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Martin gets big boost from P.M.’s visit

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and skip Kevin Martin agree on Team Canadaʼs rating at the Worlds.

Thursday, April 9, 2009 2

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Thursday, April 9, 2009 3

Canada cruises to top Crowded lineup chases other playoff berths By LARRY WOOD Third Jason Smith (left) and skip John Shuster of Team U.S.A. gesture as they discuss a point of strategy Wednesday at the Ford Worlds.

Eye Opener Editor


first-place round-robin finish and hammer in the Ford Worlds’ Page One-Two playoff on Friday night at the Coliseum? All the suspense slithered out of that issue on Wednesday afternoon when Kevin Martin’s undefeated Edmontonians dumped John Shuster’s Yanks 9-6 for Canada’s ninth win in as many starts. The Page One-Two with hammer is first prize emanating from the global men’s curling championship 12-team preliminary round robin. It leaves its qualifiers two wins from the gold medal. Hence, today’s final draws in the pre-playoff tournament will decide the other post-preliminary survivors — a Page One-Two SEE opponent for Canada and a SCORES, pair of combatants for the Page 13 sudden-death Page ThreeFour playoff on Saturday morning. The One-Two winner goes directly to Sunday night’s final. The loser drops to Saturday’s semi-final (4 p.m.) against the Three-Four winner. Here’s how the contenders wrap it up today: Canada (9-and-0): 10 a.m. Denmark (54), 7:30 p.m. Scotland (6-3). Norway (6-and-3): 10 a.m. Japan (3-6), 3 p.m. Germany (5-4). Scotland (6-and-3): 3 p.m. Denmark (54), 7:30 p.m. Canada (9-and-0). Germany (5-and-4): 3 p.m. Norway (63), 7:30 p.m. Japan (3-6). Switzerland (5-and-4): 3 p.m. Finland (1-8), 7:30 p.m. China (3-6). U.S.A. (5-and-4): 3 p.m. Czech Rep. (27), 7:30 p.m. France (4-5). Denmark (5-and-4): 10 a.m. Canada (90), 3 p.m. Scotland (6-3). Martin’s afternoon win on Wednesday was highlighted when Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined the spectators in the Coliseum pews. At the fifth-end break, the P.M. posed for photos with members of Team Canada. “It was nice of him to come,” said Martin later. “I really appreciated it, for sure. I thanked him. I really meant it. “He’s such a sports fan, you know? You could tell he was enjoying himself. It’s his

kind of environment — sports, activity, out in public. “I just wanted to thank him for coming.” The Canadian skipped missed his last rock of the first end leaving Shuster the theft of a deuce. “It was a good thing,” opined Martin. “We haven’t had to do much of that (coming from behind) this week. So we did bear down. And the next four ends after that we played pretty solid. And that’s good to see.” Canada tied it in the second panel then ripped open the argument with four in the fourth. In the end, Martin did not require his last rock for the ninth straight game. “That was the job, getting to the OneTwo,” he said. “So now we can just keep working hard and staying consistent and preparing for Friday night.” Canada earlier squashed Finland’s Kalle Kiiskinen 12-4 in the morning. Scotland’s David Murdoch, the 2006 champion, rebounded from a black Tuesday to clobber Thomas Dufour of France 9-1 and then pull even in second place with Nor-

way’s Thomas Ulsrud by shading the Norwegians 6-5 in a late-shift extra end. Scotland and Norway are stationed three games behind the leader and one game in front of four teams with 5-and-4 logs — the U.S., Switzerland, Germany and Denmark. The Danes pulled Andy Kapp’s Fussen crew back a notch Wednesday night with an Olympic berth-clinching 5-4 win. It was Denmark’s third win in four games and erased the disappointment of a 7-6 extra-end loss to China’s Fengchun Wang in the morning. Ulsrud whipped France 10-4 on the same draw. Kapp stopped China 8-6 in the afternoon and the Yanks rebounded at night to erase Finland 6-5. “We think we belong here and that we’re one of the better teams in the world,” said Shuster. “When you’re at this level you should be able to beat anybody on any given day.” Ralph Stoeckli of Switzerland, meanwhile, hauled his revamped batting order back into contention with back-to-back wins — 7-4

