Tops 2013: Sports stories of the yearTuesday, December 24, 2013 by: Brad Coccimiglio
2013 was quite a year in sports in Sault Ste. Marie.
Sault Ste. Marie is home to a Tim Horton’s Brier champion, a silver medalist as the World Curling Championships and an Olympian. And that’s just in curling.
Here’s a look back at the top five moments in local sports:
1. Brad Jacobs is Olympics-bound
It’s been a whirlwind year for Team Jacobs, culminating with a win at the 2013 Roar of the Rings in Winnipeg on December 8 over Team Morris to book their trip to Sochi, Russia for the Olympics.
Jacobs, third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden went 8-0 in the tournament.
Jacobs beat John Morris 7-4 in the final to advance.
2. Jacobs wins Brier
In March, Jacobs and his teammates made some history, becoming the first Northern Ontario rink to win the Brier since 1985.
The Jacobs rink posted an 8-3 record in the round robin before advancing to the final and beating Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton 11-4 in the final.
The win earned Jacobs a spot in the Ford World Men’s Curling Championships, which wrapped up in Victgoria, BC on April 7.
3. Jacobs wins silver at Worlds
Success was no stranger to Jacobs and his teammates during 2013. A great year continued for the Jacobs rink following their Brier win as they brought home silver from the World Curling Championships in Victoria, BC. The Sault rink posted a 7-4 round robin record to advance to the playoff round before eventually dropping an 8-6 decision to Sweden’s Niklas Edin in the final.
4. Sexual Assault charges dropped
In April, sexual assault charges against three hockey players were withdrawn due to what the crown concluded was no reasonable prospect of conviction. Nick Cousins, Mark Petaccio and Andrew Fritsch were charged with sexual assault in August 2012. After a number of court dates continued to see the charges pushed back to another date, the charges were eventually dropped altogether.
5. NHL comes calling for Nolan, again
After a lengthy absence from the NHL, Ted Nolan was welcomed back into the NHL coaching fraternity in November as the Buffalo Sabres made a number of front office moves, which included replacing Ron Rolston as head coach with Ted Nolan. It marked the second stint for Nolan as coach of the Sabres. Nolan served the same role with the team from 1995 to 1997.