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Wolf Pack answer back against Steelers

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The Wolf Pack were glad to put the month of October behind them, with just one win in nine games, and three losses in overtime. Their only win was a 10-8 scoring derby against the Port Moody Black Panthers on Oct. 24, and that was followed by a 7-0 loss to the Richmond Sockeyes on Oct. 29 and an 8-5 loss to the Abbotsford Pilots on Oct. 31.

The Wolf Pack scored 32 goals over the month while averaging more than three points per game, but allowed 56 goals or close to six per game.

November is a different story, with the Wolf Pack grinding out their fourth win of the season against the Grandview Steelers.

The teams were tied 3-3 after two periods but the Wolf Pack clamped down in the third period and allowed just one power play goal while scoring two to take the win 5-4. Whistler's Joshua Schaubroeck racked up two assists during the game, with Hunter Nelson of Squamish scoring two goals and adding an assist.

The Wolf Pack's next game is a home stand against the Richmond Sockeyes on Nov. 7 at Brennan Park arena, with the puck dropping at 7:15 p.m.

 

Vanular off to a winning start

Whistler's Corey Vanular launched the freeski season with a win at the London Freeze Rail Jam this past weekend, with tens of thousands of fans looking on at Battersby London. He followed that performance with a sixth place finish in the London Freeze Big Air contest. He competes again this weekend at the Barcelona Snow Show in Spain.

 

Freestylers past and present carry the torch

When he was eight years old, Calgary's Kyle Nissen carried the Olympic torch for the 1988 Winter Games, something that inspired the young skier to follow his dreams of making the Games himself one day. He accomplished that in 2006, leading the team with a fifth place finish in the aerials event.

"I was so small at the time and the suit given to the torch bearers to wear was so big that it had to be taped to my chest to keep my pants up," Nissen recalled. "Needles to say, after that Olympic experience I wanted more."

Nissen hopes to compete again in 2010.

A former member of the national team, Jim Schiman, was also a torch bearer in 1988, and although his competition days are behind him he has remained with the team as a moguls coach. Like Nissen, he filled out ballots to carry the torch every day at his local Petro Canada station to improve his chances of being picked.

Now Schimann's wife, former Olympic mogul skier Kelly Ringstad, will carry the torch while representing her hometown of North Vancouver.

"I'm so excited to be a part of this amazing experience," said Ringstad, who hopes to be able to pass the torch tradition on to her new daughter. "I'm thrilled that our kids will be able to say that both their parents had the opportunity to carry the flame."

Other Olympians carrying the flame include Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO Peter Judge (Prince George), injured mogul skier Stephanie St-Pierre (Victoriaville, Quebec), Whistler mogul skier and coach John Smart, and aerialist Veronica Brenner (Vancouver).

 

Mosher takes on CN Tower

Whistler's Tyler Mosher has conquered many obstacles since he injured his spine in 2001, from learning to Nordic ski in able to compete at home in the 2010 Paralympics to leading the charge to bring adaptive snowboarding to the Paralympics. Last week he took on a slightly different kind of challenge, namely the largest free standing structure in North America - the CN Tower in Toronto.

Mosher joined a group from AthletesCan on Oct. 25 to raise money for the United Way, personally climbing 1,176 stairs and over 330 metres in 19 minutes and 57 seconds.

 

Local sled film premieres in Whistler Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 7, Garfinkel's is hosting the Whistler premiere of Highline Films' Fourc4st. Produced by Whistler's J├Ârli Ricker, the film features segments by Kalle Johanson, Chris Burandt, Brett Turcotte, Kyle Tapio, Paul Gibbs and Dan Treadway, who also has a ski segment. The film covers everything from backcountry riding to snow cross racing in Quebec.

The premiere takes place at 8 p.m. and admission is $10 at the door.

 

Dirt campers cited by Whistler Fire Services

A group of kids out riding with the WORCA youth dirt camps received a Civilian Citation from Chief Rob Whitton of Whistler Fire Services last week, recognizing their efforts in helping to contain a fire they came across on the Big Kahuna trail.

With riding coach Duncan Munro helping out, campers Lauren Doak, Zachary Davis and Oliver Spratt used their hydration packs to put out a small fire they discovered on the side of the trail during the extreme fire hazard conditions this summer. They stuck around until Whistler Fire Services arrived on site to put the fire out completely and ensure that it didn't spread.

 

Hermann Maier retires

Austria's Hermann Maier, one of the most dominant ski racers in history, announced his retirement last month, capping speculation that he would stick with the sport for one more season and compete in his fourth Olympic games. The 36-year-old skier, nicknamed the "Hermmanator," made the announcement on Oct. 13 after attending a glacier camp at Soelden.

With snow falling in the alps, he took some time to consider his future and decided it was time to move on.

"I enjoyed freeskiing the other day in Soelden and was happy my body was back in shape after that long break. But afterwards I found out that it was also a good time to retire, it was a tough yet spontaneous decision.

"Last Friday, I suddenly decided to quit as I wanted to retire in a good shape and relax a little... Ski racing is a demanding activity and you need to be totally fit and ready to fully charge the slopes to really have fun practicing it. Last season I had some good results but I also felt that my body was sometimes tired and suffering."

Maier exploded on the World Cup scene in 1997 with his first World Cup win, and followed up the next year with two gold medals at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, and dominated for the next three seasons until he was involved in a serious crash while riding his motorcycle where he nearly lost his leg. He returned to racing two seasons later and it wasn't long before he was back on the podium, and in 2004 he clinched his fourth overall World Cup title. His best season was 2001, where he won 13 races.

He leaves the sport with an incredible 54 gold medals at FIS World Cup competitions, 22 silver medals, and 21 bronze medals for a total of 97 podium appearances. His last win was captured on Canadian soil, at Lake Louise in 2008.

Maier has struggled to find the podium in recent years with one in medal in 2007, one in 2008 and two in 2009.

"I have reached much more than I thought in my great career, I'm really proud of what I was able to achieve, especially during my comeback years," said Maier.

 

Rebagliati takes up a new sport - politics

The federal riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla is staunchly conservative, represented by former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day, but the town could take a turn to the Liberal left if Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebagliati has anything to say about it.

Last week Rebagliati announced his intentions to seek the liberal nomination in the riding, and was acclaimed on Monday by the riding association with not other candidates stepping forward.

While Rebagliati is best known for his 1998 gold medal win in alpine snowboaring at Nagano - and the subsequent positive test for marijuana that threatened to take his medal away - in recent years he has made the shift into real estate. He moved from Whistler to Kelowna, is married and recently became a father.

Federal politics has a lot in common with snowboarding in that you have to know your blue and red flags, and your edges have to be sharp. Also, nobody moves in a straight line.

 

 

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