over Japan’s Yusuke Morozumi and 5-2 over Jiri Snitil of the Czech Republic. Stoeckli gave up the traffic-director portion of skipping duties to second player Markus Eggler on Tuesday but remained the thrower of last rock. “This is working better,” he said in the wake of a third straight Swiss win. “Now I can focus on my last shots. It takes some pressure away. “You spend a lot of energy reading and getting used to the ice instead of focusing on your last shots. So when you don’t feel comfortable on the ice surfaces then this is the best move for me personally.” He said he decided to make the same switch in the final of the Swiss national championships. “Now we have this issue to make the playoffs in our own hands,” he said. “But we have to win some tough games, there are no weak teams around here as everybody knows.” Japan clouted the Czechs 9-3 in one other morning tussle.

Thursday, April 9, 2009 4

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6 Thursday, April 9 2009


The Wood file Denmark skip Ulrik Schmidt.

Danish skip says team-building program may be lacking


ong the crown skip of Denmark, Ulrik Schmidt worries about the state of curling in Canada. And his concerns obviously have nothing to do with the current Canadian juggernaut tearing up the field at the Ford Worlds in the Coliseum. “The Martins and the Howards, they don’t need the funding, they know exactly what they’re doing,” he was saying on Wednesday. “And they are doing great. They are fantastic. “But I hear a lot of criticism about the Olympics, and claims it is doing nothing for Canadian curling and I think Canada is missing the boat. Canada should get off its horse and do the same as everybody else. “It’s not just a matter of money and bonspiels, it’s a matter of development. I think, in Canada, the junior programs need to be bigger and better. They need to focus on creating the next generation.” A one-time resident of Canada who loves the country and its curling, the 46-year-old Schmidt must have been taking note of recent results at world junior championships. In truth, they haven’t been flattering for Johnny Canuck. Canada lost to Denmark in the most recent junior men’s final last month and to the Yanks of Duluth’s Chris Plys the year previous. Canada’s women have only won two world junior titles in the last 11 years, and none since 2003. “What is not happening as much in Canada as elsewhere, as I see it, is much team-building and working with teams,” mused Schmidt. “I mean, if you’re a good team here you win, if you’re not, too bad. There doesn’t seem to be much consideration for the future. “Canada needs to get on the bandwagon. Curling today basically is the same as any other sport in the world. “Kevin Martin and Glenn Howard, they have built genuine powerhouse teams. But where are the next ones? The declining numbers for curling in Canada are not good. It may sound a little critical coming from a guy in Denmark who loves Canada and Canadian curling, but it seems like a lot of clubs are still tracking along the same path they were tracking when I was living here, and that was a long time ago . . . “. . . Instead of doing something different for the juniors, establishing training systems, working together, they seem to be


static. They should just take a look at what the Chinese and Scots are doing. They have fantastic programs and it’s going to show up at the junior level.” The Danish-born Schmidt encountered Lisa Richardson, his then wife-to-be, when she was a Canadian exchange student visiting Copenhagen. “A lot of people think we met in Canada and it had something to do with curling,” he said with a laugh. “We actually met in Denmark and it had nothing to do with curling.” When Richardson returned to Canada, Schmidt followed, and lived in Cambridge, Ont., for two-and-one-half years.

Hence, his opinions on the game in Canada have been formed with the benefit of some background in the country. “I didn’t play that much in Canada because I had only two weeks of holiday,” he recalled. “And that pretty much limited everything as far as curling goes. We played a lot of social games but I didn’t play here competitively.” When he and his wife married and moved back to Copenhagen in 1991, Schmidt regularly returned across the pond to play in bonspiels.


Thursday, April 9, 2009 7








Thursday, April 9, 2009 8



Ralph Stoeckli SKIP

Born: Uz w Switzerla il, Age: 32. nd. Residen c Family: W e: Ittigen. if daughter e Monica, Fiona (9 m Employm os). e of educa nt: Chief ti Curling on, Swiss Associa ti Won: Go on. ld at 1997 W medal Junior a orld n Euros, sil d 2006 v medal at er World Ju 1996 and 2003 nior Worlds, b medal at ronze World Ju 1998 nior.

