Issue Saturday, March 14,7,2009 Issue#8, #1, Saturday, March 2009
TANKARD TIMES OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE 2009 TIM HORTONS BRIER
Members of the Alberta team celebrate (right) after dragging skip Kevin Martinʼs final rock to the four-foot for a dramatic 7-6 win over Ontario in the One-Two playoff game Friday, and clinch a berth in Sundayʼs final.
Saturday, March 14, 2009 2
Martin wins nail-biter Alberta crew sweeps into final with furious brushing By LARRY WOOD Tankard Times Editor
t was deja-vu at the Tim Hortons Brier on Friday night. Kevin Martin’s Alberta juggernaut ran its winning streak to 25 games — a mere dozen for the current assignment at the Pengrowth Saddledome — by shaping a 7-6 extra-end decision over Ontario’s Glenn Howard in the Page One-Two playoff game.
ONE-TWO PLAYOFF A total of 11,946 watched this curling gutclencher, with Howard again assuming control by virtue of a first-end steal. He performed the same feat the night previous in the final round-robin go won 7-5 by Martin. In this one, Martin chased until the ninth end SEE when found an edge with a RESULTS, key deuce to lead by one Page 12 playing the 10th. Again, it was the same situation that prevailed on Thursday eve. This time, Howard drew an in-turn to the four-foot with the hammer looking at five to tie, only to watch Martin draw an out-turn to the four-foot with heavy sweeping assistance
to pick up the winner by three inches in overtime with Ontario sitting four. “I really wanted him not to put it on the centre,” Martin said of Howard’s last rock in the extra exchange. “I wanted to have the draw. The guys swept it perfect and we just got it.” Howard chose to draw his last rock to the side of the four-foot ring leaving the middle open. It was tit-for-tat. Martin had left the middle open for Howard in the 10th. “I definitely took three or four feet off that last one to make sure I wasn’t heavy,” said Martin. “You don’t want to be heavy with the guys I’ve got sweeping. And the guys carried it there. “I mean, you go to throw that last one your heart gets going a bit, right? You think you’re throwing the same weight but it’s a hair heavier. So, over the years, I’ve learned to take a little off. It would have been on the teeline.” The victory gives Martin and his team of John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert a 48-hour break before the championship final on Sunday at 6 p.m. Howard will play in the semi-final tonight at 6 against the winner of the Page Three-Four tussle between Newfoundland and Manitoba.
PLEASE SEE BRIER P8
SCOREBOARD PAGE ONE-TWO PLAYOFF Alberta (Martin).......................... 010 201 Ontario (G. Howard)................... 102 010
Ontario skip Glenn Howard wasnʼt able to keep a leg up on Alberta.
01— 7 10— 6
Hebert Kennedy Morris Martin TEAM TOTALS
22 75 22 81 22 73 22 75 88 304
85 92 83 85 86
Savill Laing Hart Howard TEAM TOTALS
22 80 22 71 22 75 21 71 87 297
91 81 85 85 85
3 Saturday, March 14, 2009
Stoughton was â€˜on a missionâ€™ By LARRY WOOD Tankard Times Editor
t was conservative and dull by most standards these days but that kind of game suits Jeff Stoughton just fine. â€œWe played really well, really well,â€? he said, moments after vacating the Pengrowth Saddledome freeze with a 6-3 Tim Hortons Brier tiebreaker decision Friday afternoon over Quebecâ€™s Jean-Michel Menard.
Manitoba skip Jeff Stoughton moves on to todayĘźs 3-4 game.
â€œOur front-end guys put rocks exactly where we wanted and that always makes it pretty tough for them to make shots. And thatâ€™s the whole ideal. They were a little off but thatâ€™s going to happen when you have great shots against you at the front end.â€? Menardâ€™s Quebeckers were ineffective at mounting any sort of offensive against the Buffalo boys from Manitoba. â€œI think we played pretty well overall in
this game but we ran into a red-hot skip who made three incredible slash-doubles,â€? said the skip from Gatineau. â€œI mean, if he misses even one or two of them it means extra points for us. I figure that would mean a tie game coming home. There was nothing we could do with Jeff today. He was on a mission. We couldnâ€™t get a thing going. We had a few good setups. And he made some greats shots to bail his team out of trouble. We just couldnâ€™t figure out how to manage to get points.â€? Stoughton and his team of Kevin Park, Rob Fowler and Steve Gould advanced to this morningâ€™s Page Three-Four playoff joust with Brad Gushueâ€™s Newfoundlanders, the No. 3 team following the six-day round robin. Deuces in the third and sixth ends were the major thrusts in Fridayâ€™s affair. â€œThose were bonuses,â€? allowed Stoughton, â€œbecause those ends really werenâ€™t developing all that well.â€? He expects a different problem in Gushue and his unit of Mark Nichols, Ryan Fry and Jamie Korab.
