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文章發表於 : 週三 8月 14, 2019 1:58 pm 
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LA MOLINA, Spain -- Joaquim Rodriguez broke away from the other race favourites on a final uphill climb to take the lead of the Volta a Catalunya with a stage win on Wednesday. Local favourite Rodriguez surged past Tour de France winner Christopher Froome and left behind Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana to claim the third of seven stages, a 163-kilometre (101-mile) ride from Banyoles to La Molina in the Pyrenees mountains. Contador finished second, followed by Quintana in third. Froome crossed fifth. On Thursday, riders face a second consecutive day of cold temperatures and snow-topped mountains with a 166-kilometre (103-mile) ride ending in a summit finish above the village of Setcases. Lance Stephenson Lakers Jersey . JOHNS, N. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Jersey . He was with the New York Jets in 2011 when the NFL locked out their players after they failed to agree on a new contract. Willy went undrafted but was given a look by four NFL teams before heading north. http://www.lakersbasketballshop.com/Elg ... or-Jersey/. Stevenson scored the first three goals of the game in the first period for Regina (35-22-6), which has won eight of its last 10 games. Patrick DAmico added two for the Pats, Braden Christoffer had a single and Morgan Klimchuk chipped in a goal and four assists. Vlade Divac Lakers Jersey . Altidore strained his left hamstring in the Americans opener against Ghana on June 16 and didnt play in their next two games. "We dont know how much because we need to see how hes going, but hes available," U. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Lakers Jersey .Mack, a reserve guard who came in averaging 3.8 points, made all six of his 3-pointers as the Hawks went 16 for 28 from behind the arc.Trailing 50-38 midway through the second quarter, Atlanta outscored Cleveland 89-48 the rest of the way and sent the Cavaliers to their largest loss of the season.My pal Rich Rank died a year ago Jan. 3. This Thursday, one year and 12 days later, Richs 27-year-old son Garrett will officiate his first-ever NHL regular season game (in Buffalo, with the Minnesota Wild visiting the Sabres). Its going to be special. The Rank family -- Richs widow Deby; eldest son Kyle, the former pro hockey player turned firefighter; and youngest child, daughter Caelen, who recently graduated to become a nurse -- will of course be at First Niagara Center to cheer on Garrett, wholl drop the puck for real on the opening faceoff, wearing No. 48 on the back on his NHL referees jersey. Richs good pal Steve Webb, aka Webby, will be there, too, along with about 90-plus others from the Ranks hometown of Elmira, Ont., who will load into two buses, armed (no doubt) with a lot of beer and even more stories about a remarkable man and extraordinary Canadian family on what will be quite the night. It will be emotional, thats for sure, said Richs friend Webby. Rich would have been so pumped. My Dad will be there in spirit, Kyle said. Hed be so proud, he would be right over the moon. This is what he wanted for me, Garrett said. He wanted me to be an NHL referee. It will be so emotional, so exciting to have all my family and friends there. I always feel like my Dad is out there with me and I know he will be (on Thursday). *** I wouldnt want you to get the wrong idea. Rich Rank and I were not best friends, though the man who died far too young of a heart attack at age 57 had that rare ability to make anyone he came into contact with just once feel like a best friend. Rich and I shared one hockey season, 2006-07, watching our kids play together on the St. Lawrence University Skating Saints. Richs son Kyle, a 1982 born, was a senior centre and co-captain. My son Mike, a 1986 born, was a freshman left winger. I would stand on the rail alongside Rich for home games at cozy Appleton Arena. Rich would give me sage advice – enjoy every minute of this (college hockey experience) because four years goes by in the blink of an eye -- and he would talk about the joys of watching our kids play and having a post-game beer afterwards. I would reciprocate by looking up Toronto Maple Leaf scores for him on my phone and passing along the mostly bad news to the true-blue Maple Leaf fan. Some nights, if the Saints were filling the net and old Appleton was rockin, wed look at each other after a goal, exchange high fives, and hed laugh and say to me, It doesnt get any better than this, does it? He had a big booming voice to go along with a good-sized frame, and big mitts that would envelop your hand when he shook it, but none of it was as big as his heart, which must have