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Issue Wednesday, March 7, 11,2009 2009 Issue#5, #1, Saturday, March


Hereʼs something you donʼt see every day — an opposing skip sweeping your rock. But when that skip is your brother from Ontario, it figures. Glenn Howard sweeps brother Russʼs rock at the end of their family rockfest Tuesday. Ontario won, 7-2, over New Brunswick.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 2

Alberta skip Kevin Martin follows his rock as sweepers Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert put their backs into their work.

“Games like this don’t do much for you in terms of what’s coming up.” — Alberta skip Kevin Martin after two one-sided wins Tuesday

It’s a two-team runaway Martin, Howard rewriting a familiar script at ʼdome By LARRY WOOD Tankard Times Editor


hat is it about the Saddledome, the Brier and a two-team runaway? A dozen years ago, it was Kevin Martin (Alberta) and Vic Peters (Manitoba) right here in the Pengrowth barn, running neck-and-neck and undefeated until their penultimate-round clash in the preliminary draw. In 2002, it was Randy Ferbey (Alberta) and Johnny Morris (Ontario) at 6-and-1 and at least two games ahead of the field heading into Wednesday. It’s not much different this time around in the first Tim Hortons stonefest to hit the Saddledome ice lanes. Defending champion Martin, who incidentally won that ’97 affair, and Ontario’s Glenn Howard, the 2007 champ, extended their run-

away to seven games on an inexorable colli- terms of what’s coming up,” admitted Martin sion course that will climax during the final of Tuesday’s fare. round of preliminary play on Thursday night. “Games that are over early don’t help. They For the record, Martin lost to Peters help in the standings and because in their ’97 round-robin match, before we’re tired from playing three morntwice beating the Manitoban in the ings in a row. But that game against playoffs. And Ferbey beat Morris Newfoundland on Monday night, three straight in ’02. now the kind that gets you tenderized So what’s it all about this time, for later in the week.” Alfie? Mused Howard: Alberta’s Martin, with his team of “We’re just aiming for that OneSEE Johnny Mo, Marc Kennedy and Ben Two playoff and it’d be great if we SCORES, Hebert, were on cruise control at the got to the final against Kevin, that Page 12 ’dome on Tuesday, slamming Sean would mean a lot, but we still have Geall of British Columbia 8-2 and two or three toughies before that.” Rod MacDonald of Spud Island 11-4. Only one other team remained On other sheets, Ontario’s Howard was within striking distance of the leaders handing brother Russ of New Brunswick a 7- Tuesday. Brad Gushue’s Newfoundlanders, 2 lashing and then disposing of two-time whose only losses were last-end hiccups to champion Jeff Stoughton of Winnipeg 8-5. both Alberta and Ontario, doubled up on “Games like this don’t do much for you in Quebec 8-4 and then took out Mark Dacey’s

reeling Nova Scotians 9-6. “Our focus now has to be third place and hammer,” admitted Gushue on Tuesday night. “It’s probably asking a little too much for Alberta and Ontario to lose three apiece. But we still have some work to do. Jeff (Stoughton) is working back there and so is Russ (Howard). And we end up playing both of them, I think, three of the last four.” Gushue thought his last-shift high-scorer with Dacey “probably was our worst game of the week”. “We’re not far off but we haven’t all put it all together yet,” he said. Stoughton and Russ Howard finished at 4and-3. B.C. and Quebec were 3-and-4 and likely on the bubble as far as playoff life is concerned.


3 Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Helping hands shape successful Brier By MARK STOWBRIDGE Special to The Tankard Times


usan Etheridge is donating her time to the sport she loves. She has the time to share, so here she is in the Pengrowth Saddledome this week volunteering to sell programs. Asked why, she simply states: “I love the Brier.� Margaret McFeeters agrees. She’s been around curling most of her life and just wants to be part of a larger spectacle. The Brier affords her that opportunity. She’s partnered with Etheridge selling programs. They both prowl the upper concourse of the arena. There isn’t much opportunity to be idle. The programs appear to be a hot commodity among the fans. Selling programs might not be the most high-profile activity, but, says McFeeters, “it doesn’t matter — as long as I’m here.�

Etheridge and McFeeters are two of the 905 volunteers at this year’s event. Calgarians have come out in droves to participate wherever they can. Russ Tait is a volunteer driver. He chauffeurs VIPs and curlers’ families. A curling enthusiast for many years, he decided that he needed to be involved. Like Etheridge and McFeeters, he is a first-time volunteer. “A national championship in the city?� he asks. “Why not get involved?� Wendy Schiewe is the Brier’s volunteer and special events co-ordinator. She says that getting volunteers never has been a problem for Calgary Briers. “Curlers have a great time curling – they flock to volunteer,� she says.