â€œWe know thereâ€™ll be a heckuva lot more rocks in play,â€? he said. Manitoba won their round-robin match with the gents from The Rock in fine style but â€œthey have hammer this time, in the other game we had hammer, but weâ€™ll go after him right off the hopâ€?. â€œWe know weâ€™ll put it in the house, theyâ€™ll throw a corner, weâ€™ll guard and itâ€™ll be a little bit more normal game than todayâ€™s,â€? mused the Winnipeg skip. There will be two intriguing sidelights to this confrontation â€” (a) Stoughtonâ€™s former third Ryan Fry will line up as Gushueâ€™s second player, and (b) it will be another rematch of the 2005 Canadian Olympic trials finalists. Asked if Fry gives Gushue an advantage, Stoughton surmised: â€œHopefully not, because he knows how well we can play. Weâ€™ll take it as it comes.â€? Said Gushue:
PLEASE SEE TIEBREAKER P13
Saturday, March 14, 2009 4
Menard exits with head held high By LARRY WOOD Tankard Times Editor
Jean-Michel Menard had a good week at the Brier.
Jean-Michel Menard trotted off the ice with a big smile on his face Friday. Hardly the expression youâ€™d expect from a former Brier champion whoâ€™d just been turfed from the event. â€œActually, Iâ€™m pretty happy,â€? he said. â€œVery happy with the teamâ€™s progression, in fact. â€œOur goal this year was to be 6and-5 at this Brier. We are a secondyear team. We were 7-and-4 and usually in Briers 7-and-4 gets you straight to playoffs. â€œOur overall percentage of 83 (tied for fourth with Newfoundland) is pretty good. It was a little higher than last year and if we can continue like that weâ€™ll have a chance to come back next year. The year
we won the Brier we had a 79 per cent shooting percentage for the team. Now weâ€™re 83 and four points is a major difference. Every player was close to five per cent better than the previous Brier.â€? Of course, thereâ€™s more to this than shooting percentages which often can be misleading. â€œThere are still little things we can work on, but I think overall we really started to jell together during this Brier and weâ€™ll look forward to next year,â€? said the human resources consultant from Gatineau. Menard, too, hopes for a shot at the Olympic pre-trials at Prince George in November. â€œI think weâ€™re into the pre-trials now,â€? he said. â€œI hope so. Because
this was our last â€™spiel of the year. No Players championship for us. I have a golf trip booked in Orlando in April and Iâ€™m not about to sacrifice it to go to Grande Prairie.â€? Following guffaws all around, he added: â€œSorry to tell you that. My brother has been to Grande Prairie and says itâ€™s pretty nice . . . but itâ€™s not the same winter as Orlando. â€œBut unless something major happens I think itâ€™s 99 per cent sure we have our pre-trials spot. We were 14th coming to the Brier and I think itâ€™s two points per win so thatâ€™s 14 additional points.â€? If, for some strange reason, he doesnâ€™t find his name in the lists for Prince George? â€œIâ€™ll call Danny Lamoureux (CCA Ottawa) for an inquiry if we donâ€™t get in. Iâ€™ll say â€˜Danny, youâ€™d better recalculate this thingâ€™.â€?
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Saturday, March 14 2009 5
Brier fans are being asked a number of survey questions related to curling.
Survey picks fansâ€™ brains By LINDSEY WALLIS For The Tankard Times
Curling fans are enjoying their Brier experience. And they canâ€™t live without their Tim Hortonâ€™s coffee. According to Ken Munro, those are the early results of the audience research that his company, EventCorp., is handling at the current Brier. EventCorp., was contracted by the Canadian Curling Association to answer blanket ques-
tions â€” everything from the demographics in the stands to the fansâ€™ opinion and recognition of the Brier sponsors, to how much money they are spending or are likely to spend at the event. â€œLike a retailer, you have to know your customer, you have to stay ahead of the curve,â€? says Munro. â€œIf you donâ€™t know who your customers are, then how do you know what your product should be?â€?
PLEASE SEE SURVEY P16
Saturday, March 14, 2009 6
Taking a piece of the Brier home By CATHERINE SZABO Special to The Tankard Times Editor
ot only does the ice at the Pengrowth Saddledome look different — no bluelines, no goal creases, no faceoff circles — but the souvenir shop does as well: Instead of Flames gear, the shelves are filled with Brier memorabilia. Bruce Melville is no stranger to the souvenir shop. The Northern Ontario coach estimates that he’s in there every second day, looking for something new. “My wife will not let me come home without some sort of souvenirs from the Brier,” says Melville, listing off clothing items that he’s acquired from previous Briers, including
bomber jackets and golf shirts. Melville admits he’s only in the shop looking for something very special, on account of the fact he already has much of the Brier clothing, which he still wears. This time, he was trying on jackets with the help of volunteer Ella Bishop. He’d already bought items for his nieces and nephews. Bishop, who will work eight shifts this week in the three merchandising locations, says that the jackets are big sellers, and the hats are popular as well. She says that she’s noticed it seems to be more men than women shopping for this sort of gear.
PLEASE SEE SOUVENIRS P13
Manager Leslie Henry (right) says the time between draws is the busiest.
