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Posted: Jun 30, 2012 2:40:59 am
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CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland -- Hes the elder statesman of the Canadian mens alpine team, but Jan Hudec can still think fast on his skis. Matthew Stafford Womens Jersey . The 30-year-old from Calgary was second in a World Cup super-giant slalom event Friday for his first career podium finish in the discipline. Hudecs previous three podium efforts all came in the downhill, including a win Feb. 4 at Chamonix. "It was nice to get some success in another event and show Im not just a downhiller and that I can think a little bit too and ski some of the more technical stuff," Hudec said in a phone interview. "It was a challenging day up there with snow conditions, obviously it was tough for some guys. Hudec says he took advantage of a good draw on a day when warm weather wreaked havoc on the course. "I think I backed off the gas too much on the last pitch of the course and thats what kind of cost me the win," said Hudec, who drew No. 6. "But moving forward I know what I need to do (Saturday) to be on top." Didier Cuche of Switzerland won the race with a time of one minute 33.11 seconds. Hudec was second in 1:33.27 while Austrias Benjamin third in 1:33.32. The victory was especially sweet for the 37-year-old Cuche, who was competing in his final World Cup in Switzerland before retiring. "Everyone was telling me, You have to win. Im so happy that I was able to deliver at the first race," Cuche said. "It lifts the pressure." Erik Guay of Mont Tremblant, Que., was 13th in 1:33.93 while Jeffrey Frisch, also of Mont Tremblant, also cracked the top 30, finishing finished 23rd in 1:34.94. Hudec said the national team travels with a huge Canadian flag provided by Matt Price, the squads fitness coach. And every time a skier makes the podium, he puts his signature on the flag. Its a practice Hudec said Price began with the womens team and started last year with the mens squad and one Hudec and his teammates have thoroughly enjoyed with their recent success. "Its something material that we can see our progress on and kind of hang it up on our training room wherever we go," Hudec said. "Obviously you dont dwell on the day too much because theres work to be done and you can always be faster. "But at the same time its nice to know that we were on a roll and do have some momentum and the guys all feed off that." Temperatures rose above 10 C on the south-facing Nationale course when Cuche started, wearing bib No. 20. Hudec said Cuche was able to master the conditions for a deserving victory. "It was bumpy when I went down but it really got worse for the other guys," he said. "Its soft and obviously a lot of guys are going to be complaining because the snow conditions are too soft here but at the same time, its one of those races where the best guy on the hill won. "He deserved to win, he had an incredible run." Hudec continued his revival as a top-ranked skier after a series of knee injuries, which he says makes him really appreciate his recent accomplishments. "I go from race to race and literally take it day to day and try to enjoy the successes without dwelling on it too much because I know the season is long and its easy to get sidetracked," Hudec said. "But at the same time its such a pleasure to ski and not always be thinking how my knees hurt or my back hurts. "It takes a lot of stress off me and allows me to focus on my skiing and what I want to do on the hill and try to take a few risks and go for the line I want to ski. It has put the fun back into skiing, thats for sure." Cuche appeared equally surprised and elated on crossing the line to find he was fastest on the softening snow, then delighted the crowd further with his trademark trick of flicking his right ski end over end before catching and kissing it. "My serviceman did a great job because the conditions were so different from the rest of the season." Cuche, said praising American technician Chris Krause for preparing his skis. With 100 race points, Cuche rose to second in the season-long super-G standings, 38 behind Aksel Lund Svindal, the Olympic super-G champion from Norway who placed ninth. Marcel Hirscher retained the overall lead in the standings after Swiss speed specialist Beat Feuz had a disappointing run. Hirscher started a super-G for the first time in more than two years as he sought to defend his advantage, but finished outside the top 30 points-scoring places, 2.74 behind Cuche. The 22-year-old Austrian is 41 points ahead of Feuz, who placed 20th. Defending champion Ivica Kostelic is second in the standings, 12 points behind Hirscher, but is sidelined after knee surgery. Hirscher said he "had a good course inspection" and would skip the second super-G to focus on his specialist giant slalom on Sunday. American Bode Miller sat out Fridays race to rest a knee injury. The U.S. team said Miller underwent a "very minor scope" of his left knee this week. Cuche got his 21st career World Cup win and his sixth in super-G. In 1998, he won an Olympic silver medal in the discipline behind Hermann Maier at the Nagano Games. He moved into a tie with Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway at 15th on the all-time World Cup winners list. Millers 33 wins is seventh. Hudecs finish builds on the speed teams recent hot streak. Thomsen was second at the last downhill in Sochi, Russia, a result that came a week after Hudec, Guay and Thomsen finished 1-3-5 in the second downhill in Chamonix. Guay got the streak going Jan. 28 with a second-place finish in the downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. "Were keeping it rolling," said Canadian speed coach Johno McBride. "What the secret? More than anything its good energy and a sense of confidence. Guys are believing in what they are doing and believing in themselves." -- With files from The Associated Press. Sandy Koufax Jersey . - Thirteen seasons later, Ray Lewis isnt much different from the 21-year-old rookie who played middle linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens with his own brand of passion and enthusiasm. Israel Idonije Jersey . Louis Blues won a