Susan Etheridge loves the Brier so much she volunteers her time to the event.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 4

Volunteers From Page 3 The deep pool of volunteers is a fortunate blessing for the Brier, she says. The logistics of organizing and the number of tasks that need to be completed is extensive. The avid support from the community is absolutely necessary for the success of the event. “The Brier Patch,� she says of the ancillary pub and entertainment area adjacent to the arena at every Brier “requires 200 volunteers alone.� When it’s all set up, the Patch is the largest bar in the world, with up to 6,000 people occupying the upper and lower levels. Now known as the Keith’s Patch, after a recent sponsorship change, it is open from 10 a.m. well into the right through to the wee hours. All hands must be on deck to keep the beer flowing and the mugs clean. Juggling all these tasks and schedules can be difficult, Schiewe admits. The wide range of ages, skill sets, time allotments and tastes is daunting for any organizer. Some time ago, Schiewe says, the Brier organizing committee discovered a computer program designed to ease the burden. It’s

called Vicnet and, she says, it makes scheduling “like bread and butter — it’s so simple.� Vicnet may make routine scheduling easier to deal with but, she says, most of the trouble comes from the unexpected or awkward situations that arise. Most of the time, “it’s the little fires you put out.� Schiewe recalls one such conflagration at the 1997 Brier. The sponsoring Labatt people refused to allow its beer to flow through tubes through which Molson’s products had moved. And Molsons have the normal beer rights at the Saddledome. Hence the tubes had to be replaced. Coke had the same reaction to Pepsi, which at the time had a corner on soft drinks at the Saddledome. It was major problem in 1997 but, says Schiewe, a process was perfected in 2002. “They just flush the lines now,� she says, with relief in her voice. Dousing little fires could be a motto for the volunteer corps at the Brier. Schiewe says that, over the year, volunteers are always at the ready to lend a hand when it’s needed. “Her name was Sue,� Schiewe recalls. Sue was a volunteer who came to Schiewe’s aid when a mountain of merchandise arrived that required sorting and distribution. She dug in to help and the issue was quickly resolved.

Schiewe recalls a number of volunteers who were residing in Calgary’s outlying area who couldn’t find transportation to the Saddledome. An e-mail went out asking for assistance. “Every one of those people got picked up,� she says, grinning. The turnout of willing workers makes her job that much easier. The popularity of curling across the country, she says, makes for a loyal and keen volunteer group. The lure of the Brier connects to some central aspects of Canadian identity, Schiewe says. The rich tradition and its connection to rural and urban cultures create a common interest and a shared history. But all of this volunteer support comes at a price, literally. Volunteers at the Brier pay $100 in order to participate, something which Schiewe admits is strange, but most accept it. “Only in golf and curling do volunteers pay,� she says with a knowing chuckle. The c-note gets you a uniform and the full access to the event, in addition to all the Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts you can consume. Many of the volunteers take it in stride, including Tait, McFeeters and Etheridge. “I got two really nice shirts and this hat,� says Etheridge, which she jokes, doesn’t fit.


Russ Tait is a volunteer driver. But it’s “something no one else has�. Pride extends itself beyond simply having so unique. She says, at the heart of it, it’s “knowing I’ve done a civic duty. Hey, it makes you feel good�. Considering the wide number of white hats floating in the sea of faces, smiling and asking, “can I help you?� it’s seems a lot of other people get a kick out of civic duty, too.




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Wednesday, March 11, 2009 5

                                          Alberta third John Morris, a.k.a. Johnny Mo, is a firefighter in Chestermere when heĘźs not curling, but Tuesday he had to deal with a few ĘťflamesĘź in the crowd where his personal cheering section applauded all his shots.

ST[XeTaX]V CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the 2009 ‘Imagine a Better House’ Community Curling Club Improvement Progra

These curling clubs no longer have to imagine a better house, they earned one by sharing their stories with Monsanto. Over the past two years, hundreds of rural community clubs have shared their stories of how they would improve their local curling club. After a difďŹ cult judging process, Monsanto has provided $160,000 cash awards to 50 different rural community clubs across Western Canada in these two years. Join us in congratulating the 2009 Improvement Program winners for the strength of their submission and the strength of their community spirit. $5,000 Winners: Mallaig Curling Club – Mallaig, Alberta; Medstead Curling Club – Glaslyn, Saskatchewan; Strasbourg Curling Club – Strasbourg, Saskatchewan; Theodore Curling Club – Theodore, Saskatchewan

$2,000 Winners: 25 curling clubs across Western Canada. Visit for the complete list of winners. 2009 Monsanto Canada Inc.

GRAND PRIZE $10,000.00 Winner: Holland Curling Club, Holland, Manitoba



Wednesday, March 11, 2009 6

Brother, can you spare a broom? By LARRY WOOD Tankard Times Editor


ow often does the kid curler see the old man curler bust a broom on the ice in fury? But that’s the kind of morning it was Tuesday at the Saddledome in the 80th Brier’s version of the Howard family rockfest. A total of 9,856 paying customers showed up for the occasion. It was Pops Russ, the 53-year-old Olympic gold-medal winner, skipping New Brunswick with 24-year-old son Steven playing lead versus 46-year-old Uncle Glenn and his Ontario juggernaut. It was the first time brothers have squared off on a Brier teehead since 1942 when Gordon Campbell of Hamilton took on brother Donald of Vancouver. Historians recall there was no broom-tossing or foot-stomping during that fracas. But you couldn’t blame Russ the older for getting a little frustrated this morning. Glenn, his former vice-skip in Brier wins

circa 1987 and 1993, cracked an opening three-ender and stole another triple in the fifth to assume a 7-1 advantage. When Russ missed an “almost unmissable” last rock of the fifth end, his stone slithering through a narrow port between enemy bricks and on into oblivion, smoke was escaping his ears and his facial colouring was assuming a deep claret. “I didn't think it was possible to go through that hole,” said Russ. That was some time after he’d whacked his brush on the adjacent carpet and split it into three chunks. Older brother was hot. He’d wanted to give younger brother a much better argument. But it was no to be this morning. Just the same, Glenn Howard was in no hurry to return to the skipping end for the next exchange with his older brother in a state bordering on apoplexy. Clearly embarrassed later, Russ quipped: “It beat swearing on national TV. I didn't do it so people would enjoy it. I shouldn't have done it.”