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Saturday, March 14, 2009 8
From Page 2 Calgary Co-op first opened its doors in 1956, marking the start of a local success story that endures today. Serving Calgary and surrounding communities for over 50 years, what began with just one small store and 1,000 members has grown to over 425,000 members and 4,000 employees. Today, Calgary Co-op operates 22 food centres, 26 gas bars, 16 liquor stores and 9 travel offices, with plans to open more locations in the coming years. Assets have grown to over $352 million and sales now surpass $1 billion annually. Calgary Co-op attributes its success to the loyal support of its members, and the unwavering commitment of its employees. More than just a store, its roots run deep in the heart of the community. Not only does it contribute to the local economy by providing jobs, it is the only grocery chain in Calgary to share its profits with its members each year â€” a practice that is unique and defines its as a â€œco-opâ€?, built by and for the benefit of its members. Calgary Co-op was formed by ordinary people who wanted a business they could rely on, and it has never lost sight of why it was formed â€” to serve its members and to be a contributing partner in the communities it serves. This year, Calgary Co-op will donate over $1.8 million to the local community in cash and product donations to programs that support children, youth and families, including charities, schools, sports organizations, and others. By actively supporting and participating in the community, it is helping to foster strong, family-oriented communities that enrich the lives of the people who live and work in this great community called Calgary.
â€œWeâ€™ll have a good rest, have a good practice tomorrow, have a good practice Sunday morning and weâ€™ll see what happens,â€? said Martin. â€œItâ€™d be nice to play them (Ontario) a third time.â€? The layoff until Sunday is of no concern, the defending champion said. â€œWe had the same break last year. The provincials are the same, too. The last two years of provincials it didnâ€™t hurt us. Last year at the Brier it didnâ€™t hurt. And a lot of the events on tour, if you qualify from A you have a day off. Itâ€™s kind of a normal thing in curling.â€? The two teams went at it from the get-go and left 13 rocks in play in the first end. â€œAnother phenomenal game,â€? assessed Howard. â€œIâ€™d have to look at it but Iâ€™d say Kevin got the breaks that game. A few key rubs on a few
key shots. But it was a great crowdpleaser and the shotmaking was exceptional again. â€œIt was just as much fun tonight but it gets frustrating when you get a few bad breaks against you like mine in the 10th end . . . thereâ€™s no way that rock goes through that hole, but obviously it wasnâ€™t meant to be and we hung in there and the guys made all the shots they had to make. Bottom line is we have to win two more now.â€? Howard, however, made no bones of the fact he thought his team of Richard Hart, Brent Laing and Craig Savill had outcurled the winner. Statistics, which are for losers anyway, failed to back up the contention. Alberta scored 86 per cent to Ontarioâ€™s 85. â€œWe curled well enough to beat him,â€? said Howard. â€œYou saw it. We outplayed them. If we play them again and the law of averages isnâ€™t our favour heâ€™s going to go undefeated again isnâ€™t he? I hope thatâ€™s not the case. But Kevin Martinâ€™s a dis-
tant thought right now. We have to look at a tough game against two great curlers so I donâ€™t know who itâ€™s going to be but weâ€™ll have our hands full.â€? Howard said he thought Martin would make the last shot â€œfor funâ€?. â€œBut if it didnâ€™t make that last big move itâ€™s ticking and we win. â€œWe had a tough couple of ends at the start and got out of it nicely, Kevin made two pistols to get his deuce in the fourth and then in nine he made another nice deuce. â€œIn the 10th, Richie got a real bad break on a double that backed off and a draw that didnâ€™t curl. It wasnâ€™t meant to be.â€? Martin praised his front-end pair, terming Kennedy and Hebert â€œthe strongest sweepers right now, no question about thatâ€?. â€œThatâ€™s why you throw the draw on that shot,â€? he said. â€œDoesnâ€™t mean to say youâ€™re going to make them every time but youâ€™ve got greater room for error.â€?
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9 Saturday, March 14, 2009
Ian Henderson came back for his second run as the chairman of the Calgary Brier organizing committee, and as expected, it was a smashing good show.
By LARRY WOOD Heart Chart Editor
n Day One of Tim Hortons Brier 09, response was such that visions of attendance records were dancing in Ian Henderson’s cranium. Then came the deep freeze of early in the week, and the hopes of a record — 281,985 set at Edmonton’s Rexall Place in 2005 — went whoosh and kaput. “Still,” the Calgary Brier organizing committee’s chief poobah was saying on Friday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome, “I think we’ll beat our attendance numbers for 2002 (245,296, ranked third in the Brier’s history). It will be close but I’m not sure we’ll have much more than that. But you look at the economic times and you say, ‘yeah, that’s pretty good’. “It’s coming back now,” Ian Henderson said of the numbers. “We’re getting really good and enthusiastic crowds. And the (Keiths) Patch has done very well throughout. It’s funny. I mean, who drinks cold beer in cold weather?” This is Henderson’s second kick at chairing Brier organizers. And he says the experience “has been different”. “It was easier,” he quipped. “I’ve had peo-
ple talk to me at work and tell me I’m not nearly as stressed as last time. It was the unknown, last time. Not knowing how it was going to check out. I’m more relaxed, I trust my committee totally — not that I didn’t trust the last group, but I didn’t know what was going to happen. “About half our committee is the same as last time. We had people stepping up into new jobs. And they’ve all done really well. I’m really pleased.” This Brier attracted less volunteers but it turns out vast numbers weren’t required. “We’ve had better response from the volunteers this time,” says Prez. “We have fewer, we ended up with 866 overall, we had about 950 in 2002. We were aiming for 1,000 but, looking at it now, we probably have too many volunteers. Based on the way we run the event, which has changed a little, we may have an excess number. “You always feel you need more because
you don’t want to be caught short and you don’t want to overwork them. But a lot of them have been great in taking extra shifts.” The financial picture, Henderson says, couldn’t be much brighter, all matters considered. “We’ve exceeded our revenue budget numbers. We’ve stuck with the plan we’ve had despite the downturn and it has worked out pretty well. Ticket sales came along pretty solidly and we wound up ahead of budgeted revenue there. We’re ahead of our projected numbers for people in seats. I think we’ll be ahead of our projected revenue in the Brier Patch. The volume in the Patch isn’t quite what we hoped for but the people here have more than made up for that volume. I think the fact that we have more space in there has helped. It isn’t so packed because we’ve had twice the space in the Big Four.” Henderson even saves plaudits for the media in his home burg.
