Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37 31 OT

By Barry Wilner


KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ It’s the dead of winter, meaning the weather in New England can be brutal. And that the Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl.

It took them overtime and more of Tom Brady’s brilliance to get there _ for the third straight year. While the folks back home dealt with a frigid storm, Brady blew through Kansas City’s exhausted defence on a 75-yard drive to Rex Burkhead’s 2-yard touchdown run in a 37-31 victory Sunday for the AFC championship.

The drive, during which New England (13-5) had three third-down conversions, was reminiscent of when the Patriots beat Atlanta in the only Super Bowl to go to OT two years ago.

“Overtime, on the road against a great team,” Brady said.  “They had no quit. Neither did we. We played our best football at the end. I don’t know, man, I’m tired. That was a hell of a game.”

Awaiting them in Atlanta are the Los Angeles Rams, who won 26-23 in overtime in New Orleans for the NFC championship. The Rams (15-3) last made the Super Bowl in 2002 while based in St. Louis, losing to the Patriots.

New England benefited from two critical replay reviews and made its ninth Super Bowl with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach.

“This is crazy,” said Brady, who was 30 of 46 for 348 yards. “What a game.”

It’s the first time both conference title games went to OT. The last time both visitors won conference championship matches was 2012; New England was 3-5 on the road this season.

“We knew what our record was, but we didn’t let that dictate us,” said defensive end Trey Flowers, who led a staunch charge on Patrick Mahomes. “Whatever happened in the regular season happened. We came out and did it when it counted.”

Several times, the Patriots appeared to have it won, only to see Kansas City (13-5) come back in spectacular fashion.

Brady, at 41 already the oldest quarterback to have played in a Super Bowl, drove New England 65 yards in 1:24 to Burkhead’s go-ahead 4-yard touchdown with 39 seconds left in regulation. That was enough, though, for his far younger counterpart, the 23-year-old All-Pro Mahomes, to take the Chiefs 48 yards to Harrison Butker’s 39-yard field goal with 8 seconds left to force overtime.

It was a sizzling offensive showing in the fourth quarter after defence had been in charge most of the way. Indeed, the Chiefs were blanked in the opening half for the first time all season.

And they never saw the ball in overtime, which along with the two replay decisions might call into play NFL rules and officiating.

“I thought if we got the chance,” Mahomes said,  “we’d score.”

Mahomes finished 16 of 31 for 295 yards and three touchdowns.

New England became the third franchise to reach three Super Bowls in a row. And Belichick now has 30 postseason victories, more than Bill Walsh and Don Shula combined. That Hall of Fame coaching duo also won five Super Bowls; Belichick shoots for No. 6 in two weeks.

An apparent muff by the usually reliable Julian Edelman on a fourth-quarter punt return was overturned by a lengthy video review, prompting raucous booing and some demonstrative arguing from the usually laid-back Andy Reid. Edelman definitely touched his next try when Brady’s pass deflected off his hands directly to safety Daniel Sorensen. His 22-yard return set up Kansas City at the Patriots 23, and Damien Williams, who scored three times, had no defender near him down the left sideline for the score that made it 21-17, KC’s first lead.

Back came Brady, engineering a 75-yard march on which Chris Hogan’s diving one-handed catch on third down appeared to touch the ground. Reid challenged _ and lost.

Minutes later, rookie Sony Michel scored from the 10, his second TD of the night.

With 3 1/2 minutes remaining, there was plenty of time for more points. Williams’ 2-yard run gave the Chiefs a 28-24 edge that New England took up most of the remaining time overcoming. The Patriots were helped by an offside call on linebacker Dee Ford that negated an interception which would have clinched a KC victory.

Butker’s field goal sent it to overtime.

“We put ourselves in position to win the game, that’s what makes it so tough,” Reid said.  “If it’s a rout, you chalk it up to experience. But this one right here, where you’re in it to win it, that’s a tough deal. We gave ourselves every opportunity to do it, and they got us in overtime.”

The Chiefs hadn’t been blanked in any half this season, but they barely were a presence in the first 30 minutes, when they had the ball for 8:53. Mahomes was sacked three times for 43 yards; Kansas City’s record-setting attack ran only 16 plays and gained a mere 32 yards.

The zero disappeared quickly in the third quarter. Finally given solid protection, Mahomes unleashed a 54-yard completion to Sammy Watkins over All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore. He then hit another All-Pro, tight end Travis Kelce, on a slant to make it 14-7 _ and awaken the slumbering crowd.

But one of several bad decisions further damaged Kansas City when Tyreek Hill, the All-Pro flex player, retreated deep in Chiefs territory returning a punt. Eventually, KC had to punt and the Patriots had excellent field position, setting up a 47-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.

Not one to be shy about innovation, Mahomes completely sidearmed a throw to Watkins for 10 yards on a third down, then a dump-off to Williams covered 33. Kelce drew a pass interference call on J.C. Jackson in the end zone, and Mahomes threw a strike to Williams for the score.