Jan Hauser THIRD Born: Glarus, Switzerland. Age: 24. Residence: Zurich. Family: Single. Employment: Landscape architect, Hauser Gaerten. Years curling: 15. First major success: 2001 Swiss junior champion. Won: Bronze medal at 2003 World Juniors.

THE COUNTRY Population: 7,800,450 Area: 41,284 km sq Location: Landlocked country bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Status: Switzerland has a stable, modern, and one of the most capitalist economies in the world. It has a long history of neutrality — it has not been at war since 1815 — and hosts many international organizations, including the Red Cross and the World Trade Organization. However, it is not a member of the European Union. Motto: “One for all, all for one.” Capital City: Berne Principal Products and Industries: The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report currently ranks Switzerland’s economy as the second most competitive in the world. It is home to several large multinational corporations. The largest Swiss companies by revenue are Glencore, Nestlé, Novartis, Hoffmann-La Roche, ABB and Adecco. Also notable are UBS AG, Zurich Financial Services, Credit

Markus Eggler SECOND Born: Thun, Switzerland. Age: 40. Residence: Muenchenstein. Family: Fiancee Colette Muenger. Employment: CEO, print shop, Gantenbein AG. Won: Bronze at 1989 World Junior, 1994 Worlds and 2002 Olympic Games, silver at 2001 Worlds, at 1992 Worlds.

Suisse, Swiss Re, and The Swatch Group. Chemicals, health and pharmaceutical, measuring instruments, musical instruments, real estate, banking and insurance, tourism, and international organizations are important industries in Switzerland. SWISS AT THE WORLDS 2008 — Claudio Pescia, St. Gallen (3-8) 2007 — Ralph Stoeckli, St. Gallen (7-5) 2006 — Ralph Stoeckli, St. Gallen (6-5) 2005 — Andreas Schwaller, Baden (6-5) 2004 — Bernhard Werthemann, Basel (3-6) Last championship: 1992. Markus Eggler, Solothurn. DID YOU KNOW n Switzerland’s first global curling appearance was in the 1964 Scotch Cup world men’s curling championship at Calgary.

Simon Strubin LEAD Born: Zurich. Age: 30. Residence: Erlenbach, Switzerland Family: Wife, Mirjam, daughter Alisha (1). Employment: Real estate consultant, Privera AG. First major success: 1998 Swiss junior champion. Won: Silver medal at 2003 Worlds, bronze medal at 1998 World Juniors.

Thursday, April 9, 2009 9



David Murdoch SKIP

Born: Du mfries. Age: 30. Residenc e: Lochmab en Family: S . ingle. Employm ent: Curle r, UK Spor t. First majo r success: Sil ver - 200 5, 2008 Wo rlds - 2006 W , gold orlds, gold - 20 03, 2007 and 2008 Eu silver - 2 ros, 006 Euros, b ronze 2005 Eur os.

Ewan MacDonald THIRD Born: Inverness. Age: 33 Residence: Inverness. Family: Son Jake (5). Employment: Insurance consultant/partner, Ian MacDonald Insurance Services. Years curling: 23. First major success: 1999 World men’s gold medallist. Won: 1999, 2006 World gold medal, 2002 World bronze medal.

THE COUNTRY Population: 5,224,200 Area: 78,772 km sq Location: Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands. Status: The Kingdom of Scotland was an independent state until May 1, 1707, when it joined in a political union with the Kingdom of England to create a united Kingdom of Great Britain. The continued independence of the Scottish legal system, the Scottish education system, and the Church of Scotland have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and Scottish national identity since the Union. Capital City: Edinburgh Principal Products and Industries: Traditionally, the Scottish economy has been dominated by heavy industry underpinned by the shipbuilding, coal mining and