“I’m really pleased with the support we’ve received in the past couple of weeks. We had a lower advertising budget that in 2002 but I think we were targeted better this time and we were a little more focused on the message we were trying to get out.” So, nary a downside? “I’m a little disappointed in the food in the Patch,” he replied. “We had a better mix last time. It was outside our control but we were still pushing for it.” So would Henderson take a third swing at a third organizing pitch for curling? “I don’t think so,” he said. “I’m getting too old for this. I’ve had some people tell me they like me to work for them next time. But I’ve had awesome support from everybody and I think this community is ideal for events of this kind.” So, obviously, Ian Henderson doesn’t consider this Tim Hortons Brier the end of the line in Calgary.
10 Saturday, March 14, 2009 EDITOR Larry Wood ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dave Komosky PHOTOGRAPHER Mike Burns Jr. PUBLISHED BY The Calgary Herald
The Wood file DACEY
Larry WOOD Manitoba skip Jeff S toughton, when asked if his Manitoba team could defeat Kevin Martin (Alberta) three straight, as it managed to do in 1996 at the Brier in Kamloops — “Could we do it again? Hmmm. Sure, I suppose if we had to, we’d have to. Maybe he would do the same thing he’d did the last time. I think they had champagne on ice and a limo waiting in the parking lot so we spoiled that little bit of fun. I don’t think they’d do that again but they did it in ’96. Seriously! And he (Kevin) still hasn’t bought me that drink he said he’d buy if we beat him three in a row. Still waiting . . . still waiting . . . still waiting . . .” S toughton, on the Brier differences between ’96 and ’09 — “I think every team is stronger now. If we took our team back to 1996, we’d clean up. If he took his, he’d clean up as well. Every team has gotten better since that time. Everybody is putting more time into the game now. It’s skill
The best quotes after a week of jawing at the Brier and playing the four-rock. You know, ’96 was the first time we played four-rock at the Worlds. We hadn’t played it at the Brier yet. I mean, we put time in back then but every team is putting a lot of time in now. Everyone is in a little better shape, taking care of themselves, trying to do the right thing, so that’s part of the game now for sure. We probably practise four times a week at least, throwing rocks, depending on whether we’re playing or not. You get into a bonspiel playing that eighth or ninth game and you can tell the guys who are not in as good shape as others. If you feel good and look at the other
team sort of thumping around you think, ‘oh, that’s good we feel really great’ . . . Mark Dacey, 2004 Brier champion, on a stunningly atrocious (for Dacey) 2-and-9 record — “We just weren’t in this at all. We weren’t good enough. But maybe I’m not surprised. You take a year off and then you play 25 games and you come here and I guess you get what you deserve. “We have to go home and decide whether or not we want to work hard enough to be able to come back here and compete at this level or whether we’ll settle for playing
around home in bonspiels and that’s it. The level’s up there and we weren’t close to it here. “The hard part is, this team was definitely as good a team as the 2004 championship team. No question! Older, wiser and just as capable.” Yikes!!! . . . Jamie Koe, North West Territories skip, on another lowly Brier finish — “It’s a pretty big disappointment for us. We came here thinking we could be in the middle of the pack and if we really played well we could challenge for something. We had some pretty disgusting games out there.
“Yeah, we battled back and we had some close ones, too, but it’s still pretty disappointing. I don’t know what you do. You can see the gaps out there. We just got beaten on the freeze game, every game. It’s the part of the game we don’t get to play at the competitive level. We need to address that, I guess. “You got to get out (of the north), play in these ’spiels, play these other teams and learn how to win and how to beat them. It’s a process we have to learn . . . and quickly.”
SEE QUOTE, OPPOSITE PAGE
S cott Bitz, S askatchewan third, on reaching five losses — “All five losses gets you is a trip to the Brier Patch. This is very disappointing. We so desperately wanted to get people yelling ‘Saskatchewan!’ for a reason again. “Saskatchewan is a very solid province in curling with a lot of pressure to do well at the Brier. When you are a team curling for the first time at a Brier, I think that adds to the pressure, for sure. No one wanted to SCOTT BITZ let on about it, but it was pretty obvious in the first few games we let the pressure get to us. Everybody was pretty tight. “The bottom line is that we’re a lot better team on the tour than we have been here. We ended up being a pretty crappy provincial representative. . .”