finally given out because hed given so much of it to so many others. To be honest, back then, I didnt know that much about Richs life in Elmira, the small town just northeast of Waterloo, Ont., where he was a larger than life figure, the close-knit communitys unofficial mayor, dubbed by some as Mr. Elmira. But I knew he must be something special because his son, Kyle, most certainly was. Kyle went to SLU in Canton, N.Y., to play golf. He was a longshot walk-on to the hockey team, but played four full seasons for head coach Joe Marsh, becoming a top-line centre and co-captain with defenceman Drew Bagnall in their senior years. If there were just one thing Id want my son Mike to take from his four years of college hockey – and believe me, there were so many more things he did take than just one – Id want it to be the example set by Kyle Rank and Drew Bagnall as captains that year. They showed exemplary leadership, heart, grit and determination. They carried themselves like men and taught their younger teammates to do the same. They played hard, they played for keeps and yet they were every bit as caring for their teammates and the team as they were relentless against their opponents. At seasons end that year, head coach Marsh cited the leadership of Rank and Bagnall as special as hed ever had in his 20-plus years at SLU. Not surprisingly, SLU finished first in the ECAC regular season that year, lost in the semi-finals of the ECAC tournament but still qualified for the NCAA tourney, losing in the first round to the Boston College Eagles of Cory Schneider and Brian Boyle vintage. SLU hasnt been back to the NCAA tournament since. Bagnall is still playing pro hockey – surprise, hes captain of the AHLs Rochester Americans this season – and Kyle Rank went on to play parts of five pro seasons, amassing 160 AHL regular season games for Bridgeport, Wilkes-Barre, Portland and Rochester and an additional 57 ECHL games in Wheeling and Cincinnati before hanging up his skates to become a Waterloo, Ont., firefighter, a husband and father of two little girls, for whom on Sunday he was out in the backyard flooding a rink. Im not sure many kids growing up dream of one day being an NHL referee and Garrett didnt, at least not at first, but my Dad always loved being a ref and wanted Garrett to become one, Kyle said. Dad was always refereeing games and when Garrett followed in his refereeing footsteps, it was really special for him. Thats why (Garretts first NHL game) is going to be so special. Rich Ranks job was working for the Township of Woolwich, though he never treated it like a job. More like an opportunity to meet and talk to people. Hed drive a snow plow in the winter. In the summer, as the story goes, hed flush the towns water mains by turning on the fire hydrants and if it were a particularly hot summer day and kids were out on the street, the hydrant might run a lot longer than it was supposed to. Mostly, though, he loved talking to people. He loved to hear their stories, get to know them, treat each and every one of them like special friends. Rich Rank was a special person - so it comes as no surprise he has special kids. It was expensive having three kids growing up and playing sports, so Rich had part-time jobs as well. Those were just further opportunities to meet and greet more people. He would drive a truck for the feed mill, referee whenever he could, which was often. Minor hockey, beer league hockey, it didnt matter. Richie, as his close friends would call him, loved to put on the stripes and pick up his whistle. He treated the games he did like social outings. And, for him, they were. Because the Ranks lived so close to the local Elmira arena, if a referee didnt show up to an assigned game, the phone would ring at the Rank household and the call would go out to Richie. My Mom referred to our house as Grand Central Station because thats how busy it was, with the phone ringing and the comings and goings with my Dad, Garrett said. My Dad would get those calls, Theres no ref here and hed be flying out the door to the rink. He loved it. With the town, Rich worked a lot of early mornings or late nights, plowing or whatever, his friend Webby said. Then there was all the refereeing he did. So when he got some free time, hed like to come over to my place for a beer and to watch hockey (on TV) and it usually wasnt long until hed be asleep in the chair. That was Rich. He liked having a beer, watching a game and falling asleep. Rich Rank died that morning of Jan. 3, 2014, while at work. Hed taken his truck/plow on a salting run and was in Conestoga, at the salt dome there, filling up the truck for the return ride to Elmira. It was there he suffered a heart attack. No one else was there with him. By the time he was found, it