Hey, it was natural. Even Alberta’s Kevin Martin picked up on that. “An athlete has to release it,” he said. “You're in a fish bowl. That's why hockey players break their sticks over the net after a goal sometimes. It shows you that Russ, even at his age, still wants to win as bad as anybody.” Later, the game’s Old Yeller allowed as how the morning affair was “a fun moment”. “It was an honour just to play Glenn,” he added. ”I’m pretty proud of his career, obviously. It really wasn’t about Russ against Glenn. There are eight curlers out there. It had to do with three other guys who won, too.” The game ended 7-2 after eight ends. And it wound up after Russ tossed the last one to a broom held by brother Glenn who then joined the New Brunswick sweepers pulling the stone to the rings. “That was a cool moment,” said Russ. “But he (Glenn) should have broomed me another inch or so. He never was any good at that.”

Brothers Russ (rear) and Glenn Howard share a laugh Tuesday.


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Wednesday, March 11, 2009 8


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The Manitobans experienced horrendous starts in both their assignments and lost both — 5-4 to the elder Howard and 8-5 to the younger Howard. In the afternoon, Stoughton missed two shots in a bid to force an extra end with a deuce. In the evening, the ’Tobans were chasing after falling behind 6-1 at the half. “The first five ends in both games were brutal,� Stoughton admitted later. “They weren’t pretty to watch. We missed guards, draws, it was pretty Mickey Mouse. That’s not the way to win games and we were lucky to be in them. “We played a good last five tonight but we knew we’d get some easy ones out there because they were just peeling. But we didn’t give up. We have to take something from that. We need to put together a game against Northern Ontario in the morning and then hopefully show up tomorrow night against Alberta.� That’s tonight’s feature. Newfoundland and New Brunswick, involving 2006 Olympic gold teammates, square off this afternoon. “We have to catch either Gushue or these guys so this was our only chance,� said Russ Howard after surprisingly blitzing Manitoba.

“We were all over Manitoba, which is unusual, but I missed the big end and then gave up a really stupid deuce so I needed something for a lift and those doubles in the seventh and eighth helped.� British Columbia bounced back from its morning thrashing to double the Spud Islanders 6-3 on the late shift. Kevin Koe’s Polars outlasted Mike Jakubo’s Northern Ontario outfit 7-4 in another late tilt. Quebec also rebounded to clobber Nova Scotia 12-5 in the afternoon. “I still think 7-and-4 will make a tiebreaker,� assessed Jean-Michel Menard, the Quebec skip. “Can we run the table? We get Glenn (Howard) next up. I’ll be able to tell you more after that. I haven’t beat him since the 2006 Brier final. I think we’re due to beat him but we’ll need our A-plus-plus-plus game if we want to do so. “We were still asleep in bed when Brad and the boys started throwing rocks this morning. This afternoon we got a few breaks from Mark (Dacey). It’s still not perfect. Hopefully this win will get us going. It’s been a bit discouraging. Our opponents have really been shaking us up with real pistols every time we think we have it going.� Elsewhere, Saskatchewan’s Joel Jordison scored three in the last end to squeeze the Polars 8-7 in the afternoon for the Green Machine’s second win of the piece. Saskatchewan was Jakubo’s initial victim in the morning, by a 7-5 count.


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9 Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Wood file



e’s a good-old-boy baseball player who became one of the most recognizable curling coaches on the planet. You think Kevin Martin has been around the Alberta curling scene a long time? Well, this guy has been around longer. Jules (call me Julie) Owchar has been Martin’s mentor from the beginning . . . from the day in 1985 when this blond kid from rural Lougheed walked into Owchar’s office at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and announced he wanted play on the curling team. “We put this junior team together,” Julie is recalling. “It lost its first game in the city playdowns, and then just kept going and went all the way to win Alberta, Canada and then, the next year, lost the last game in the Worlds. It was quite a rush.” And Julie has been coaching various incarnations of Kevin Martin-skipped units ever since. “You know what?” Julie poses the question. “People wonder why Kevin is so good at what he does. The guy is just a super athlete. Red Deer wanted him for their junior hockey team. He could have made the basketball team or the bowling team at NAIT. You don’t want to play pool against the guy. And he played golf for me for two years. That’s not just average recreation. The guy is a natural athlete. I’d say he’s one of the best around. “But he decided it would be curling. We sort of hit it off. He was into basics and he wanted to be perfect. And I was always a basics coach, I always wanted to see the basics covered. I always wanted to see the kids developed to their potential. “One year in the northern Alberta men’s playdowns there were 24 of my kids that I’d coached. And one year in the eight-team provincials I had 11 out of 32 curlers. That’s all a coach needs. That’s the purpose. Make ’em good. I had quite a run with a lot of those teams.” Julie became a coach while he was a phys-ed teacher in Lac