Rod MacDonald, P. E. I. skip, on rating Alberta’s team as “professionals” — “I know they’re a professional team, they’re the best in the world. We didn’t think we’d get a ‘W’ from them when we woke up this morning but we just wanted to get a better game against them, that’s all. We got off to a bad start. I’d say they’re more professional than the rest of us down here. They make a good living and that’s what they do is curl.” . . .
Jean-Michel Menard, Quebec skip, on switching vice-skips after winning the Brier in 2006 — “Francois (Roberge) is one of the best curlers in Quebec. But I personally feel I jell a little better with Martin (Crete). He still has a lot to learn. He’s very young. But I’m confident that in a few years he’ll become a great curler and I hope I’m still around when that happens. We’re not superstar curlers like Martin and Howard. There aren’t that many to choose from when building a team in Quebec, but when you have a good team you have to keep it together because there’s not a whole lot to draw from. We knew it would take a few years to get the kind of results we were having with the old team. “Every time we lose with this team it’s a little easier than to lose with the previous team. This team is a little looser, a little easier. Sometimes when you’re going through a rough time in curling you need that kind of attitude. You know, we had people telling us after we won the Brier that we’d never have another easy game in our lives. Well, you know, it’s true? That old team wasn’t quite ready for that, even when we were playing teams that were not as strong as our team. . .”
Gushue, on personally handling the loss in the 2007 Brier final — “I got over that really quick. Surprisingly, I guess. We played a shot that some people didn’t think we should have played. But it was a shot that, if we make it, we win the game, and I can walk away from
Menard, on trying to get back to the Brier throne room — “There’s a million curlers in the country who just want to play in the Brier and we are among the fortunate ones who have won the Brier. One was probably even more than I expected to accomplish in my career so I don’t like to think that it was my only one but chances are, yes it is. But I still continue to play because I love the game.
Brad Gushue, Newfoundland/Labrador skip, on a glitch that caused him to miss an open four-foot draw for a fourender in mid-week — “I have this phobia when we’re going for a big end that I’m going to take out my own rock. So I either come up light or avoid trying to hit anything. I just had this vision when I slid out of maybe taking ours out at the back of the button. I have to get over that. That’s probably something Ken (psychologist) Bagnell and I can work on in the next couple of weeks.”
that game knowing that I took a chance to win it. We didn’t pull it off but I’d always be second-guessing myself if I hadn’t played that shot. So I got over it real quick.” Russ Howard, New Brunswick skip, on his current winter rollercoaster — “It’s ridiculous. Switzerland in October, Camrose for Continental Cup in December, then the Canada Cup qualifier in Edmonton in December, Salmon Arm for the Juniors in January, Saint John for our provincials, Victoria for the Scotties, back home for the provincial seniors, Calgary for the Brier, Yorkton for the RUSS HOWARD Canada Cup forcing me to miss a game or two at seniors in Summerside, then Ralph Stoeckli shows up and I start coaching the Swiss team headed for Moncton the first week of April . . .” Like, yikes, again!!!! Alberta coach Jules Owchar, on working with Chinese and Japanese teams visiting Edmonton — “It’s very demanding when you work with China or Japan. It’s not so much the language. But they want to practise morning, afternoon and evening. And if you give them the morning off, the say, ‘what, no ice?” Kevin (Martin) came to help
me one time. He says, ‘what are we going to do with them?’; I say, ‘you get to hold the broom for two hours and they’ll throw for two hours and they’ll be happy’. . . “But it’s fun working with them. And you can see what’s happening with China and Japan and the girls. The guys are getting better, too.” Alberta skip Kevin Martin, on his front-end sweepers Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert — “This was a bit of a fluke finding these guys, because they sweep on opposite sides. They’re naturally righthand, lefthand, that’s hard to find. That’s a real benefit. Then, of course, they’re both former football players so there’s a lot of strength there. A lot of righthanded people will have a natural tendency to sweep right-to-left. It just happens that our team, both feel comfortable on opposite sides. This is something special.” . . . Martin, on whether or not the 2009 Brier field was the best-ever — “I go back to 1995, when (Rick) Folk came out of B.C., there’s (Brad) Heidt and (Mark) Dacey, (Al) Hackner, (Ed) Werenich, (Kerry) Burtnyk. Back then, those guys were all in their prime. I was a kind of a kid then, right? I was in awe at that Brier. I went into the dressing room and I’m sitting between Folk and Hackner and Werenich and I go, ‘wow’, you know? So maybe a younger person looking into this field thinks that way, but when I was younger looking at the field in ’95, I couldn’t believe that. So maybe I’m the wrong guy to ask. You ask a younger guy, he’s go ‘yeah’. But for me, that 1995 Brier was pretty special. It may be a generational thing but this is a heckuva Brier field, too.” . . . British Columbia skip S ean Geall, on his rookie Brier appearance — “It was an experience. I’m a little disappointed with the way things went, but overall, OK. We missed by one game and that was one game too many. It was a good experience. I can’t complain. I guess when it’s all said and done I’ll be happy. But I want to get back as soon as possible. This is a lot of fun. A couple of games here and there and it probably would have been more fun.” Northern Ontario skip Mike Jakubo, on his second shot at the Brier — “Nothing matches this Brier ice, it’s just amazing from draw to draw. Two of us, myself and my third, took a year off last year and, obviously, that didn’t help us. We need a lot more sharpening. We’re going to have to play in more WCT events if we want to compete here, no doubt.”
