Kevin Martin has won everything there is to win in curling, several times over in some cases. The 46-year-old skip from Edmonton has Olympic gold and silver medals, four Canadian championships and a world championship on his resume, plus 17 Grand Slam victories on the World Curling Tour. So what drives him in the sport now? "I still really enjoy a good tough game, win or lose," Martin said. "Its tough in games that dont mean a lot, but the big ones . . . those are the games that are fun for me still. "As long as I really enjoy it, deep down really cant wait to play, Ill play. Once you dont feel like that, your days are done. I havent got that yet." The 2013 Tim Hortons Brier opens Saturday at Rexall Place. Martins team out of Edmontons Saville Centre represents the host province. Whats new for Martin is the opportunity to win a Canadian title in his hometown, having never played before at a Brier in Edmonton. He did win the Olympic trials at Rexall Place in 2009 for the right to represent Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C. Martin, third John Morris, second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert won gold Vancouver. Theyll be the darlings of this Brier as both the host team and the reigning Olympic champions. Martin can also become the first skip to win five Canadian titles, surpassing Saskatchewans Ernie Richardson and fellow Albertan Randy Ferbey at four. Two of Martins four previous Brier titles were won in Alberta, but both in Calgary. "I think the Brier is going to be loud, a lot of fun and I think the crowd is going to be really into it," Martin said. "Its Canadas biggest party if the Grey Cups not. The two biggest parties in Canada are the Grey Cup and the Brier." Albertas Martin, defending champion Glenn Howard of Ontario and three-time winner Jeff Stoughton of Manitoba are the headliners of the 12-team field. They also happen to be the first three mens teams to secure berths in Decembers Olympic trials in Winnipeg. The winner there represents Canada at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. At this Brier, Glenn Howard will pass older brother Russ for the most appearances at 15. Glenn Howard was Russs third at his first Canadian championship in 1987, which coincidentally was in Edmonton. "I really cant quite fathom that this will be my 15th trip," Howard said. Other teams of note include 2006 Canadian champion Jean-Michel Menard of Quebec, the first Francophone from Quebec to win the title, and 2006 Olympic gold medallist Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador. Jamie Koes Yellowknife squad became the first Territories team to ever make the Brier playoffs last year in Saskatoon. Koe and his teammates are back to prove they remain contenders. "Youve got a strong field," Howard said. "Its one of the best." The top four teams at the conclusion of the round robin advance to the Page playoff. The winner of the final March 10 represents Canada at the Ford Mens World Championship in Victoria from March 30 to April 7. 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. The victor is eligible for $144,000 in Sport Canada funding over a two-year period and another $40,000 for training and competition expenses from Own The Podium. The Brier winner also receives $10,000 for wearing the Tim Hortons crest at the world championship. Howard and Stoughton have won major events in Edmonton during their careers. The second of Stoughtons three Canadian championships came in that city in 1999. Howard won the world title as Canadas representative there in 2007. The opening draw is Saturday afternoon, but the evening draw that day a heavyweight battle of Stoughton versus Martin. While the majority of Rexall Place will be pro-Martin, Stoughton is more concerned about his team getting its game going quickly. "Its always tougher at the start because everyones not sure of the rocks, not sure of the ice and where to put the broom," the Winnipeg skip said. "It may not be your typical 85- or 90-per-cent game." cheap jerseys
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. Instead of burgundy and gold uniforms with numbers, the 41 players on the field wore basic T-shirts and shorts. Several rookies -- 10 of the 12 draft picks showed up -- simply wore something with the name of their college on it.WINNIPEG -- For more than 56 minutes it looked like Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was going to make his pre-season debut with a shutout over the Edmonton Oilers. But then a 3-0 lead turned into a 3-2 nail biter in less than half a minute and became a teaching moment. "Its about the details," said Pavelec after Winnipeg held on for the win Tuesday. "Weve got a few young guys. Its good for them. Its a good experience for them that we have to be ready every shift. Weve got to be focused all 60 minutes. You can see it today, it can cost you the game." It was a little sloppy but the Jets (1-1-1) brought a bit more of their A-team than the Oilers (1-1-1) and it showed, particularly in the second period. Michael Frolik, on the power play, and Carl Klingberg scored for the Jets with Eric Tangradi assisting on both. It looked like the game was all but over when tough guy Anthony Peluso added another for Winnipeg at 15:35 in the third. The Jets were still patting themselves on the back when Mitchell Moroz put the Oilers on the board less than a minute later with an assist from Philip Larson. Then Larson banged in his own less than half a minute later but despite some serious pressure the Oilers couldnt even it up. Frolik, one of two NHL veterans the Jets added in the off-season to bring some depth to their offence, said its always nice to get that first goal. "Every goal feels nice and youve got . . . that monkey off your back," he said. But, like Pavelec, he said the game was a good reminder of what not to do when the team let its focus fade in the third. "We have to learn from it." The Oilers played former DDallas Stars netminder Richard Bachman and he was one of the positives Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins took out of the game.dddddddddddd. "He had an excellent game," he said of Bachman, signed as a free agent this summer. "We know hes a good goalie but that was a surprising performance for me. We thought he held us in there, especially in the second period when I think they outchanced us two to one." The Jets were minus their top scoring line of Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd but Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane both played. Kane missed the final minutes with stomach cramps but coach Claude Noel said he seems OK. Except for the end of the third, the more experienced Jets brought a lot more traffic to the Edmonton net than the Oilers managed to bring to the other end of the ice. "Thats kind of the danger but kind of the good as well of the exhibition games," said Eakins. "There can be a mismatch in the lineup and your team can hang in there with them and you want to see how hard your guys will push against those players." Winnipegs next game is Thursday against new division rival Minnesota. The Jets have yet to make deep cuts from their camp roster, trimming only 10 players last week. Eakins was applauded by Winnipeg fans who remember his time with the AHLs Manitoba Moose, where he finished his playing career before turning to coaching. He even played a couple of games with the old Winnipeg Jets just before they relocated to Phoenix. "Its nice," he said. "This is a city where Ive spent a lot of time . . . and Ive always got a soft spot in my heart for Winnipeg." ' ' '