Peter Smith SECOND Born: Perth. Age: 44 Residence: Fife. Family: Wife Laura, daughter Pollyanna (7), Tory (5), son Monty (1). Employment: Area manager, Yara UK. Won: Gold medals in 1986 World Juniors, 1991 and 2006 Worlds, 1988, 2007 and 2008 Euros; silver medals in 1986, 1990, 1993, 1996 and 2008 Worlds, 1991, 1998 and 2006 Euros, bronze medals in 1985 World Juniors, 1988 Worlds and 1992 Euros.

steel industries. Petroleum related industries associated with the extraction of North Sea oil have also been important employers from the 1970s. SCOTLAND AT THE WORLDS 2008 — David Murdoch, Lockerbie (9-4) 2007 — Warwick Smith, Perth (4-7) 2006 — David Murdoch, Lockerbie (11-3) 2005 — David Murdoch, Lockerbie (9-4) 2004 — Ewan MacDonald, Perth (5-4) Last championship — David Murdoch won in 2006. DID YOU KNOW n The champions of Scotland and Canada played a best-of-five series in 1959 in Scotland which constituted the very first world men’s curling championship.

Euan Byers LEAD Born: Dumfries. Age: 34. Residence: Lockerbie. Family: Wife, Jacqui. Employment: Curler, UK Sport. Years curling: 24 First major success: 1994 Scottish junior champion. Won: Gold medals at 2003, 2007 and 2008 Euros, 2006 Worlds; silver medals at 2005 and 2008 Worlds.

10 Thursday, April 9, 2009

Info-curl quotidien

Par Normand Léger

Morris apprécie le soutien des spectateurs


’équipe du Canada connaît bien du succès cette semaine au Championnat du curling mondial masculin Ford et l’un des artisans de cette réussite est John Morris, âgé de 30 ans et pompier à Edmonton, mais originaire d’Ottawa. Jouons la troisième pierre, Morris a indiqué que la route vers le championnat canadien a été difficile cette saison pour la formation de Kevin Matin dont il fait partie. « Je ne sais pas vraiment pourquoi, mais avant Noël, rien n’allait pour nous. C’est possiblement parce que nous avions gagné le championnat mondial l’an dernier et nous avions eu les essais pour les olympiques. En tout cas, les membres de l’équipe ont eu une bonne session de discussion suivant le congé de décembre et le vent a tourné. » L’équipe a repris son entraînement avec plus de sérieux et plus d’intensité et les résultats ont été positifs, a dit Morris qui ajoute que la formation a atteint son potentiel au bon moment, soit au championnat provincial de l’Alberta. « Nous avons également atteint un sommet au Brier et maintenant, nous poursuivons sur ce momentum. Ce qui est intéressant est que nous pratiquons également d’autres sports de compétition et cet esprit de combativité et athlétique est transféré au curling. Nous jouons fort tout le temps sans lâcher ou abandonner. » Morris souligne que les membres de l’équipe sont unanimes au fait qu’ils ont le même objectif, remporter le championnat mondial qui est une source de motivation pour jouer au sommet de leur forme. Il ajoute que les joueurs préfèrent de

l’action sur la glace et qu’ils sont fiers de porter le drapeau et de représenter la Canada sur la scène mondiale. « C’est un bon feeling de représenter ton pays et de porter la feuille d’érable dans le dos. C’est une expérience incroyable et j’ai la chance de rencontrer plusieurs personnes. Quand nous sommes sur la glace, nous sommes bien compétitif, mais à l’extérieur, nous sommes des amis. C’est mon 4e championnat mondial et une expérience unique. Je sais que nous avons eu des parties assez faciles cette semaine, mais plusieurs de ces équipes veulent se rendre aux olympiques et la ronde des finales pourrait nous donner un portrait bien différent. C’est un bon spectacle pour la télévision et les gens présents au Colisée. Je suis heureux du soutien des spectateurs au Colisée et cela nous aide beaucoup lors des matchs. Nous l’apprécions vraiment. » Le Canada a remporté ses neuf premières rencontres du tournoi et seulement une seule s’est rendue aux 10 manches. En bref … le prochain championnat mondial sera à Cortina, Italie, du 3 au 11 avril… les joueurs ont plusieurs manies; les membres de l’équipe du Japon aiment manger de la Pizza Papa John’s avec du sushi et regarder des dvd dans leur voiture qui les conduit au Colisée… ceux des États-Unis aiment de la musique Rap forte… les Écossais veulent partir exactement une heure et dix minutes avant leur match … les Chinois aiment manger au Boston Pizza et le homard… le Old Triangle semble être le lieu de rendez-vous en John Morris est lʼun des piliers de lʼéquipe canadienne cette semaine. soirée.