Kevin Martin says finding his front end combo was a ʻflukeʼ.
Saturday, March 14, 2009 12
STANDINGS W Alberta (Martin) 12 Ontario (G. Howard) 9 NL (Gushue) 8 *Manitoba (Stoughton) 8 ——— Quebec (Menard) 7 B.C. (Geall) 6 N.B. (R. Howard) 6 Sask. (Jordison) 3 NWT/Y (Koe) 3 Nova Scotia (Dacey) 2 P.E.I. (MacDonald) 2 N. Ontario (Jakubo) 2
L 0 3 3 4
5 5 5 8 8 9 9 9
TODAY PAGE PLAYOFFS 3-4 Game 10 a.m. Newfoundland /Labrador (Gushue) vs. Manitoba (Stoughton)
LINESCORES * — won fourth-place tiebreaker
FRIDAY TIEBREAKER 1 p.m. Quebec (Menard) 010 010 001 0 Manitoba (Stoughton) 102 002 000 1 QUE. Gagnon Sylvain Crete Menard TEAM
S 20 20 20 19 79
P 67 68 62 60 257
% 84 85 78 79 81
MAN. Gould Fowler Park Stoughton TEAM
— — S 20 20 20 20 80
P 73 68 73 73 287
3 4 % 91 85 91 91 90
ONE-TWO GAME 6 p.m. Alberta (Martin) Ontario (G. Howard) ALTA. S P Hebert 22 75 Kennedy 22 81 Morris 22 73 Martin 22 75 TEAM 88 304
010 201 002 01 — 102 010 010 10 — % ONT. S P 85 Savill 22 80 92 Laing 22 71 83 Hart 22 75 85 Howard 21 71 86 TEAM 87 297
Semi-Final 6 p.m. Ontario (Glenn Howard) vs. Winner of 3/4 Game
Albertaʼs John Morris keeps his eyes glued to his rock Friday.
SHOOTING PERCENTAGES (CUMULATIVE) 7 6 % 91 81 85 85 85
Skip Third Second Lead TEAM
71 74 76 85 77
75 80 77 87 79
89 86 91 89 88
72 80 77 85 79
Man. Ont. Que. After round-robin 80 82 88 84 80 89 86 85 85 84 88 90 83 87 85
80 81 81 86 82
67 76 73 84 75
74 72 73 83 76
NLNWT/Y 86 81 81 83 83
72 77 80 82 78
SUNDAY Final 6 p.m. Alberta (Kevin Martin) vs. Winner of semi-final
13 Saturday, March 14, 2009
From Page 6
From Page 3
“I don’t think there’s a guy that comes in here that doesn’t buy a hat,” Bishop said, adding that the colour black is in. Leslie Henry, who helps to run the store operated by Event Max, the official merchandise supplier to the Canadian Curling Association, says that the times between draws are the busiest. The first two days of the Brier, Saturday and Sunday, saw a lot of people through the doors, looking for souvenirs. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were quieter, and business picked up again on Thursday and into the weekend. “We have the most stock the first couple of days,” says Henry, “but we restock throughout the week.” Henry says that the Event Max handles six Canadian curling events per year, and it is at the first couple events of the year where they decide which merchandise is selling and which items they should discontinue. Aside from clothing items, the shop offers souvenirs like coffee cups and glasses. “I think people come in with a specific item in mind,” says Henry, “but because we have so much stuff, they end up with something they like, even if it’s not what they originally had in mind.”
“I think Ryan’s inclusion in the game will be an advantage for one of us, I’m just not sure which. Ryan knows a little bit about Jeff and how he likes to play, knows some of his weaknesses and strengths but then there’s also another factor: Who’s going to be up to beat the other guy? I’m sure Ryan wants to beat his old mates pretty bad and they probably want to beat Ryan pretty bad. I think it will boil down to who handles it the best, which is what it is in any big game, really.” And, on the four-year-old trials collision: “The very first time we played him after that trials final we wanted to be beat him and we did,” said Stoughton, “but it doesn’t matter if we beat him 100 times, nothing will replace that final. “It’s really just another big team to play.” Riding a modicum of a roll, he added: “This is probably better than going 7and-0 and losing your last four going into the playoffs. Right now there’s
Catherine Szabo is a journalism student at Mount Royal College)
The Quebec fans in the Saddledome urge on their boys. another team out there that’s on a heck- Newfs constituted Gushue’s worst and uva roll and hopefully we can get to only thrashing of the week. them eventually, but we have to get past “We played very poorly,” said Gushue. Brad first.” “Our intensity wasn’t very good in that Gushue expects the Manitobans to game. Actually, that was the worst we play “a little more defensively than some were all week, by far. So we’re actually of the other top teams”. pretty excited to get another chance at “If we can execute well, we should be them. What we showed in that game able to get them into our style of play.” wasn’t nearly our best. We’d like to play Stoughton’s previous conquest of the our best and see what happens.”