Larry WOOD

Alberta coach Jules Owchar (right) has been Kevin Martinʼs mentor right from the beginning. can take the best. “These guys work so hard, it’s amazing,” Julie nods toward the Alberta four in the current Brier at the Saddledome. “Oh, they’ll have little problems in a tournament. Like Kevin goes into a ’spiel and he says, ‘holy man, I have to play all out-turns, my in-turn’s gone sour. So we go out and practise and do the drills and throw and throw until he says, ‘hey, I got it now’. “It’s all practice and we go through all the drills. And then, — Alberta coach Jules Owchar on Kevin Martin in a game, when one guy goes by that centre rock by a halfLa Biche. He was lured down to Edmonton to coach basketinch and the next guy goes by the same rock by two inches, ball at NAIT in 1976. It wasn’t his first choice. The first he hears about it. And if you miss the button or go behind love then was baseball. During the Sixties, he’d commute to the teeline, they can’t accept that. the city (338 klicks, round-trip) two or three times a week to “So we just keep trying to improve. And you have to keep play for the Edmonton Tigers of the old Alberta Major improving. At one time, you can remember when somebody Baseball League. curled 90 per cent in a game it was really something. Last “Baseball then was like curling now,” he says. “We’d pracyear we averaged 90 in the Brier and 90 in the Worlds and had tise four or five times and every weekend we’d play. That was to really go hard to win. So that’s how much the game has my passion. But I spent five years (with the hoops) and then improved. You have to go 90-plus all the time.” the curling opened up. I’ve been doing that at NAIT ever But the game isn’t all deadly intent and no good times. since. “We kid around a lot,” says Julie. “Benny always teases “The first year I was really lucky because I wound up with Marc. He says, ‘I have to put the guard, then draw the pin, Robb King and his sister Cathy was the there but she didn’t play and all you have to do is throw takeouts. If we switched posibecause the juniors conflicted with college. But I got a chance to tions I’d be like you, shooting 95 all the time.’ They’re at see what the best at that time looked like. A lot of coaches never each other all the time. have that chance. A kid looks good, they leave it at that. But they don’t realize how far you can take the best ones.” PLEASE SEE WOOD P16 Martin, The Old Bear, is a prime example of how far you

“The guy is a natural athlete. I’d say he’s one of the best around.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10


Joel Jordison


AGE: 32 RESIDEN CE: Moo se Jaw. PARTNE R: Malko, d Pam au Madi (7), ghters Ta EMPLOY iha (5). MENT: Yara Bell e Plaine , fertilizer plant operator HE IS: D edicated , calm, re sourceful. LOVES C UR BECAUS LING E: Of the grea t pe ple involv oed in the gam e.

Scott Bitz THIRD NICKNAME: Bitzy, Felix AGE: 35 RESIDENCE: Regina PARTNER: Girlfriend Shyla Robertson EMPLOYMENT: Chiropractor at Airport Health Professionals in Regina and at Chiropractic Health Clinic in Wynyard. HE IS: Dedicated, modest, sincere. LOVES CURLING BECAUSE: The outstanding people that you meet.

THE PROVINCE Population: 1,015,800 Area: 651,036 km sq Joined Confederation: 1905 Moto: “From many peoples strength” Capital City: Regina Laguages Spoken: 92.8% English, 1% French, 6.2% other Principal Products: Wheat, beef cattle, food products, machinery, petroleum SASKATCHEWAN AT THE BRIER Last five years: 2008 — Pat Simmons, Davidson (9-4) 2007 — Pat Simmons, Davidson (7-4) 2006 — Pat Simmons, Davidson (5-6) 2005 — Pat Simmons, Davidson (6-5) 2004 — Bruce Korte, Saskatoon (5-6) Last championship — Rick Folk, Saskatoon, 1980 Canadian titles — 7: Garnet Campbell 1955, Ernie Richardson 1959-60-62-63,

Aryn Schmidt SECOND NICKNAME: Schmidty, Baron AGE: 32 RESIDENCE: Regina PARTNER: Girlfriend Kassandra Mohr. EMPLOYMENT: Dentist, City View Dental Group HE IS: Just one — easy-going LOVES CURLING BECAUSE: I enjoy the competition and spending time with my buddies.

Harvey Mazinke 1973, Rick Folk 1980. World titles — 5: Ernie Richardson, 1959-60-62-63; Rick Folk 1980. DID YOU KNOW. . . I Saskatchewan produces over 54 per cent of the wheat grown in Canada.

