Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Asham Stompers

by Jill Officer

WINNIPEG – Tuesday night’s draw featured the best matchups so far with five of the top teams playing... and playing against each other.

Hometown boys Manitoba met Alberta, while Saskatchewan was trying to put a stop to Ontario’s undefeated record.

Kevin Martin was booed in the second end of his game against the ’Tobans. The Albertans were sitting a couple buried behind cover and decided not to give Manitoba’s Kerry Burtnyk anything to play with and chose to throw his first rock through the house.

The packed house booed Martin’s choice but Martin just shrugged it off.

Unfortunately the crowd then cheered when Martin missed his last shot, picking one of his own to give Burtnyk a shot for two. Okay people, this isn’t a basketball or hockey game… we don't cheer for misses in curling!

Manitoba was a bit slow to start, made a few nice shots and then gave up a steal of four when Burtnyk came up short on a draw.

Ontario looked slow to start against Saskatchewan. The prairie boys came out firing, but were forced to draw against five in the fifth which they did! They want on to win 7-5... good on them!

Brier organizers were telling me that the rumours they have heard say the MTS Centre is sold out for the playoffs… they specifically asked me to tell all you folks out there that this is NOT TRUE. They said although most of the available seats are in the upper bowl, there are lots of seats available. Come on Winnipeg! It’s not everyday, or even every year that you can watch someone win a Canadian Championship live.

The Asham Stompers took the stage between draws at last night’s Keith’s Brier Patch. The Stompers feature none other than Arnold Asham, the founder of Asham Curling Supplies. The Stompers are a jigging group that have toured all over the place, performing versions of the Red River jig. They even performed at the halftime show of a Winnipeg Blue Bombers game in front of 30,000 spectators.

They were awesome, folks. And the youngest member is only six years old!

Arnold says they are even trying to get on the entertainment bill at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Then again, so are we!

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