ST. JOHN'S -- Take a bow, St. John's.
Players and visitors to the Newfoundland capital have been raving this week about the hospitality of the people here, and the rugged beauty of this place on the shore of the North Atlantic.
"I think this city is so cool," said Ontario skip Jenn Hanna. "It's not like any other Canadian city I've been to.
"I like all the little houses and the hills everywhere."
On Tuesday night, the Ontario team visited Signal Hill which rises above St. John's Harbour, northeast of the downtown core.
"We looked at all the lights at night. It's just breathtaking. It's just a really beautiful place," said Hanna.
SHE CAN SING: Territories vice Monique Gagnier warbled a tremendous rendition of Patsy Cline's Walkin' After Midnight to win the Heart Stop Idol contest on Tuesday night in the Heart Stop Lounge. Team Ontario's Stephanie Hanna was also scheduled to perform, but decided to pass.
"She didn't want to make us look bad," said Jenn Hanna, Stephanie's older sister.
Stephanie had a better line.
"We can't win everything," she said. Jenn Hanna won the Ford Hot Shots skills competition on Saturday.
Gagnier said her performance was the first time she sang in front of a crowd.
"Two 6-foot-2 guys drug me with my heels digging into the ground when they had auditions," said Gagnier. "I figured that I was up on stage, so I might as well give it a shot."
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL: Renegades part-owner Bill Watters has his picture on the St. John's Maple Leafs Wall of Fame at Mile One Stadium. Watters served as GM of Toronto's AHL affiliate from 1991-2003. His picture is beside that of Newfoundland premier Danny Williams, the team's vice chairman from 1991-98.
PRESSED FOR TIME: The CBC made adjustments to yesterday afternoon's broadcast of the Canada vs. Territories game to make sure the contest would not extend past the beginning of the network's coverage of the federal budget. The CBC cut the fifth-end break to eight minutes from 12 and trimmed its pre-game package of 10 minutes. Yesterday's pre-game show ran two minutes.