Moncton à l’avant plan du WCTV sur la planète

Une vue de lʼintérieur du centre de contrôle de la WCTV.

La Ville de Moncton est à l’avant plan dans plusieurs pays du monde cette semaine alors que la Fédération internationale de curling a mandaté sa filiale de la World Curling Television (WCTV) à diffuser sur le continent européen, aux États-Unis et en Chine les matches du Championnat mondial de curling masculin Ford à Moncton. La fédération a formé sa propre compagnie afin d’assurer une diffusion de qualité du curling, un sport qui n’est pas bien connu partout au monde, mais qui démontre quand

même une progression intéressante depuis son adhésion aux Jeux olympiques. L’équipe de direction à Moncton est dirigée par Joanna Kelly, une écossaise qui habite maintenant à Lyon, en France. Elle est appuyée de Sandra Crestani et par Bruce McConnell, de Winnipeg, à la technique. Il y a une équipe de 30 personnes qui assure entre 12 et 18 heures de télédiffusion par jour avec huit caméras, un studio mobile de contrôle et des milliers de pieds de câble qui relient tous les aspects

techniques nécessaires. « Nous avons été très bien accueillis à Moncton, a dit Joanna Kelly. Les gens du Colisée ont offert leur pleine collaboration et nous avons embauché quelques personnes locales pour nous aider avec la technique. Notre dernière émission sera dimanche avec la finale du championnat et notre prochaine production sera en décembre avec le championnat de l’Europe à Aberdeen, en Écosse. »


Thursday, April 9, 2009 11

OLYMPIC FIELD SET                                                              

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(The Eye Opener) Danish curlers celebrated with high-fives and fists-in-the-air Wednesday nightat the Coliseum following a 5-4 Ford Worlds victory over Andy Kapp of Germany. The win clinched a berth in the starting gate for the 2010 Winter Olympics at Vancouver in February and, coupled with Finlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eighth loss in ninth starts â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 6-5 to John Shuster of the U.S. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; locked in the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s starting lineup for Vancouver. Heading into this championship, Sweden and Australia were carrying qualifying points but were idle. Sweden remains in the field

while Australia will be eliminated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t confirm this,â&#x20AC;? said World Curling Federation director of competitions Keith Wendorf, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but a cursory glance at the standings leads me to believe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably correct.â&#x20AC;? Danish skip Ulrich Schmidt was less skeptical. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in, no doubt about it,â&#x20AC;? he said following his fifth win of the week. The Olympic lineup: Canada, Germany, U.S.A., Great Britain (Scotland), France, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, China, Denmark. Final points will be announced at the conclusion of the world championship.


have helped everywhere, more or less. I think it brings curling closer to being recognized as a legitimate sport. I mean, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more going into it now, with the physical training and mental coaching and all the rest of it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Chinese are working full-time and, as annoying as it is for some of us, I think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how it should go as a sport. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good situation for the sport. The exposure is good. The best should be professional.â&#x20AC;? The Danes are here with a sports psychologist in tow and are aided and abetted by the use of physical training and physiotherapy centres. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where we are failing,â&#x20AC;? said Schmidt, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is we need to go out and play a lot of â&#x20AC;&#x2122;spiels. And we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really have the funding or the time for a lot of that. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get funding for a few â&#x20AC;&#x2122;spiels before the Olympics, but overall funding wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be huge. The general issue in Denmark is that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funding for sports but not a lot. So every sport gets a little bit rather than saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;OK, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s focus on these, say, seven sports and curling is one of them where we actually have a chance, and then really pour something into itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you put a little bit here and a little bit there the results also are a little bit here and a little bit there. To get good results you must have a very talented team or your own money and time. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not the result of a Danish curling program. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not that strong.â&#x20AC;? So how would he go about strengthening the program? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Results,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the only way. But you get results from funding. So . . . itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a vicious circle . . .â&#x20AC;?

