifer and lead Marcel Rocque, is the first team to go undefeated in a provincial "I can't say enough about my team." Skip Randy I'erbey championship since Kevin Martin in 1995 and the first to defend the Alberta tide since Martin won three years in a row from '95-'97. It's also the 17th time in 63 years that an Alberta team has won back-to-back provincial tides. "Before the game started, I knew exacdy what (Ferbey) was talking about when he said we probably didn't realize how big winning was last year," said Nedohin, who admitted that he was more nervous about his shot to blank the ninth endihan the final Edmonton catches two breaks from the video upstairs JIM MATIIKSON journal Hockey Writer PHOEMX There's delayed penalties, there's delayed video replays, then there's delayed scoring. The Oilers had to wait 3V2 minutes in the third period to find out Josh Green's 10-footer had slipped by Sean Burke's arm when referees Brad Watson and Brad Meier and the goal judge didn't see the puck go in to tie the game 2-2. Then Mike Comrie tipped in Ryan Smyth's pass off a steal, and Janne Niinimaa blew a 40-footer by Burke. That was two goals in 39 seconds and four in one period after only four in the previous three games as the Oilers rallied for a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. It was their first road win since Dec 16 in Philadelphia. "We looked at the standings and knew we had to get two points. Not a tie. A win," sighed Niinimaa. After just one win in the previous 10 games, and another loss staring them in the face, they rallied. The Oilers benefited from two video replays, actually. After Mike Johnson banged in his first goal since Oct. 24 to give Phoenix a 3-2 lead in the third period, Tommy Salo made a huge glove stop on Daniel Briere. It appeared he'd made the stop with his left mitt outside the line but he fell inside. It went upstairs to video judge Roger Margolis, who couldn't tell if it was in or not after spending a couple of minutes looking at the film. OIL SPILLS points in the three games against Phoenix this season, stole the puck off Todd Simpson in the third to tie it up 3-3. BY THE NUMBERS 8:51: Minutes Green played. But they were CURLING stone of the game. "Believe me, I realize it now. "That was the most stressful game I've ever been in. I realized what a magnitude it was to win the provincials again. "I felt it was more intense and stressful than anything else I've been in so far," Nedohin said. Rocque, who made a great double-peel to enable Ferbey to blank the ninth end, said the first provincial title was "such a relief after losing a final in 1994 and failing to even get that far on another trip to the final eight. "This year, I'm just relishing it all," he said. Ferbey was in control throughout most of Sunday's final, although Kurt Balderston, who threw last rocks for the Vavrek rink, missed a chance to score four points in the second end when he rubbed a guard. 'If we could have got four there, they've got to come to us the rest of the game," said Balderston, t J j ' , 1 wasn't worried until they said they were going to video," said Salo. "My body was inside, but my glove ... definitely wasn't But you never know with replays." If that one had been ruled in, the Oilers probably would have run their winless streak to six games. But Salo saved them, especially with two minutes left when he stoned Daymond Langkow. The Oilers are now five points clear of the Coyotes in the battle for eighth spot in the West (64-59). Phoenix has three games in hand. AfiCTEricBrewermadeit2-lon apower play early in the third period (after two Coyotes' goals by Shane Doan and Ladislav Nagy), Green thought he'd scored but play went on for another four or five shifts until a stoppage. The Oilers called for a look from the video judge Margolis. The camera angle clearly showed the shot was in and out of the net, with no red light "Rem told me after our shift that he thought it was a goal and we should ask for a replay, but the play kept going," said Green. "The goal judge never saw it and we didn't see it cross the line either," said Meier. "No whistles for over three minutes?" asked Eric Brewer. "There weren't any stoppages untilthen....Geez!" So the Oilers put a Band-Aid on their bleeding, winning their first game since the 4-1 KO of Toronto on Jan. 26. They had won only one oftheir nine previous games before this one. Comrie took Smyth's feed after the steal on Todd Simpson. "I don't know if it was a steal so much as a lucky play. His pass hit my skate. I was just standing there," said Smyth. Whatever, it was a huge play. Phoenix, who rallied from 4-0 down to Los Angeles onFriday to quality minutes. 