was too late. He was gone. The memorial service was six days later, on Jan. 9. I knew Rich but not really. Not until I attended the ceremony with 800 others inside the Elmira Lions Hall – the same place where the town gathered for NHL player Dan Snyders post-funeral reception after his tragic death in 2003 – and another 200 who spilled outside on a biting cold day was it possible to fully comprehend the stature of the man in his community and the overwhelming sense of loss. Rich Rank was a special guy; it should come as no surprise he has special kids. *** No brother should ever have to make the phone call Kyle Rank made to Garrett, to tell him that their Dad had died that Friday morning in early January. Garrett was in Sydney, N.S., refereeing at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge when he got the word from his big brother. In the days to prior to that, the phone calls Garrett was getting in Sydney were from his Dad, checking up on how Garretts tournament was going. Gaarrett had told him it was going well, he thought there was a chance he might get chosen to do the gold-medal game on Saturday.dddddddddddd. Garrett said Rich was ecstatic. Dad was following Garretts work at the (U-17) closely, Kyle said. When I talked to Garrett -- well, it was obviously emotional, its not a phone call you want to make – but we talked it over and he decided he wanted to stay and see (the U-17) through to the end. Some people might not understand that, but there was nothing he could do at home right then and if you knew my Dad, my Dad would want Garrett to work that gold-medal game. Which is exactly what he did. It was tough, Garrett said, it was very emotional but the last time I had talked to my Dad, he was excited I might have the chance to the do the gold-medal game. So when I got the chance to do it, I know my Dad would have been the first one telling me to do it. The day after his Dad died, more than 2,000 kilometres from his family in Elmira, Garrett Rank stepped on the ice for the USA-Pacific Canada gold-medal match and did his job like a pro. Can you imagine having the composure to do that game under those circumstances? brother Kyle marveled. I think he proved then hes an official who can deal with pressure and adversity. My Dad would have been so proud of Garrett for doing that. Our family, anyone who knew my Dad, we all backed Garrett 100 per cent. Were all so proud of him. The truth is officiating hockey games wasnt Garretts first love. It was playing golf. Which is understandable, since hes so good at it. While Garrett Rank will officiate NHL and AHL games this season, and that is his chosen career now, hes already qualified to play in the 2015 RBC Canadian Open golf tournament on the PGA calendar, by virtue of capturing the Canadian Mid-Amateur Golf Championship last summer at the Barrie Country Club, winning it on a first-hole playoff. In the summer of 2012, he finished second in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. A first-place finish would have given him automatic inclusion in the 2013 Masters. Garrett Rank loves officiating, but his first passion is on the links. (Photo: Golf Canada/USGA) Last summer was his best as an amateur golfer. In addition to the championship win that gave him the berth in the 2015 Canadian Open, he finished sixth in the Canadian Amateur Championship in Winnipeg, second in the U.S. Players Amateur Championship in South Carolina, third in the Monroe Invitational in New York as well as a round-of-32 performance at the U.S. Amateur Championship and a round-of-16 performance at the U.S. Public Links Championship. Until he signed his contract to be an NHL official in training in August, working mostly this season in the AHL, he was a member of Golf Canadas amateur national team. He carries a handicap of plus-5, which means in any tourney in which handicap is applied, hes five strokes behind to start. Garrett played Junior B hockey with the Waterloo Siskins and Elmira Sugar Kings but he always knew he was far more gifted with a golf club than a hockey stick. He went to the University of Waterloo on a golf scholarship and made the varsity hockey team as a walk on, same as his big brother at SLU. But after one year of hockey, he knew he wanted to focus on golf. He became a two-time OUA individual golf champion and was the University of Waterloos athlete of the year in 2012. If all of this is difficult to comprehend, consider hes also a cancer survivor. In 2011, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He underwent surgery but, fortunately, didnt require chemotherapy or radiation and recent scans show hes free and clear of the disease. I never knew for sure which way Garrett was going to go – to golf or refereeing hockey – but to be that