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When Sports Stopped – Timely new exhibit at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

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New feature exhibit examines “When Sports Stopped.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Albertans have been adapting to one change after another with little idea when things will return to “normal”. We are living through a historic time. It began with the closing of museums, schools and daycares – forcing families to stay home and employers to accommodate employees working from home. Soon after we saw the closure of businesses and non-essential stores – once more pushing us to stay home and stay safe. Then came the cancellation of sports – from minor leagues where our children competed, to the profeissional leagues suspending play. This was a shock to our systems as we were gearing up for NHL and NBA playoffs and MLB pre-season games.

“I was just about to return to work from my maternity leave when COVID struck and sports stopped. It made me stop and think about what other global events have caused sports to stop? If I was asking these questions then so were many other people.” Comments Breanna Suk, Collections and Exhibit Coordinator. “I came back to work in May with this exhibit already forming in my mind. It got pushed back as we had bigger priorities when I first returned, so seeing it all come together seven months later is a great feeling.”

This new exhibition examines the effects of global events from the Spanish Flu through both World Wars and right up to COVID had on sports. It may seem likely that the postponement of the Utah Jazz – Oklahoma City Thunder NBA game just minutes before tip-off due to Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID test and the subsequent suspension of many professional leagues was a new occurrence. This exhibit highlights multiple past occurrences where international events have brought a stop to sports.

This exhibition is expected to be on display in the museum’s main gallery starting November 20, 2020. Be sure to stop in and see it for yourself.

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame provides a family-friendly, interactive experience. You will be surprised by what you discover inside! Have fun, laugh, play and discover Alberta sports heroes together. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame is an interactive, hands-on celebration of Alberta's sporting history. Our over 7,000 square feet of exhibit space includes a multisport area with virtual baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer; an adaptive sports area, including a 200 meter wheelchair challenge; a Treadwall climbing wall; the Orest Korbutt Theatre; the Hall of Fame Gallery; an art gallery displaying works by provincial artists, and much more. Our venue boasts a collection of over 17,000 artefacts of Alberta sports history and showcases many of these items in a number of displays. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame also offers an education program, group activities, and a unique environment to rent for your birthday party, special event, corporate reception or meetings.

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WHL Roundup: Brayden Peters makes 27 saves, Hitmen open season with win over Rebels

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CALGARY — Brayden Peters made 27 saves for his first career shutout, and the Calgary Hitmen opened their Western Hockey League season with a 2-0 victory over the Red Deer Rebels on Friday.

Sean Tschigerl started the scoring at 14:30 of the first period, and Tyson Galloway added an insurance goal four minutes into the second for the Hitmen (1-0-0).

Ethan Anders stopped 29-of-31 shots for the Rebels (0-2-1), who are winless in three games to begin their year. 

OIL KINGS 4 TIGERS 2

EDMONTON — Dylan Guenther struck twice and Sebastian Cossa kicked out 32-of-34 shots as the Oil Kings (3-0-0) toppled Medicine Hat (2-1-0) to open their season with three straight victories.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Brier in the Bubble: Defending champion Gushue beats Epping in opening draw

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CALGARY — Some of the top men’s curling teams in the country returned to the ice after a long absence Friday as the Tim Hortons Brier kicked off in a bubble setting at the Markin MacPhail Centre.

The opening draw of the 10-day competition came on the heels of a successful Canadian women’s curling championship, the first of seven events to be played in the Canada Olympic Park hub.

Defending champion Brad Gushue picked up where he left off a year ago when he raised the Brier tankard in Kingston, Ont. The veteran skip from St. John’s, N.L., defeated Ontario’s John Epping 6-2. 

In other Draw 1 games, Saskatchewan’s Matt Dunstone dumped Nunavut’s Peter Mackey 10-2, Wild Card Two’s Kevin Koe beat Nova Scotia’s Scott McDonald 7-4 and Quebec’s Michael Fournier edged Greg Smith of Newfoundland and Labrador 7-6. 

The members of the Gushue rink last curled together as a foursome a year ago. The team won a couple bonspiels in Halifax last fall without Alberta-based lead Geoff Walker, who remained out west. 

There were few signs of rust in the preliminary-round opener. The team threw at a 91 per cent clip and Gushue was perfect at 100 per cent.

Canada second Brett Gallant made a brilliant triple takeout in the second end and jokingly waved to the cardboard cutouts stationed throughout the spectator-free arena.

The teams blanked the first three ends as they got a feel for playing on arena ice again. Epping was heavy on a hit-and-roll attempt in the fourth end that set up a Gushue draw for two. 

Ontario settled for a single in the fifth before a Gushue hit and roll set up another deuce in the sixth end. The teams shook hands after a Canada single in the ninth end.

For most teams, it was their first competitive game action in several months. A handful of tour events were played last fall before the pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of most competitions.

Some provincial and territorial teams were able to play down in recent weeks, but most rinks were invited by their respective associations when championships were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Two more wild-card entries were added this year, boosting the field to 18 teams.

Players are staying in a hotel across the road from the WinSport Arena and are being tested for COVID-19 on a regular basis. Coaches and team alternates wore masks on the end benches. 

Electronic hog-line sensors on the stone handles were not used for the second straight event due to equipment delays as a result of the pandemic. The honour system was in effect.

Three draws were scheduled for Saturday. Preliminary-round play continues through Thursday night.

The top four teams in each pool will advance to the two-day championship pool starting March 12. The top three teams will move on to the playoffs on March 14. 

The second- and third-place teams will meet in an afternoon semifinal with the winner to play the first-place team for the championship. 

The Brier winner will earn $100,000 of the $300,000 total purse, return as Team Canada at the 2022 Brier in Lethbridge, Alta., and earn a berth in the Olympic Trials in November at Saskatoon.

The champions will also represent Canada at the April 2-11 world men’s curling championship in the Calgary bubble. 

Kerri Einarson won the Scotties Tournament of Hearts last weekend. She’ll represent Canada at the April 30-May 9 women’s world curling championship, which was added to the bubble calendar Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. 

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

The Canadian Press

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