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He skipped Denmark in the 1984 World Juniors. Since returning to his native land, he has played in eight Worlds and 11 Euros. Folllowing the 2002 Olympics at Salt Lake, he dropped out for a time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a matter of funding, but mainly prioritizing time differently,â&#x20AC;? he explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have a family, two small children, at home. But I sort of got dragged back into this because the guys (three members of the longstanding Johnny Frederiksen team) asked if I could coach them last year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Then a lot of things happened with the team, we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite get the result (4-7) last year at the Worlds, so we thought we would join forces and see what we could do together to try to grab an Olympic spot.â&#x20AC;? Now the bug is biting again. Big time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take that much time back on the ice, actually,â&#x20AC;? he said with a chuckle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll stick with this as a team through the Olympics, for sure, and I think we will clinch a spot this week. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be exciting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All through my curling days we have talked about a lot of long-term goals with our teams but, in the end, we only take one year at a time because you never know . . . right?â&#x20AC;? Schmidt, who directs teehead traffic but throws third stones, says the Olympics have been a distinct boon to curling in his country. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve helped in a lot of European countries, for sure,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And I believe they

WCTV Suite de la page 10 La FĂŠdĂŠration sait que la route est longue afin de bien vendre le curling sur la terre et câ&#x20AC;&#x2122;est en planifions bien son produit et en diffusant les images de qualitĂŠ quâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;elle arrivera Ă  mieux faire connaĂŽtre ce sport dans les autres pays. Les Jeux olympiques de Vancouver en 2010 vont ĂŠgalement offrir un autre tremplin pour mieux faire connaĂŽtre le curling Ă  la planète. Kelly souligne que la victoire de la Chine

au championnat mondial fĂŠminin la semaine dernière a certainement donnĂŠ un coup de pouce Ă  ce sport dans ce pays et la prĂŠsence de lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ĂŠquipe masculine cette semaine Ă  Moncton dĂŠmontre le sĂŠrieux de ce pays pour dĂŠvelopper ce sport. Les spectateurs au ColisĂŠe sont habituĂŠs Ă  voir les gens avec des manteaux avec WCTV. Ils sont bien visibles lors de matchs afin dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;assurer la meilleure couverture possible pour les auditeurs Ă  travers le monde. La WCTV offre ĂŠgalement une image sur le Web Ă  travers lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Internet et ce domaine offre la possibilitĂŠ de montrer les quatre parties en mĂŞme temps au lieu de seulement une avec des mises Ă  jour Ă  la tĂŠlĂŠvision.

Thursday, April 9, 2009 12

from the Information Booth, and enter the draw to win a wonderful prize. The draw will be made during the page playoff game (draw 18) on Friday evening, April 10.

Draw to the Button Competition Participating curling clubs in the Maritimes have held competitions to determine their representative at the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Draw to the Button Competition. Qualifying round on Friday, April 10th at 1 p.m. at Curling Beausejour Inc. The finalists will compete during the fifth-end break at Friday nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 7:30 p.m. playoff game. Autograph Session â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Proudly sponsored by Hansen Signs Former world champions and the 12 participating teams will be available for autographs in The Patch each day until Thursday, April 9. On Saturday, April 11th, 10 of the 12 teams will be on hand. Bring your cameras for a lasting memento. Schedule: Saturday, April 11 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 2-3 p.m. All participating teams except the semi finalists

Up Close and Personal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Proudly sponsored by InColor, Aliant and Coca-Cola Come and meet teams, media and international personalities in the relaxed setting of the Keithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Patch. Participate in live, informative interview with former world champions, Team Canada, TSN media and other special guests. Asking questions of these guests involves audience participation, so join us for what promises to be an informative and fun event. Today, 6-7 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 2010 Vancouver Olympics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Neil Houston Sport Manager, Curling; 2006 Olympic Gold Medallist â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Russ Howard Friday 6-7 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; TSN commentators