good at two things is really remarkable, proud brother Kyle said. All I knew is he would be really successful at whichever one he chose because hes an amazing person. Kyle is hopeful his little brother may let him carry his bag and caddy a round in the Canadian Open in Glen Abbey this summer. Garrett isnt ruling it out, although he knows hes in tough because he isnt able to play as much golf as he used to. A pro caddy will be required to give him every edge possible, but Kyle is likely to get his wish, for at least a practice round anyway. Obviously, being a professional referee now makes it really hard for me golfing but I still get my summers off and I still get in my rounds when I can, said Garrett. Ill do my best (to stay competitive). Failing that, little brother Garrett knows that as good a golfer as big brother Kyle is, and he is quite good, Garrett will likely always hold the upper hand on the links. Kyle can give me a real good run when were on our course in Elmira because he is a very good golfer and knows the course so well, Garrett said. But if I get him on another course, one he hasnt been on before, he isnt going to beat me. As for the choice between golfing and officiating, Garrett never had any doubt which way his Dad wanted him to go. Maybe its because he was a good, old Canadian boy who loved hockey or maybe he knew how hard it is to make a living in golf, but he was always pushing me (towards officiating), Garrett said. He knew what was best for me. Garrett said he started officiating as soon as he was old enough to get certified in his teen years, doing tyke games at 6 a.m. and freezing my --- off to earn spending money while he focused on playing golf and hockey. Once he decided to quit playing hockey at Waterloo, he didnt officiate at all, expending all his time and effort on golf. As relatively successful as he was in amateur golf, it wasnt paying the bills and as time wore on, he wasnt getting any younger. So former NHL official Lance Roberts was instrumental in getting Garrett out of officiating retirement and he started working the lines in local Junior B games in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. From there, Garrett saw an opportunity and moved onto the Ontario Hockey League, where he was a referee. When he played Jr. B hockey in Waterloo, NHL officiating manager Al Kimmel was his coach. With Kimmel scouting officials on behalf of the NHL, it wasnt long before Garrett got noticed and another door opened up for him. Garrett Rank will officiate his first-ever NHL game this Thursday in Buffalo. We liked how he carried himself as a referee, NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom said. Some guys are naturally inclined to be refs and Garrett seems to have that quality. You can see hes accustomed to pressure, how hes handled it as a golfer. I dont think missing a hooking call in a hockey game can be as difficult as coming back from missing a three-foot putt in golf for a championship. Theres a real laid-back confidence to Garrett. Hes just starting out, theres still a lot of work for him to do to make his way, but hes off to a very good start. Garrett will never know what would have happened had he forsaken officiating to pursue golf as a pro, but what he does know is it was time to start making a living and the door to refereeing in the professional ranks was wide open. Its a decision his Dad Rich would have endorsed; its a decision Garrett is more than comfortable with, especially now that hes making his NHL debut this week. *** The Rank boys dont take anything for granted. Their Dad taught them not to ever get too far ahead of themselves. But that isnt to say there arent some plans possibly being hatched as we speak. Kyle Rank and Webby know Garrett has a couple of other NHL games on his upcoming calendar – one in Nashville and a Saturday night later this season in Edmonton – so some road trips may be in the works for Richs eldest boy and good friend. My Dad never missed much that involved any of his kids, Kyle said, so Im thinking there may be some road trips coming up here, me and Webby better carry on that family legacy because if my Dad could be there to watch his kids, he would be there. Which brings us to Thursday night in Buffalo, where Rank family and friends will gather not only to celebrate Garretts arrival as an NHL referee, but, no doubt, Richs life that touched so many as well. Corny as it may sound, Kyle Rank said, my Dad will be there, too. Hell be watching. Its a dream come true, Garrett Rank said. For me, and my Dad. Hell be right there with me. Always. I know what a pal of mine would say to that: It doesnt get any better than this, does it? No, Rich - it doesnt. ' ' '


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