Ottawa's Chris Gardner is having a fine time off the ice at his first TSC Stores Tankard. The problem is on the ice -- actually, with the arena ice in Woodstock.
"It's frustrating," said Gardner (1-3). "We aren't used to this ice. We are concentrating on changing our deliveries and not on throwing."
With the swingy arena ice, the relatively inexperienced team out of the Arnprior Curling Club faces a decisive handicap against more seasoned teams.
"We're always chasing," said Gardner. "It's hard to get offence going."
Off the ice the team is enjoying all the perks of the Tankard.
Despite the distractions during Gardner's first arena game, "You really don't notice anything at all except for the sheet of ice you're on. I really wasn't nervous at all."
Rogers is broadcasting Gardner's game tomorrow afternoon (2 p.m.), as well as Friday afternoon's game (also 2 p.m.) featuring the Rideau Curling Club's Bryan Cochrane.
LOCALS AT QUEBEC PLAYDOWNS
The Quebec men's championship beginning Monday boasts plenty of local participation. Ted Butler skips his Buckingham team. Other Western Quebec/former Ottawa players are Jean-Michel Menard, Simon Dupuis, Jean-Sebastien Roy, Mark Homan and Sebastien Robillard.
READY TO ROCK SCOTTIES
All teams have been determined for the national Scotties, except for Manitoba. Ontario's Krista McCarville joins Andre Kelly (N.B.), Cheryl Bernard (Alta.), Stefanie Lawton (Sask.) and Kerry Galusha (N.W.T.), all of whom won their playdowns Sunday. Fearless prediction: History will be made when Marie-France Larouche wins Quebec's second national women's title (the first was by Lee Tobin in 1975) and the first by a French-Canadian rink.
In Gore regional schoolboy and schoolgirl action, those advancing to provincials are: 1A -- Brett Lyon-Hatcher and Shannon Harrington; B -- Kurtis Byrd and Emily Au. In masters action, regional victors were: 1A -- Dave Van Dine and Betty Bush; B -- Reg Plaster and Bonnie Morris. Zone winners who move on to Colts and Trophy regionals are: 1A -- Shane Latimer and Bernice Wolf; B -- John Wall and Lori White; 2A -- Dan Cook and Allison Farrell; B -- Chris Chiasnocha and Jamie Temple.
Steve Gray, Karen Thorington, Bob Cairns and Debbie Gray won the Italian mixed bonspiel at the RCMP club ... The Pembroke Curling Club is accepting entries for its open cashspiel March 26-29. Call 613 687-7425 ... The Canadian Vision Impaired Championship final is Friday at 1:30 at the Ottawa ... The bantam provincials start tomorrow in Oshawa with Ryan McCrady, Jonathan Thompson, Au and Jamie Sinclair representing this region.