Although the Chiefs were on their heels much of the night, they were down only 17-14.


Just as they did last week in manhandling the Chargers early and cruising, the Patriots delivered a message _ and a touchdown on their first series. It was a classic, covering 80 yards in 15 plays and using up more than eight minutes. Michel, who had 113 yards rushing, scored from the 1.

But Brady made a rare mistake on the next dominant drive. His third-down pass from the 1 for Rob Gronkowski was short and Reggie Ragland picked it off.

Brady had never thrown an interception from the 1.

When the Chiefs finally got a trademark big play on Mahomes’ 42-yard completion to Hill, it went for naught. Mahomes overthrew a wide-open Williams near the end zone, then took a 14-yard sack to send KC out of field goal range.

Big mistake.

The Patriots kept dominating the line of scrimmage, Brady took them 90 yards and connected with Phillip Dorsett over sloppy coverage by Steven Nelson to make it 14-0 with 27 seconds left in the half.


In Week 6, the Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40 in a game featuring 946 yards total offence. This one had 814. … New England has played in eight straight AFC title games, but this is its first road playoff win since the 2006 season vs. San Diego. … Brady matched former Patriots K Adam Vinatieri, now with the Colts, for the most wins in NFL history (236). … Kansas City’s defence tied for first in the NFL with 52 sacks, but had none on Sunday. New England had four.


Reid’s decision to defer after winning the opening coin toss proved unwise as New England had 22 plays in the opening period, and Kansas City had seven. Then, the Chiefs lost the more important toss before overtime. Less than five minutes later, they were headed to the off-season.

Aviva Canada signs Toronto Maple Leafs goalie

TORONTONov. 12, 2018 /CNW/ – Today, Frederik (Freddie) Andersen joins the Aviva Canada team as brand ambassador for Maple Leafs Insurance Provided by Aviva. Freddie has signed an agreement with Aviva Canada to market the home and auto insurance fan branded program.

“It’s an honour to officially join the Aviva Canada team,” said Freddie Andersen, goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs. “As a professional goaltender, I know I can empower my teammates to play their best by protecting our net when we need it most. I’m joining the Aviva Canada lineup because I think our fans and community should feel they’re covered when they need it most as well.”

“Freddie is our first overall draft pick, and we’re thrilled to have him in our lineup,” says Ben Isotta-Riches, Chief Partnerships Officer at Aviva Canada. “We’re looking forward to working with him to represent Maple Leafs Insurance Provided by Aviva, including special promotions and events for both fans and customers.”

Maple Leafs Insurance Provided by Aviva has all the benefits of great home and auto insurance while getting Leafs fans closer to the team they love. For more information, fans can visit

Kicking off this partnership with a marketing campaign, fans will see Freddie featured in a series of ‘Freddie-level protection’ digital commercials starting today.

About Aviva Canada

Aviva Canada is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country, providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to 2.8 million customers. A subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, Aviva Canada has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for their customers and communities.

Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada’s longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $8.5 million to over 280 charities and community groups nationwide. Aviva Canada, bringing over 300 years of good thinking and insurance solutions to Canadians from coast-to-coast.

For more information, visit or Aviva Canada’s blogTwitterFacebook and LinkedIn pages.


SOURCE Aviva Canada Inc.

Hockey sticks left on porches in tribute to Humboldt Broncos crash victims

By Nicole Thompson


Social media users are reaching out to the Saskatchewan town of Humboldt, sharing photos of hockey sticks left on front porches to pay tribute to the 15 lives lost after a bus carrying the Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi truck.

The tragedy has captured the world’s attention and while millions of dollars have been raised for the victims’ families, some have looked for other ways to commemorate those affected.

Among the first to post about the #putyourstickout movement was Trevor Ollen.

The Calgary resident said he and his five-year-old son placed a hockey stick on their front porch on Saturday night, after the full extent of Friday’s crash had emerged. His boy, he said, made sure they left the porch light on all night in order to illuminate the piece of equipment.

“It was really a teaching moment for us to talk to our children about loss and how, when you’re in a moment like this, what can you really do? You can make donations for these families, but a kid doesn’t make a donation,” Ollen said.

“This is something that kids could do to feel like they’re making a difference and showing solidarity with the people of Humboldt.”

Ollen was inspired by a similar online campaign in Australia dating back to 2014, he said, when cricket player Phillip Hughes died after being struck on the back of the head with a ball. To pay tribute, Australians left their cricket bats outside.

The newer iteration of the movement resonated in Canada, and particularly in Humboldt, where hockey sticks were left by many front doors and in snowbanks.

The tribute gained traction on Sunday night when Winnipeg Jets broadcaster and Humboldt native Brian Munz shared a screenshot on Twitter of a text message he said he received from a high school friend in the town of 6,000 people.

“Leaving it out on the porch tonight. The boys might need it … wherever they are,” the screenshot reads, along with a picture of a hockey stick.

The tweet has been shared thousands of times.

Munz invited others to join the tributes, prompting scores of users to post similar photos and messages of support.