28: Minutes Niinimaa played. Goal and an assist. Eric Brewer also played that much. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS Coyotes defenceman Danny Markov came out smokin' bullet trying to end a 20-year championship drought for Peace Country teams. Tm not saying we would have won but it would have put us in the driver's seat." Balderston, who lostprovincial finals with Vavrek in 1991 and 1992 to Martin, said their team is at "a little disadvantage" because "we're basically playing against professional curlers. "I know we're as good on any given day as they are and I'm just proud to be a part of this team." Vavrek and Balderston combined for three consecutive outstanding shots in the eighth end to score two points and keep the pressure on Ferbey for the last two ends. "That was an unbelieveable game," said Ferbey, 42, who was on the verge of retiring from competitive curling before winning last year's provincial title. "That was as intense as a game gets. Both skips put on a performance. They bailed their teams out over-and-over again. "I can't say enough about the guy who's throwing skip rocks for me;Iwouldn't want anybody else right now," he continued. "And I can't say enough about my team. When things are going good, they go good but we've got patience, we've got perseverance and we know what it takes to win." Ferbey will play in the Nokia Brier Canadian men's championship March 9-17 in Calgary. Among the other teams which have qualified is his former skip, Pat Ryan, who'll represent B.C. "It's just nice to get another chance to go back there," said Ferbey, who had tears in his eyes after captxiring his fifth provincial championship (including three with Ryan from 1987-89). "Tell me the World Curling Tour's so-called grand slams are bigger than this? "Not a chance!" Dogs win 6-5 in OT, looked on their way again until the third period. They scored on their first shot, on riie first shift, when Doan beat Salo. Nagy scored in the second peri-, od, lifting a shot over Salo after a nice feed from Langkow. ' ON THE BENCH Phoenix centre Denis Pederson fractured his sterum Friday, rather than 5 bruise as first thought, when he was hit by a shot from teammate Briere. I He played several shifts after the shot, but had trouble catching his breath and had a lump the size of a baseball on his chest. He's out until mid-March. The Oilers had Sean Brown back into the lineup, sitting Sven Butenschon, who'd played the last two games on the blueline. Brown was given a misconduct in the third after beating Landon Wilson in a fight Todd McF arlane, the Oiler minority owner, Spawn comic-book creater and designer of their third jersey, is talking to the Islanders about a new look. Hopefully, it's better than the one they had several years ago where they had a fisherman on the jersey who looked like Cap-; tainHighliner. The Coyotes, with new GM Mike Barnett, might be looking for a change, too. McFarlane would like to do something cool with the dog. "I think their currentlookis too regional and overly southwest? ern," said McFarlane, who had planned on being at the Oiler game Sunday buthad business in New York with his toy company. He didn't see the third jersey, the 11th time they've worn it; They went into the game 5-4-1 wearing it Oilers' next game will be at Skyreach on Tuesday at 8 p.m. against the San Jose Sharks, : Then there's a 15-day breakfor the Olympic tournament before the game even started. He snuck into a utility janitor's room by the Phoenix dressing room, for a ciggie, stayed in there for five minutes, then came out for a team meeting. THE CANADIAN PRESS Ontario skip Anne Dunn Granites Handfield loses her national bid The Canadian Press ST. THOMAS, ON T. Ontario's Anne Dunn scored three in the 10th end to defeat Alberta's Simone Handfield 7-5 and successfully defend her Canadian senior women's curling title Sunday. The three came after Hand-field's Edmonton Granite Club' foursome took a 5-4 lead with! one in the ninth. ; But that meant giving Dunn,; of Cambridge, Ont, the hammer entering the final end. ! It marked the second straight national title for Dunn, third; Lindy Marchuk and second Gloria Campbell, who all helped On-! tario claim the gold medal in Cal-i gary. ; The win was the first for lead Carol Thompson. Dunn earned Ontario a record seventh national women's title! since the competition began in; 1973. ; The Dunn team will represent Canada at the first world senior! curling championships, to be held; in Bismarck, N.D., starting April; 7.

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