Pin Trading and Map of the World Pin Draw â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Proudly sponsored by Lounsbury Group Visit the Pin Trader booths in the Patch. Show us where youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re from! Find the world map located in the Keithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Patch and stick a pin on your home town, get an entry

KEITHâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PATCH The Keithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Patch is open to the public, but a ticket or a Patch promotional ticket (green) is required. Curling tickets can be purchased from the Coliseum box office up until closing time at 9 p.m.


















Thursday, April 9, 2009 13

STANDINGS Canada (Martin) Norway (Ulsrud) Scotland (Murdoch) USA (Shuster) Denmark (Schmidt) Germany (Kapp) SUI (Stoeckli) France (Dufour) China (Wang) Japan (Morozumi) Czech Rep. (Snitil) Finland (Kiiskinen)

W 9 6 6 5 5 5 5 4 3 3 2 1

L 0 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 6 6 7 8


LINESCORES WEDNESDAY DRAW 12 10 a.m. Czech Rep. (Snitil) 001 020 xxx x — 3 Japan (Morozumi) 210 204 xxx x — 9 S P % S P % CZE 48 128 67 JPN 48 159 83 Norway (Ulsrud) 304 030 xxx x — 10 France (Dufour) 010 201 xxx x — 4 S P % S P % NOR 48 168 88 SCO 48 130 68 Finland (Kiiskinen) 020 200 xxx x — 4 Canada (Martin) 403 041 xxx x — 12 S P % S P % FIN 48 128 67 CAN 48 175 91 Denmark (Schmidt) China (Wang) S P DEN 87 285

010 002 010 20 — 6 102 010 002 01 — 7 % S P % 82 CHN 88 299 85

DRAW 13 3 p.m. China (Wang) 101 010 102 0 — 6 Germany (Kapp) 010 102 030 1 — 8 S P % S P % CHN 80 263 82 GER 80 254 79 Canada (Martin) 020 402 001 x — 9 USA (Shuster) 201 010 020 x — 6 S P % S P % CAN 76 263 87 USA 78 249 80

France (Dufour) Scotland (Murdoch) S P FRA 56 155

010 000 0xx x — 1 200 400 3xx x — 9 % S P % 69 SCO 56 181 81

Japan (Morozumi) 001 100 110 x — 4 SUI (Stoeckli) 020 022 001 x — 7 S P % S P % JPN 79 252 80 SUI 77 233 76

DRAW 14 7:30 p.m. Scotland (Murdoch) Norway (Ulsrud) S P SCO 88 289

010 100 201 01 — 6 101 000 020 10 — 5 % S P % 82 NOR 88 280 80

Finlandʼs Teemu Salo (left) and Jari Roovinen keep the rock sliding. SUI (Stoeckli) 101 000 201 x — 5 Czech Rep. (Snitil) 000 010 010 x — 2 S P % S P % SUI 77 249 81 CZE 78 235 75 Germany (Kapp) Denmark (Schmidt) S P GER 80 260

000 020 020 0 — 4 110 001 100 1 — 5 % S P % 81 DEN 79 280 89

USA (Shuster) 001 110 102 0 — 6 Finland (Kiiskinen) 210 000 010 1 — 5 S P % S P % USA 80 238 74 FIN 80 225 70