Teena Monteleone, a Prince Albert, Sask.-based radio host, identified herself as having billeted Adam Herold, one of the Broncos to die in the crash.

“Leaving a stick on the porch tonight in support of the Humboldt Broncos and in memory of (Adam Herold) an amazing hockey player and young man we had the honour of billeting,” she tweeted.

The campaign was one way among many that people were commemorating the team.

Others promised to wear hockey jerseys on Thursday to show support for those grieving. That day would have marked the 17th birthday of Herold  the youngest member of the team.

Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks honoured the Humboldt team by wearing jerseys with the word BRONCOS across their name plates during their regular-season finale on Saturday night.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks all wore Humboldt Broncos decals on their helmets during games on Saturday night. The latter two teams also wore Broncos-coloured green and yellow lapel ribbons.

Canada’s Olympic athletes return home from Pyeongchang

Air Canada will be flying members of Canada’s Olympic team back to Canadafrom the PyeongChang Olympic Games. Flights are scheduled to arrive from Korea at Toronto Pearson and Vancouverairports on Monday February 26th with several athletes connecting to flights across the country including Calgary and Montreal. Details of athletes’ arrivals are provided by the Canadian Olympic Committee:


“Congratulations to Team Canada for bringing home a record number of medals. Our athletes have inspired all of us at Air Canada with their skills, determination and sportsmanship. As an Official Sponsor of Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic teams, we are proud to play our part by safely transporting competitors, team officials and their supporters home to Canada from the PyeongChang Olympic Games,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

Transporting Canada’s team to the Olympics in PyeongChang was a large logistical undertaking requiring the dedicated efforts of hundreds of Air Canada employees. Here are some key facts about Air Canada’s involvement:

  • Renewed its Altitude Podium Program to provide qualified athletes 35K status and access to International Maple Leaf lounges while competing abroad;
  • Sponsored the outdoor area, Air Canada Flight Deck, available to the public, at the Canadian Olympic House in PyeongChang;
  • In total, Air Canada transported approximately 750 athletes, coaches and support staff with the Canadian Team to PyeongChang;
  • Air Canada’s “Our Time” ad supported the athletes by paying tribute to the unique Canadian values that make us all so proud to be a part of this country. Five high-profile athletes featured in the ad are figure skaters Patrick ChanTessa Virtue and Scott Moir; hockey player Marie-Philip Poulin; and freestyle skier (halfpipe) Cassie Sharpe.
  • Air Canada’s #FlyTheFlag initiative struck a chord with Canadians keen to show their pride throughout the games and achieved peak mentions in social media.

About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents.  Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2017 served approximately 48 million customers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 64 airports in Canada, 60 in the United States and 98 in Europe, the Middle EastAfricaAsiaAustralia, the CaribbeanMexicoCentral America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,300 airports in 191 countries.  Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2017 Best Airline in North America.  For more information, please visit:, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook

SOURCE Air Canada

Comox, B.C., native scores 95.80 on her 2nd run

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The Cost of Going to the Super Bowl

Source: Chris Needham, Community Relations, DIRECTV Dealer

The average cost of BIG GAME tickets

From the moment the Green Bay Packers won the first Super Bowl in 1966 and all the way through the 1970s, tickets to see the game up close and personal averaged just $87.36. That’s roughly the equivalent of dinner and a movie (and popcorn, of course) for two people. By the 1990s, that number had more than doubled to $329.89 on average. A decade later came another jump to $654.78 on average. Flash forward to the 2010s and ticket prices rose to an astronomical $1120.62 on average — or the equivalent of taking everyone on your block out to that same dinner and movie. Now do you understand why most people prefer to watch the BIG GAME on their HDTV sets in the comfort of their own homes?

TV Ratings for THE BIG GAME

In 1975, there were about 70.8 million households with television sets across the country. Throughout the decade, an average of 58.1 million people watched the Super Bowl every year, which means pretty much anyone and everyone was tuned into the BIG GAME. That number climbed to 81.6 million and 85.3 million through the 1980s and 1990s, respectively. Over the last few years, that number has grown to a massive 110.9 million per year on average, eclipsing ratings for the series finale of MASH, which itself drew a then record-shattering 105.97 million total viewers during its initial airing. This is due in no small part to the fact that modern television sets make you feel like you’re right in the thick of things. And if you had to pick between spending time on the field for the sporting event of the year or at a mobile army hospital in Korea, you’d probably pick the former.

THE BIG GAME commercial cost

Everybody knows somebody (or many somebody’s) who say they only tune into the Super Bowl for the commercials. Networks noticed and adjusted their prices accordingly. In the 1970s, the average cost of a Super Bowl commercial was just $97,461.54. In the next decade, it rose to an enormous $463,100. Today, the average cost of just a single commercial during the BIG GAME is $3.9 million, or roughly just below the average salary for a new coach during his first few years in the NFL. Sure, the event itself is fun to watch, but when money like this is on the line and you’ve got a guaranteed audience this huge who can blame the networks for charging this kind of money?

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