VAL DISERE, France -- On a day dominated by veterans, 34-year-old Mario Matt won his 14th World Cup slalom race to equal his Austrian countryman Benjamin Raichs mark while 35-year-old Patrick Thaler of Italy got on the podium for first time in nearly five years. Matt, a two-time former slalom world champion, safely protected his first-run lead while other contenders struggled on the notoriously tough Stade Olympique de Bellevarde course. "The last two years I was a few times on the podium, but always had some small mistakes on the runs and didnt win," Matt said. "I dont have the feeling Im old. Sometimes I have the problems with the back but I already had this eight years ago, and when I dont have the problems I feel fine." He beat Swedens Mattias Hargin by 0.53 seconds and Thaler -- second after the first run -- by 0.78 for his 15th overall World Cup win, with the other coming in supercombined. "You have to push your limits in order to win but I was still surprised how fast I was in the first run," Matt said. "I think no one felt too comfortable, but at least in the second run the first part felt really good so I cant complain." Matt was second in the slalom at Levi, Finland, last month and his most recent previous win was at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, in March 2011, while his first was nearly 14 years ago at Kitzbuehel, Austria. "We trained in great conditions this fall, so thats maybe why I am in good shape this early in the season," he said. It was another disappointing day for the United States when for the second straight day neither Ted Ligety, who finished the first run in 39th, nor Bode Miller, who went off course, qualified for the second run. They failed to finish the first run in Saturdays giant slalom. "It was tough conditions where it was very hard snow but very grippy," U.S. mens head coach Sasha Rearick said. "We have been trying on ice getting ready for Val dIsere, but we didnt make that transition very well today. So thats something were going to have to work on." They next head to Italy to prepare for Saturdays downhill at Val Gardena and Sundays giant slalom at Alta Badia. "It makes for a kind of interesting week, because youve got glidy, glidy, glidy at Val Garcena and youve got to be on your A game, clean skiing, for Alta Badia," Rearick said. Austrian Marcel Hirscher also failed to qualify. He won Saturdays GS but struggled on the tricky top section and finished way down in 41st. Matt, the slalom world champion in 2001 and 07, is coming into form at just the right time for Februarys Winter Olympics in Sochi. "Its still far away," Matt said. Hargin secured his first podium since finishing third at Schladming, Austria, in January 2011. "Ive been fighting a lot and it meant a lot to get the podium today," the 28-year-old said. "Weve worked really hard and we have a new coach this season." Thalers only other podium -- also third in a slalom at Kitzbuehel, Austria -- was even longer ago, in January 2009. "I think Im the oldest guy ever on the podium in the slalom," he said. "I was a bit emotional." Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Grange finished fourth, 0.04 behind Thaler, and Swedens Markus Larsson was fifth in a far-from-usual top five. Hirscher was aiming for a second consecutive podium double after winning last years GS and finishing third in the slalom, but he made a huge error on the top section and finished 4 seconds slower than Matt after an early-morning first run under clear, blue skies but with temperatures bitingly cold. After failing to make a GS second run for the first time in nearly five years, Ligety was 3.59 slower than Matt. Miller almost fell on the treacherous top section, recovered, but then lost control. Frenchman Alexis Pinturault --fourth in GS -- went off course near the bottom, while Austrias Manfred Pranger also veered off. On a brighter note for the Americans, David Chodounsky finished seventh for a career best slalom performance. "Val dIsere is really tough, steep," the 29-year-old said. "I was really happy with my first run, didnt quite have the confidence to go at it, but it was solid." http://www.cheapnfljerseybest.com/nba-jerseys/
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. -- Louis Oosthuizen will take two months away from golf to let a series of injuries heal.Not surprisingly, Brendan Gallagher is off to a great start to his sophomore season with the Montreal Canadiens. In 10 games, hes collected five goals and two assists. The idea of suffering from a sophomore slump is not something that crossed Gallaghers mind. "If you train hard all summer and prepare yourself properly for the upcoming season, then you shouldnt have any problems," Gallagher said on the first day of Habs training camp back in September. Maybe another factor to Gallaghers continued success is choosing not to change his living arrangements from his rookie season. Last season, after making the Canadiens, he moved in with fellow B.C. native and veteran teammate Josh Gorges. During the summer, Gallagher asked if he could live at his house again this season, which was not an issue for Gorges and his wife Maggie. "Living with Josh and Maggie just makes all the things you need to take care of away from the rink that much easier. Cooking is not an easy thing for me and they do a good job of taking care of that," Gallagher said with a smile on his face. Gorges, who got married this off-season, even joked that their living arrrangement is a lot like the movie "You, Me and Dupree" with Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson.dddddddddddd "There isnt that worry of overstepping your boundaries," the 21-year-old Gallagher said. All three of them get along very well, plus he has the entire basement floor to himself. Even though he lives with Gorges, this doesnt make him Gallaghers babysitter. "I obviously let him know when Im going out, not because I need to ask permission, but because that is what you do when you have a roommate. Its just out of respect, he does the same with me," Gallagher said. Living with a veteran teammate seems to be a pretty good recipe for success. Sidney Crosby famously lived with Mario Lemieux, Evgeni Malkin moved in with Sergei Gonchar, Matt Duchene stayed with Adam Foote and the list goes on and on. For the longest time, the Canadiens never really seemed to have a good game plan when it came to adapting their young rookies to NHL life in Montreal. Gallagher is clearly handling his newfound fame and success very well and if he keeps it up, he should be an impactful player on the Canadiens for many years to come. ' ' '