87 87 89 89 88

80 88 84 81 83

65 73 74 83 74

70 70 76 79 74

77 72 79 84 78

79 80 79 87 81

69 80 78 84 78

GER CHN 76 79 81 87 80

79 75 81 85 79




69 77 76 81 76

79 76 83 79 78

72 75 78 83 77

Draw 15 10 a.m. A — DEN vs. CAN B — FIN vs. CHN C — NOR vs. JPN D — CZE vs. FRA Draw 16 3 p.m. A — SUI vs. FRA B — SCO vs. DEN C — USA vs. CZE D — GER vs. NOR Draw 17 7: 30 p.m. A — FRA vs. USA B — JPN vs. GER C — CHN vs. SUI D — CAN vs. SCO FRIDAY TIEBREAKERS (If necessary) One draw, 10 a.m. Two draws, 3 p.m. Three draws, 7:30 p.m. PAGE 1/2 PLAYOFF 7:30 p.m. SATURDAY PAGE 3/4 PLAYOFF 10 a.m. SEMI-FINAL 4 p.m. SUNDAY BRONZE MEDAL 1 p.m. FINAL 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 9, 2009 14

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Thursday, April 9, 2009 15

Labonte Curse part of curlingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lore By DAVE KOMOSKY Eye Opener Associate Editor


oncton has a significant place in global curling lore. For one thing, it is the home of the Moncton Rule, which evolved into the Free Guard Zone, now part of international and Olympic rules. But Moncton also has played a significant role in the story of the Curse of Labonte, one of the most colourful chapters in international curling. For nearly a decade, a black magic spell known as the Curse of Labonte bedevilled Canadian teams at the world menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curling championship. It was the strangest thing. Canada, which had ruled world menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curling since the game turned serious at the international level, suddenly turned feeble. No longer could the true north strong and free win the big one. The Labonte Curse had taken a diabolical hold on Canadian curling teams for the seven


years following 1972. Then just at its darkest, the clouds lifted. Rick Folkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nutana team out of Saskatoon, Sask., won the world champiionship in 1980 at Moncton, breaking a losing spell which had poked huge holes in Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation as the strongest curlLABONTE ing nation. The curse, supposedly launched after the United States team skipped by Bob Labonte lost the 1972 final to Orest Meleschuk of Canada in GarmischPartenkirchen, finally had been laid to rest. The thing is, the curse was never really a curse at all. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a bunch of nonsense,â&#x20AC;? says Labonte from his North Dakota digs in Minor, N.D. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It makes for a good story, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all it was. A good story.â&#x20AC;?

The story goes something like this. Labonte and his team were huge underdogs in 1972 but appeared to have pulled off the impossible by beating Meleschuk in the Silver Broom final. The Winnipeg skip needed a delicate hit-and-stay in the 10th end to score two and force an extra end. His shooter hit the opposing stone but appeared to roll too far to score two. Sensing victory, Labonte began to kick up his heels in a jig right then and there â&#x20AC;&#x201D; on the ice, in the house. But he slipped and kicked a Canadian stone before anyone had a chance to measure. Youthful exhuberance had turned into disaster. After much chin-scratching, officials awarded Meleschuk two and the Canada proceeded to steal the duke in the extra end. Later, claiming the gods had conspired against him, Labonte was supposed to have summoned the dark forces against Canada. And they did . . . for seven long years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crazy, of course,â&#x20AC;? Labonte says today. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Canada was the most dominant curling nation. Do you think for one minute Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d believe Canada

wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t win again? And very soon. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not that stupid.â&#x20AC;? So if Labonte wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t responsible for the curse, then who was? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Maybe it was Jack Matheson,â&#x20AC;? Labonte suggests. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It sounds like something he would conjure up. Jack was a pretty good curling writer.â&#x20AC;? Matheson, who covered the Silver Broom final for the now defunct Winnipeg Tribune, laughed when told of Labonteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s suspicions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He thinks it was me? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m flattered,â&#x20AC;? Matheson says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But no, it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t me. I remember at the time he (Labonte) said something to the effect, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I hope the b******s never win againâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, meaning the Meleschuk team, but it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t an outright curse on anybody.â&#x20AC;? The story of the curse was hatched soon after, probably where many good curling stories originate â&#x20AC;&#x201D; on the media bench. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It came up a few years later after Canada had lost a few,â&#x20AC;? Matheson recalls. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It made for good copy and we worked it for several years.â&#x20AC;? Folkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1980 victory in Moncton, however, put the story to rest â&#x20AC;&#x201D; once and for all.



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Thursday, April 9, 2009 16


The Eye Opener Day 6 Edition