Dean Hicke LEAD NICKNAME: Hick AGE: 41 RESIDENCE: Regina PARTNER: Wife Karen, dog Maddie (10) EMPLOYMENT: SOFTWARE ANALYST: ISM Canada HE IS: Fun, dedicated, competitive LOVES CURLING BECAUSE: Of the Friends you make and the people you meet

11 Wednesday, March 11, 2009



Jamie Koe SK

NICKNA IP M AGE: 31 E: JK RESIDEN CE Yellowkn : ife FAMILY : Wife C hris, son Nikla as (3), daughte r Peyton (9 mos) EMPLOY ME Senior a NT: nalyst, GNWT HE IS: G entl loveable e, ,w LOVES C ild UR BECAUS LING E: Two words — “The Patch”

Jon Solberg THIRD NICKNAME: Salty AGE: 37 RESIDENCE: Whitehorse PARTNER: Wife Tanya Solberg EMPLOYMENT: Manager, Whitehorse Curling Club HE IS: Dedicated, compassionate, active LOVES CURLING BECAUSE: The skill and challenge of the sport CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Winning Territorials to represent the North at 2009 Brier

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES/YUKON/NUNAVUT Population:100,000 (est.) Area: 3,785,58 sq km Joined Confederation: Yukon 1898, N.W.T. 1870, Nunavut 1999 Capital cities: Yellowknife (N.W.T), Whitehorse (Yukon) Iqaluit (Nunavut) Languages Spoken: English, Aboriginal, Inuit. Principal Products: Fish, petroleum, zinc, gold TERRITORIES AT THE BRIER Last five years: 2008 — Chad Cowan, Whitehorse (2-9) 2007 — Jamie Koe, Yellowknife (5-6) 2006 — Jamie Koe, Yellowknife (6-5) 2005 — Steve Moss, Yellowknife (0-11) 2004 — Brian Wasnea, Whitehorse (0-11) Last championship — None

Brad Chorostkowski SECOND NICKNAME: Plumber AGE: 35 RESIDENCE: Yellowknife PARTNER: Married to Christina, daughter Kalley (1) EMPLOYMENT: J&R Mechanical, plumber/owner HE IS: Serious, quiet and soft-spoken LOVES CURLING BECAUSE: Just enjoy the sport of curling.

Canadian titles — None World titles — None DID YOU KNOW. . . I Whitehorse has the world’s most northern botanical show gardens. I The famous Yukon River is 2,200 miles (3,520 km) long. You can canoe 2,050 miles from Whitehorse to the Bering Strait.

Martin Gavin LEAD AGE: 42 RESIDENCE: Yellowknife. PARTNER: Wife Joan, son Jimmy (12), daughter Annie (4) EMPLOYMENT: Engineer with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. HE IS: Kayaker, hooker, sociable LOVES CURLING BECAUSE: How else can you sell to your spouse you’re going away six-or-more weekends a year with the boys?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 12

STANDINGS W Alberta (Martin) 7 Ontario (G. Howard) 7 NL (Gushue) 5 Manitoba (Stoughton) 4 N.B. (R. Howard) 4 B.C. (Geall) 3 Quebec (Menard) 3 NWT/Y (Koe) 2 Nova Scotia (Dacey) 2 P.E.I. (MacDonald) 2 Saskatchewan (Jordison) 2 N. Ontario (Jakubo) 1

L 0 0 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 6


LINESCORES MONDAY DRAW 9 8:30 a.m. NL (Gushue) 203 102 0xx x — 8 Quebec (Menard) 020 010 1xx x — 4 S P % S P % NL 56 200 89 QUE. 56 172 77 N.Ontario (Jakubo) Sask. (Jordison) S P N.ONT. 80 253

— 7 010 202 010 1 002 000 201 0 — 5 % S P % 79 SASK. 80 256 80

Ontario (G. Howard) N.B. (R. Howard) S P ONT. 61 222

301 030 00x x — 7 010 000 01x x — 2 % S P % 91 N.B. 64 205 80

B.C. (Geall) 010 100 xxx x — 2 Alberta (Martin) 204 011 xxx x — 8 S P % S P % B.C. 48 146 76 ALTA. 48 182 95

DRAW 10 1 p.m. N.B. (R. Howard) Manitoba (Stoughton) S P N.B. 78 235

102 010 100 x — 5 010 200 001 x — 4 % S P % 75 MAN. 80 246 77

510 302 xxx x — 11 Alberta (Martin) PEI (MacDonald) 002 020 xxx x — 4 S P % S P % ALTA. 48 179 93 PEI 48 142 74 Quebec (Menard) Nova Scotia (Dacey) S P QUE. 64 202

102 105 03x x — 12 030 010 10x x — 5 % S P % 79 N.S. 64 176 69

Sask. (Jordison) 030 010 010 3 — 8 — 7 NWT/Y (Koe) 102 100 201 0 S P % S P % SASK. 80 264 83 NWT/Y 80 256 80

DRAW 11 6 p.m. PEI (MacDonald) B.C. (Geall)