game on the road, so going into the Bell Centre and knocking off the Montreal Canadiens tasted sweet to goaltender Manny Legace. Michael Vick Jersey . Smith joined Denver as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri Southern University prior to the 1994 season, and went on to amass 849 career receptions, 11,389 receiving yards and 68 touchdowns in 183 games with the Broncos. Fridays move was based on a mutual agreement by the player and the team after Smith underwent the second of two hip surgeries in January. Vincent Jackson Elite Jersey . He finally got a chance Friday when coach Doc Rivers turned him loose, and Harangody shined with the best game of his young career in the short-handed Celtics 122-102 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Jose Tabata Jersey . Mohamed bin Hammam, a Qatari national who heads the AFC and is also a FIFA executive committee member, said a winter tournament would ensure players are "in better shape" and wouldnt be "exhausted" after completing a grueling season that can run up to 60 games. SAN DIEGO -- Chase Headley was more pleased with a two-run double against left-hander Chris Capuano than he was with surpassing his home run total from last season. Headley homered, doubled and drove in three runs, and the last-place San Diego Padres rallied to beat the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 on Wednesday, helping left-hander Clayton Richard snap his personal five-game losing streak. Capuano, who had won his previous four starts, took a two-hitter and a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning. Cameron Maybin and Chris Denorfia opened the inning with singles before the switch-hitting Headley doubled into the gap in left-centre to score both. The better at-bat was "definitely the double, because he threw some tough pitches early in that at-bat and I had to fight to get to that pitch, whereas in the first at-bat I just got a mistake over the middle of the plate early and I was able to put a good swing on it," Headley said. "When you drive guys in in big situations, those are the at-bats you come out feeling good about." Headley homered to left with two outs in the first, his fifth. He hit only four last season. "That was kind of a sore spot for me last year," Headley said. "Im by no means a guy thats trying to hit home runs, but I do feel like Im going to hit more than four homers most years. To come out and get off to a decent start in that manner, its nice, but I think more importantly is if you go out there and have good at-bats, for me the home runs are going to come, but the rest of its going to come as well and thats where Im trying to focus." Richard and two relievers combined on a five-hitter as the Padres beat L.A. for only the second time in eight games this season. The Dodgers have lost two straight since Matt Kemp went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Richard (2-5) had lost his previous five starts. It was his first win since beating the Dodgers 8-4 at home on April 8, helping the Padres avoid a season-opening, four-game sweep. He held the Dodgers to two runs and four hits over seven innings Wednesday, struck out six and walked none. Dale Thayer pitched the ninth for his fourth save in as many chances after Andrew Cashner struck out the side in the eighth. "Winning feels a lot better," Richard said. Not having to face Kemp "definitely changes the lineup," Richard said. "Hes an elite player, probably the best of the best. That would change any lineup. You never want to see anybody miss because of an injury but that definitely changes the lineeup. Matt Cain Jersey. " Said manager Bud Black: "I think we saw through seven innings what weve seen at times during his starts. Today the difference was he strung the innings together." Capuano loaded the bases in the seventh with a single, his throwing error and a walk. Javy Guerra came on and walked Maybin on four pitches to make it 4-2. Capuano (5-1) allowed four runs, three earned, and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out six and walked three. He was trying for the best start to a season in his career. He went 5-0 in 2007 with Milwaukee and then went 0-10 in his final 18 starts. He finished 5-12 after losing two games out of the bullpen. Richard is 6-1 in 10 career starts against the Dodgers. Elian Herrera had an RBI double for his first major league hit as the Dodgers took a 2-0 lead just four batters in. After Chris Gwynns leadoff single, Herrera brought him in with a double that landed just inside third base and rolled all the way into the left-field corner. Herrera advanced on Bobby Abreus groundout and scored on Andre Ethiers sacrifice fly. "Were not good enough to come down here and get (five) hits and think were going to win a game," manager Don Mattingly said. "I dont care what kind of record weve got, what kind of record theyve got, you come in here and get (five) hits and dont give yourself a chance to score, youre not going to win." Herrera was recalled Monday from Triple-A Albuquerque and made his big league debut as a pinch-hitter Tuesday night. He made his first start Wednesday, at second base. It was Ethiers 27th RBI in his last 24 games against San Diego. NOTES: Black said LF Carlos Quentin had a cortisone shot in his right knee on Tuesday. Quentin has been out since having arthroscopic surgery during spring training. .... Jimmy Jones, the pitching coach at Double-A San Antonio, is filling in as bullpen coach with the Padres while Darrel Ackerfelds undergoes treatment for pancreatic cancer. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation. ... Richard committed his fourth error, one off the team lead, when he spiked a short throw to first on Gwynns grounder leading off the third. Gwynn was then caught stealing. ... The two-game series concludes Thursday night when L.A.s Aaron Harang (2-2, 4.46 ERA) is scheduled to face San Diegos Edinson Volquez (2-2, 2.79). On April 13 at Dodger Stadium, Harang set a Dodgers record with nine consecutive strikeouts, one short of the major league mark, and tied his career high with 13 strikeouts. Harang was with the Padres last year, leading them with 14 victories. ' ' '

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