Monday, January 07, 2008

January 2008 issue

Howdy folks.

As you may have gathered from our previous post on the Lobel brothers, we’re back from vacation... and not a moment too soon. We’ve got a January issue to promote, after all.

You don’t want to miss this one! Inside we have:

– Open air curling: behold the great outdoors
– Euros 07: Norberg and Murdoch serve notice
– Famous rock band seeks curling stones
Larry Wood blames it all on television
Little Mosque goes curling on Jan. 9
– Gold Trail update
– Discovery Channel tells curlers How It’s Made
Matt Hames behind the scenes at the Rama Skins
Jill Officer asks Wayne: have the Olympics really ruined curling?
Teri Lake on a brand new curling club - from the ground up
– The Grand Slam rocked Quebec
– Memories of the 1972 Brier, held at that same Slam arena
Rodger Schmidt: things that I like
– The CCA asks you to help a friend Discover Curling
– The JVC Curling TV Guide (but of course)

Subscribe here, ladies and gents.

What else is goin’ on?

• Here’s TCN’s Mike Haggerty from across the pond in Scotland, with a special blogreport:

Canada’s world champion Glenn Howard from Ontario won the final of the Ramada Perth Masters yesterday, beating fellow Canadian Kerry Burtnyk from Winnipeg by 6-2.

(Yes, we love how those Scots talk/write – Ed.)

Earlier, Burtnyk had eliminated the last surviving Scottish team with a 9-5 semi-final victory over Atholl’s Gordon Muirhead. The other Scottish teams that qualified for the knockout stages fell at the quarter-final stage, Kilmarnock’s Alan Smith going down by 3-8 by Burtnyk, while Howard beat Stirling’s Logan Gray by 7-0. European champion David Murdoch from Lockerbie also crashed out in the quarter-finals, losing by 1-7 to Switzerland’s Ralph Stöckli, conceding the game after just five ends when the Swiss scored five shots.

(Shots? He must mean points... – Ed.)

After this it took all the way to an extra end before Howard eliminated Stöckli in the semi-finals by 7-5.

The final itself was also a surprisingly one-sided affair, with Burtnyk struggling throughout. Howard opened with single steals in each of the first three ends and then moved further ahead with three shots in the fifth end for a 6-1 lead. Burtnyk could only muster a single shot in the sixth and conceded the game. Howard and his team of Richard Hart, Brent Laing and Craig Savill travel back to Canada with a winner’s cheque for £5,000, while Burtnyk gained £3,400 for his second place finish.


Quarter-finals: Kerry Burtnyk (Canada) 8, Alan Smith (Kilmarnock) 3; Thomas Ulsrud (Norway) 4, Gordon Muirhead (Atholl) 5 (extra end); Glenn Howard (Canada) 7, Logan Gray (Stirling) 0; Ralph Stöckli (Switzerland) 7, David Murdoch (Lockerbie) 1.
Semi-finals: Burtnyk 9, Muirhead 5; Howard 7, Stockli 5 (extra end).
Final: Burtnyk 2, Howard 6.

• Y’all have read much about the next big thing in women’s curling, one Team Rachel Homan from Ottawa. Surprisingly, despite massive success in the adult ranks, this squad hasn’t been able win the Ontario junior title.

And they were disappointed again last night, when Wilfrid Laurier student Danielle Inglis and her Burlington Curling Club team drew to the four-foot against two Homan stones to win the 2008 championship by a 5-4 count.

The Ottaweans was reportedly devastated by the loss. Homan – whose team lost their first two games of the competition – held back the tears after the match, and told journo Tim Gall that her team played well to get as far as it did. “We just didn't play well (in this game),” Homan said.

Coach Earle Morris said the Inglis team should get full marks, and added he was proud of his team for battling through injuries lead Alison Kreviazuk has a bad knee and Homan herself is believed to have a torn meniscus.

Homan won a tiebreaker and then defeated defending Ontario champion Hollie Nicol’s Kitchener-Waterloo team in semi earlier in the day.

Travis Fanset of St. Thomas won the junior men’s championship, incidentally, with a final-game win over Ottawa’s Neil Sinclair.

• In other junior results, Mary-Jane McGuire won the N.B. women’s title for the third year in a row despite losing two games to former teammate Ashley Howard, the daughter of Russ Howard. McGuire finally beat Howard 10-3 in the semi an then passed Marin McLeod 8-2 in the final. On the men’s side, defending champ Steve Burgess was upset 5-4 in the final by Jon Rennie... in B.C., Vancouver’s Jay Wakefield thumped Darren Nelson of Vernon in the men’s final while Kelly Thompson of Richmond beat Kelsey Samborksky of Kamloops in an extra-end thriller... in PEI, Summerside’s Erin Carmody went undefeated for the second year in a row, winning her title-clinching match 12-4 over Charlottetown’s Katie Sharkey. In men’s play, Spencer Pitre of Alberton must beat 2007 national finalist Brett Gallant of Charlottetown three straight times, starting today, to prevent a Gallant victory... on the rock, Julie Devereaux of St. John’s – led on her sister Stacie’s 2007 Canadian Junior championship team – won the 2008 provincial title with a 7-4 win over clubmate Sammi Adams. The men’s final is underway... Manitoba’s finals are also today, Nova Scotia is wrapping up today and/or tomorrow and three provs – Saskatchewan, Alberta and Northern Ontario – play down this coming weekend...

• Great behind-the-scenes story from Mike Harris, about the late Don Chevrier, in the current online webisode of the Capital One Curlers Corner; check it out ...

• The champions of the Manitoba Curling Tour for this season are the resurgent Mike McEwan team from the Assiniboine-Memorial in Winnipeg, and and Barb Spencer’s Winnipeg Fort Rouge foursome.

McEwen went undefeated with five straight wins in Portage, capturing the MCT men’s division title in a field of 24 teams. With support from B.J. Neufeld, Matt Wozniak and Denni Neufeld, he defeated Ryan Fry 4-2 in the final.

Jeff Stoughton and Rob Fowler could not play in Portage, so Fry and Steve Gould picked up Chris Schille (who plays for Brad Gushue in Newfoundland) and competed as a three-man team all weekend. They earned runner-up cash of $4,000.

McEwen earned $7,000 in prize money plus the MCT berth in the Manitoba Safeway Championship, to be held at the Brandon Keystone Centre, February 13th to 17th, 2008.

Terry McNamee of Brandon and Reid Carruthers of Beausejour received $2,000 apiece for reaching the semi-finals, while Don Spriggs of Portage and James Kirkness of Winnipeg’s Deer Lodge each earned $1,500 as losing quarter-finalists (24 teams – 6 qualifiers).

Spencer skipped her team of Kristen Williamson, Brette Richards and Barb Enright to a $4,000 cheque for a final 11-4 victory over her sister Darcy Robertson of Fort Rouge, who earned $2,000 as the runner-up team in the women's division. Holly Scott of the Granite and Maureen Bonar of Beausejour received $1,000 as semi-finalists (8 teams – 4 qualifiers).

This was the 17th MCT Championship (starting in 1991-92) and caps off the 2007-08 tour season. McEwen’s tour title is his first, and it is a third in the women's division for Spencer, who won previously in 2001-02 and in 2003-04.

Bob Weeks is stepping it up these days. His Glob & Flail columns – today’s is located here – are running more frequently and now he has officially entered the blogosphere – welcome aboard Bob!

• Finally, the January issue content list above talks about something called Little Mosque (On the Prairie)... check out the webpage for a hint of what’s to come in Wednesday’s episode (January 9). This is a Canadian television show, BTW, although it is rapidly becoming available in other world markets ...

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