000 010 101 x 010 102 020 x

— —

3 6

Quebec skip Jean-Michel Menard leans to the right to help his rock along. PEI

S P % 77 208 68

S P % 77 267 87


Manitoba (Stoughton) Ontario (G. Howard) S P MAN. 80 259

000 100 202 0 — 5 201 030 010 1 — 8 % S P % 81 ONT. 79 277 88

NWT/Y (Koe) N. Ontario (Jakubo) S P NWT/Y 79 281

020 310 010 x — 7 001 002 001 x — 4 % S P % 89 N. ONT. 79 269 85

Nova Scotia (Dacey) NL (Gushue) S P N.S. 78 256

010 202 010 x — 6 101 020 203 x — 9 % S P % 82 NL 78 269 86


N. Ont.




70 73 74 86 76

73 80 76 88 79

88 87 93 89 89

72 82 75 86 79

Man. Ont. Que. After draw 10 78 79 89 87 79 91 85 87 86 86 88 91 82 89 85




80 83 81 84 82

71 75 78 81 76

73 73 75 84 76

NLNWT/Y 86 83 83 84 84

69 77 79 80 76

Draw 12 8:30 a.m. A — Y/NWT vs. Ont. B — N.S. vs. B.C. C — PEI vs. NL D — Man. vs. N. Ont. Draw 13 1 p.m. A — N. Ont. Vs. Alta. B — NL vs. N.B. C — B.C. vs. Sask. D — Ont. Vs. Que. Draw 14 7:30 p.m. A — Sask. vs. N.S. B — Que. vs. Y/NWT C — Alta. vs. Man. D —N.B. vs. PEI THURSDAY Draw 15 8:30 a.m. A — Man. vs. NL B — PEI vs. N. Ont. C — N.S. vs. Ont. D — Y/NWT vs. B.C. Draw 16 1 p.m. A — Que. vs. PEI B — Sask. vs. Man. C — N.B. vs. Y/NWT D — Alta. vs. N.S. Draw 17 6 p.m. A — B.C. vs N.B. B — Ont. Vs. Alta. C — N. Ont. Vs. Que. D — NL vs. Sask.

13 Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Brier made sparkling debut on TV T

he 33rd renewal of the Macdonald Brier was held in the Kitchener-Waterloo area for the first time in 1962. It also was notable for being one of the most competitive Briers in history, as well as for an historical off-ice decision by the CBC that would change the game forever. The entry list featured some of the strongest teams of the day, highlighted by the Richardsons (Ernie, Classic Arnold, Garnet and Wes) from Saskatchewan, who Briers were champions in 1959 and 1960, and Hec Gervais, the massive presence from St. Albert, Alta., who had won in 1961. Also in the excellent field were Norm


Houck’s Manitoba foursome out of the Strathcona Curling Club in Winnipeg, and six-time Brier competitor Reg Stone, who skipped a dangerous B.C. entry. Upsets were the order of the day in the early rounds, and by the fourth draw every team had at least one loss. The fifth draw featured a stunning upset when the favoured Saskatchewan team went down 11-6 to an inspired performance by Jim Florian and his Nova Scotia quartet. It was Saskatchewan’s second loss in five games, and some of the curling pundits were quietly predicting the end of the Richardsons as the unbeatable force in men’s curling. By the midway point in the championship, British Columbia and Alberta had their noses ahead, each carrying a single loss. New Brunswick’s surprising Hal Mabey was tied for third with Manitoba, Ontario and pre-Brier favourites Saskatchewan.


The Richardsons continued their mastery of the Brier in Kitchener.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 14


Martin has all his guns blazing again At one time there was a question of Kevin Martin’s ability to survive another marathon like the Brier — he’d long since proved the best in the sprints. But that was dashed last year at Winnipeg when the champs breezed to 13 wins of which only one — against Saskatchewan’s Pat Simmons — was anything less than deserving. Last month’s five-game gallop at Wainwright more or less duplicated last year’s fivegame gallop at Spruce Grove. There were a pair of extremely tight fits against 49-year-old MARTIN Randy Ferbey (8-5 and 6-5) — the latter actually controlled parts of both matches but came undone in the first with a vital ‘pick’ and in the second with a hogline violation followed by an uncharacteristic miss from hammer-wielder Dave Nedohin. The third time around is was a rout (7-3 in

ALBERTA (Combined 18 previous appearances) eight ends and the Ferb got two of those three in the eighth). “They are very confident,� Ferbey, who has won six Briers and four world titles, told Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun. “They’ve demoralized a lot of teams and they did that to us today. They played better than us from the first rock to the last rock. They are the best. They are the best team that I’ve ever played against and that says a lot.�

As for Martin, a 10-time provincial champ en route to defending another Brier title: “I don’t think we missed any shots as a team. There was real focus here. The guys were ready today.� Martin is happy to return to the Saddledome, where he won his second of three Briers in 1997. So is vice-skip Morris, who finished runnerup to Ferbey with an Ontario outfit in the same building, circa 2002. “Yeah, I skipped the hated team from the East,� Morris admitted. “This is going to be great. All week I tried not to think about getting to the Brier in Calgary with me being on their posters and promotional material and everything. “Calgary’s such a great city to hold an event like this in,� said Morris, 29. “It’s a younger, more modern city than most. Everybody will have a great time on the ice and then a great time in the Brier Patch. “We’re pumped about being able to play in

our hometown. Morris continued. “That would be cool.� Back handling front-end is the immaculate duo — Marc Kennedy of Ednmonton and Ben Hebert of Calbgary. Behind Martin and Ferbey, there wasn’t much of a threat in the 12-team triple-knockout competition. James Pahl of Sherwood Park gave it the best run before losing to Ferbey 7-6 in the semi. Pahl had earlier dummed out Kevin Koe of Edmonton 9-7. The other eight entries? Mere tinsel. Again. Behind Martin at 5-and-0, Ferbey and Pahl each won five of eight while Kurt Balderston of Sexsmith was 4-and-3. At 3-3 were Jamie King and Kevin Koe of Edmonton and Dean Ross of Calgary. At 2-3 was Ted Appelman of Edmonton. At 1-3 were Rob Armitage of Red Deer, Mike Hutchings of Edmonton and Steve Petryk of Calgary. Jeff Ginter of Dawson Creek was winless in three starts.