Saturday, March 14, 2009 14
Tech-savvy fans can get their fill By ERIK THOMPSON Special to The Tankard Times
he game of curling has seen many changes since the first Brier in 1927 but technology has caught up with the game and is starting to change the way curling information is offered to the public. No longer do you need to watch it on television to keep up with the action, you can get up-to-the-second scores on the internet. A team of Canadian Curling Association statisticians works each game played during championship events to provide live shot-by-shot updates on www.seasonsofchampions.ca. â€œWe identify what kind of shot it was,â€? says Glenn van Gulik, director of information technology with the CCA. â€œWe tell them if it was an in-turn or an out-turn and
give them a shooting percentage.â€? According to van Gulik, head statistician Terry Schiewe and his team update every single shot, every missed shot, and even every throw-through. Technology has come a long way in a short amount of time. Just five years ago, the linescores were being entered on the website manually at the end of each end. The internet reaction numbers indicate that the live scoring is catching on. In the last three years, the CCA has seen a 30 per cent increase in the number of unique visitors to what they call CurlCast. As of Wednesday morning, CurlCast had approximately 230,000 unique visitors, cumulatively, for the 2009 Brier.
The peak times for visitors have been weekday mornings when people are back at work and still want to keep up to date. On average, visitors spend 12 minutes on CurlCast. The curling audience is vast but the CCA chooses to keep its coverage simple. Van Gulik says the CCA targets the younger generation of curling fans, but is cognizant of the fact thereâ€™s a large 55-plusyears category of tech-savvy curling fans. The CCA is currently finalizing the development of a new scoring system which will debut at the 2009 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings in Edmonton. Veteran New Brunswicker Brian Cassidy has been the brains behind the statistics operation, according to van Gulik. He has developed the base software for the current stats system and has been an invaluable resource in developing the new system.
Glenn van Gulik of the CCA.
15 Saturday, March 14, 2009
Boys from The Rock shocked â€˜em all L
ike any sporting competition, the Brier has provided fans with many spectacular upsets over the 79 years it has been contested. From Tom Ramsay skipping Northern Ontario to a highly improbable win in 1950 in Vancouver to Nova Scotiaâ€™s thrilling comeback from 8-4 down with three ends left in the 2004 final to knock off the heavily-favoured Randy Ferbey foursome, the Brier has seen its share of unexpected winners. Yet, as sensational as these upsets were, there is one that outshines them all, and that is the against-all-odds win by Jack MacDuffâ€™s Newfoundland team in the 1976 Brier at Regina. Classic Going into the competition, B.C., Briers skipped by five-time Brier participant Bernie Sparkes, 1966 runner-up Joe Gurowka representing Ontario, and a strong Clare DeBlonde foursome from Manitoba were expected to dominate. And, as usual for a province that had never won more than four games at the Brier, had gone 2-19 in the previous two Briers, and
Jack MacDuff was a longshot to win, but he did.
sported a 45-206 since they entered the championship in 1951, the Newfies were seeded last amongst the 12 teams, with some pundits offering 500-1 against their winning the championship. Surprisingly, MacDuff and his mates â€” third Toby McDonald, second Doug Hudson, and lead Ken Templeton â€” started off with two wins, edging P.E.I. in an extra end, and scoring two with the hammer in the last end to upset B.C. 7-6. However, losses to New Brunswick and Northern Ontario brought the Newfies down to earth and the early buzz died down. In the fifth draw, MacDuff returned to his winning ways with a 6-4 win over Quebec, and the team was well on its way to the five wins MacDuff had set as a modest goal prior to the Brier. After a bye, the Newfies continued their strong play and took out the perennial champion Manitoba team 7-5. Now the crowd and the media sensed that something extraordinary was unfolding. And by the time Newfoundland beat Wayne Sokoloskyâ€™s Alberta team in the ninth draw to go 6-and-2 and move into first place in the standings, the Regina crowd had adopted the Newfoundlanders as hometown favourites.
SEE CLASSIC BRIERS P18
Saturday, March 14, 2009 16
Surveys From Page 5 EventCorp., whose clients include the National Football League and the Professional Golf Association, specializes exclusively in “point-of-experience” surveys and has been using the latest touch-screen technology for the last couple of years. “Unlike other methodologies like telephone or online web surveys, we just collect data at the point of experience,” says Munro. “That’s pretty powerful because it’s at the top of a person’s minds at that particular point in time.” Munro says the touch-screen technology tends to be more accurate than in-person surveys because a larger and more random sample
can be polled, and almost twice the number of questions can be asked. “Typically, when we have a situation where we can compare the same event results with two different methods, the (in-person interview) always overstates income and understates age,” he said. People who take the survey will be asked 40or-so questions that cover a wide range of topics, and which have been randomly generated from a list of more than 300. The survey studies age, gender, income and ethnicity. According to Munro, one of the more important questions is how many curling draws people are attending, because that number assists in calculating the true number of Brier attendees. Questions about sponsors are designed to discover how effective their placement is and how sponsorship affects people’s purchasing deci-
sions. The CCA will compare these numbers to those from previous Briers to see if improvements are being made. With the current economic downturn, Munro says he is interested in the numbers relating to per-capita spending. At every event his company surveyed in the past four months, spending was down. “At the end of the day, it should help the CCA produce a better event next time out and make it more relevant to people,” Munro says. The margin of error is virtually zero on these surveys because the sample size is so big — more than 12,000 surveys will be completed in the Saddledome over the course of the Brier. EventCorp., also is conducting a separate survey at the Keith’s Brier Patch. Lindsey Wallis is a journalism student at Mount Royal College
‘At the end of the day, it should help the CCA produce a better event next time out and make it more relevant to people.’ — Ken Munro of EventCorp. on the benefits of curling survey
17 Saturday, March 14, 2009
Brier Trivia Name the skips of teams that have won the Canadian menâ€™s title while absorbing four losses. Hint: There are only two of them. 1. The years and hometowns of those champs? 2. During the first Canadian championship won by a team recording four many losses, who skipped the Alberta entry and where was he from? 3. Who skipped the last Saskatchewan team to win the Brier and the year? 4. Who represented Alberta that year and where was he from?