15 Wednesday, March 11, 2009


‘Just another Joe’ makes Brier debut The new king of the curling Stubblejumpers is an addict who spends sleepless winter nights thinking about the game. Joel Jordison, a 31-year-old fertilizer plant employee from Moose Jaw who bowled over four-time champion Pat Simmons 6-4 in the provincial final at Meadow Lake, claims to be “just another Joe from a small town who lays awake thinking about this stuff�. “My life has revolved around this and work for years,� Jordison told Kevin Mitchell of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. “I don’t know if people really understand how much work and commitment goes into this. Some people say it’s skewed logic, putting this much time into a game, but it’s what we do.� Jordison’s third, Scott Bitz, skipped Saskatchewan at the 2002 Brier and reached the playoff round. But it is the first trip for Jordison, second Aaron Schmidt and lead Dean Hicke. In fact, it has been a first live look, too, for the skip who hasn’t attended a Brier even as a spectator.

SASKATCHEWAN (Combined 1 previous appearances) “I was never interested in going there and watching, because I’ve always been disappointed I wasn’t in it,� he said. He is, however, a regular on the cashspiel circuit and has more than $30,000 in winnings to show for this season. Jordison twice lost to fellow Moose Jaw resident Simmons before turning the tables in the final. Simmons won 7-6 in the final of the 16team triple-knockout draw’s A group, then won 8-6 in the A-B playoff leading to the final.

The lesser-known Jordison dumped Al Schick of Regina 6-4 to win the B grouping, then stopped former champion Brad Heidt of Kerrobert 7-4 in the semi-final after Heidt ousted Schick 8-7 in an extra-end battle of C qualifiers. Jordison extricated himself from a jam in the second end of the final that, right then, might have catapulted him into next-year country. With Simmons lying four, Jordison made a nice rub off Simmons’ stone in the eight-foot and moved behind three stones for cover to the top edge of the button. Simmons was deep on a draw, giving Jordison a steal of one. In the seventh, Jordison made a button draw for a tie-breaking deuce and drew the button looking at two in the final frame to solidify the victory. “I didn’t want to have to deal with losing this game,� he said. “It wouldn’t have been pretty. That shows how desperately I want to win. I wanted this as bad as anything . . . ever.� The champ finished with a 7-2 record.

Joel Jordison is a cashspiel regular.




Wednesday, March 11, 2009 16

Wood From Page 9 “I lost the old team, with Donnie Walchuk and Bartlett, and I thought, ‘oh boy, what are we going to do, we couldn’t have any more fun than we had with them’? Wally always said, ‘We may not be the best team but we have the most fun’. But this team? It’s just like they changed clothes. “Johnny Mo is just like Bartlett. He forgets his stuff, he leaves this here and that there. When we came here he forgot his coat and shirt. They couldn’t take a picture because he didn’t have his jacket. And that’s normal, eh? He sets his alarm, and they get the rooms mixed up and he doesn’t wake up so we phone him from the rink and he’s still sleeping. So we say, ‘that’s John, we’re normal now’.

“Marc’s the serious one, he’s the bookkeeper, and Benny’s easy-go-lucky like Walchuk was, so it works perfect. It’s like Kevin and I didn’t miss a beat.” The Old Bear doesn’t miss a beat, either, when it comes to judging ice — his father is an icemaker — or rocks. “Kevin tests the rocks until we find we have two that curl more than any of the others,” says Julie. “Like, in Wainwright, we found one that curled far more than Randy’s. You know, if you’re going around a guard and you go a little further he can’t follow you. “Some rocks curled markedly more than others but you have to find the pigs. And it’s amazing to me how many teams don’t pay attention to it. If you were on another team and you watched Ferbey and Kevin throwing, why wouldn’t you throw the same rocks? But nobody did at Wainwright. “Some of these teams here don’t put any sci-

ence into it at all. If we played Northern Ontario we could probably throw them in order and get away with it. But if we play Howard, we pick and choose. Sometimes you’re stuck with a sheet of rocks, and that’s it. They all curl but this one’s three feet heavier than another. But if you know it, you can deal with it. “Kevin will throw one, it goes back-eight, he says, ‘lemme throw that again’. He throws it again, it goes back-eight, he says, ‘this is a runner, it goes straight, Benny you get this one’. The poor lead suffers because he might throw five or six different rocks in a game. “So we keep track of all the rocks for the round robin and if we make the playoffs hopefully then we take 10 or 12 rocks and run tests. Whatever we use, the skip has to be happy with them. He’ll say, ‘I love these rocks,’ and he’ll get a smile on his face and the boys are grinning. They want good rocks but they want to make sure that Kevin has good rocks, first