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
QofD: Al Hackner, Jean-Michel Menard. 1. Hackner in 1985 from Thunder Bay, Menard in 2006 from St-Romuald (although Menard himself lives in Gatineau). 2. Pat Ryan, Edmonton. 3. Rick Folk in 1980.
5. Who skipped the Quebec team in that same Brier? 6. He hailed from which city? 7. We all know the skip who has won the most games in Canadian men's championship history. Name the skip who has won the second-most games. 8. How many Canadian championships has he won? 9. The last Canadian champion to suffer but a single defeat throughout the Brier was Wayne Middaugh of Toronto in 1998. Name the skip who beat him. Also the skip's hometown. 10. In what year was a Calgary team last participating in the Brier? 11. The team was skipped by who and where? 12. What was the final record of this Alberta team?
4. Paul Gowsell, Calgary. 5. Jim Ursel. 6. Montreal. 7. Kevin Martin. 8. Three. 9. Greg McAulay, New Westminster 10. 1994. 11. Ed Lukowich in Red Deer. 12. Five wins, six losses.
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â€œFostering within our children the quest for a brighter future.â€? Children that attend camp with the Tim Horton Childrenâ€™s Foundation often do not have access to supports that develop positive life skills. Research shows that for a child to grow up as a healthy individual, they need access to opportunities that develop: Self Esteem and Confidence Good Social Skills Involvement Supportive relationships with adults and peers Independence The challenge is that one child out of every six, across North America, lives in an economically disadvantaged home and does not always have access to positive influences to help shape their lives. The answer lies primarily in providing children from economically disadvantaged homes with positive relationships and opportunities that develop these necessary skills. Foundation camp programs are designed to encourage positive youth development. If you would like to learn more about the Tim Horton Childrenâ€™s Foundation please visit: www.TimHortonChildrensFoundation.com Established in 1974, the Tim Horton Childrenâ€™s Foundation is a charitable organization committed to providing an enriched and memorable camp experience for children from economically disadvantaged homes. This year, over 14,000 local children from each of the communities in which a Tim Hortons store operates will attend camp with the Tim Horton Childrenâ€™s Foundation.
Saturday, March 14, 2009 18
Classic Briers From Page 6 Telegrams and supportive letters flowed in. Among the many supportive telephone calls was one from Newfoundland Premier, Frank Moores. He told MacDuff: â€œA lot of people here donâ€™t know a thing about curling, but they are going crazy anyway.â€? By the penultimate round, and despite a good field and perhaps aided by the straight keen Agridome ice, the Newfoundlanders found themselves two wins away from curling history. The Territories proved to be no match for the streaking Newfies, and three-point steals in the fifth and sixth ends saw
MacDuff to an easy 9-1 win. By winning six games in a row, Newfoundland was now one win away from capturing the coveted Tankard, and pulling off the biggest upset in Canadian menâ€™s curling history. Their final match was against the very experienced Ontario team, skipped by Joe Gurowka, who according to unofficial scorekeeping had thrown a 100 per cent game against B.C. in the previous draw. Gurowka also had big-game experience, having faced off against Ron Northcott in a playoff for the 1966 championship. Not surprisingly, Ontario pressured Newfoundland from the start, and only a precise double by MacDuff allowed his troops to escape with a single in the first end. But the Newfies were not to be denied,
â€˜A lot of people here donâ€™t know a thing about curling, but they are going crazy anyway.â€™ â€” Newfoundland Premier Frank Moore in a telegram to Jack MacDuff. and MacDuff engineered a steal in the third, and Newfoundland led 3-1 after six. Gurowka then rode the hammer for a deuce in the seventh to tie it at 3-3. However, the Newfs took the lead for good with a deuce in the eighth, and then stole a
point in the ninth when Bob Charlebois, throwing last rocks for Ontario, rolled out after missing a difficult hit for two. In the final end MacDuff put it away when Charlebois drew short against three Newfoundland counters, and fell behind 9-3. A brief controversy ensued when the Ontario skip tried to concede the game but was forced to curl on by a CBC official because â€œthe game is on television and weâ€™ve got another hour to go.â€? The two ends were played. The final score was 9-4 in favour of Newfoundland. And Canadaâ€™s newest province hoisted the coveted Brier Tankard as the most unlikely team in Brier history to win the Canadian menâ€™s curling championship. Alex Roberts is a Halifax-based freelance writer
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