and foremost. “The shots are so delicate. The skip has to have that confidence in the rocks. You don’t want to be worrying about whether one rock is going straight and another curls. There are enough problems out there without having to worry about rocks.” Now Julie Owchar is “three-quarters retired”, but still handles NAIT’s curling and the odd other project. “I can travel with the boys wherever they go and not worry about a job,” he says. “But they’re really good about it. If I want to go, I’m gone. I wouldn’t miss a playdowns or big event but if it’s just an ordinary ’spiel I stay with the kids at school.” Still, he isn’t regarded as a big daddy or father figure in this particular Alberta regime. “We play cards together. We do everything together. I’m part of the team,” says Julie Owchar. “It’s coach and that’s it!”

17 Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Brier Trivia

Prince Edward Island skip Rod MacDonald can bark out the orders with the best of them at the Brier.

Alberta at two positions and another province for one. He was? TODAY’S QUIZ 7. Who recorded the best record ever turned in by the skip of a Territories QUESTION OF THE DAY: representative? Only one player in Brier history has played all four positions on a team at 8. Where was he from and what was the year of the championship. the Brier. That’s skip, third, second 9. How many wins? and lead. That player was? 10. Eighteen teams in the history of 1. He played for which province in the Canadian men's curling champiwhich years? onship have been held winless. Name 2. A total of 31 players have played three positions at the Brier. Name any the first and last skips to be blanked, Albertans who played three positions. their provinces/territories and in which years? 3. And the Brier years? 11. One skip has twice gone winless 4. One Alberta native played three at the Brier. Name him, the years and positions at the Brier but played two of them for another province. He was? his home curling club. 12. Which province/territory has sent 5. In which Alberta city/town was he the most winless teams to the Brier. raised? 6. Another Brier participant played for How many?

QofD: Pierre Charette. 1. Quebec in 1989-93-96-97-98-99-07. 2. Don Walchuk. 3. 1985-87-88-89-96-97-00-06. 4. Bernie Sparkes 5. Claresholm. 6. Pat Ryan. 7. Don Twa. (Answers)

8. Whitehorse, 1975. 9. Eight wins. 10. Bill Hutchinson of Montreal was blanked in 1928, Rob Gordon of Haileybury was blanked in 2006. 11. Steve Moss of Yellowknife in 2001 and 2005. 12. Quebec has sent six winless teams to the Brier.



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NOW AVAILABLE in the Brier Patch. Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. — 8 p.m. Enjoy the Perfect Take-out Net proceeds donated to the Sandra Schmirler Foundation


Wednesday, March 11, 2009 18

Classic Briers From Page 13 The seventh draw featured several notable tussles including a hard fought 9-8 win for the Richardsons over Gervais, and a huge upset when B.C.’s cigar-chomping Stone was taken down 10-9 in an extra end by the unheralded Ron Redding team from Northern Ontario. By the end of the draw no less than six teams were tied for first place with two losses each. The ninth round saw most of the favourites win, but was notable for a nearrecord performance by New Brunswick which smoked Newfoundland by a 27-3 score — three short of the all-time scoring

record. The blowout included a six-ender, a five-ender, and concluded with New Brunswick stealing the last 12 points. (Unfortunately for Newfoundland, there was no concession rule in those days.) The 10th draw saw all of the front-runners win, although Saskatchewan needed a three-ender in the 11th end (12-enders in those days) to subdue a feisty New Brunswick quartet. Going into the final afternoon there was a logjam at the top of the standings with three teams (Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) tied for first, and B.C. only one win behind the leaders. And with Manitoba and British Columbia facing one another in the last draw, a three- or fourway tie was a distinct possibility. (There were no formal playoffs in the pre-1980 era, with the champion based solely on the

results of the round robin.) Once again, the Prairie representatives won out, although the Richardsons had to scramble back from a 3-0 deficit to win their game against Quebec. And with B.C. losing to Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were deadlocked for first place. A random playoff draw pitted Alberta against Manitoba, with lucky Saskatchewan drawing the bye. Not surprisingly, Gervais was not pleased, since he’d beaten both Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the round robin. The excitement of a playoff and the participation of several curling icons as well as the controversy resulting from Gervais’ vocal complaints drew the attention of the CBC sports department. Gordon Craig, a senior CBC executive (who would later

start TSN) persuaded the CBC to provide a live broadcast of the playoffs. The broadcasts drew large TV audiences, and proved to be a major breakthrough for curling’s national profile. The Brier was well on its way to becoming a big-time media event. In the semi-final, Gervais skipped Alberta to a hard fought 8-6 win over Manitoba, despite a late rally by Houck’s foursome. The final was an anti-climax, with the Richardsons jumping out to an 8-2 lead after only five ends, and easing to a 14-7 victory. The Richardsons had their third Brier title and “TV had swept curling into the living rooms of fans all over the country.� Alex Roberts is a freelance writer based in Halifax







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2009 Tim Hortons Brier - Tankard Times - Day 5  

Day 5 Edition of the Tankard Times

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