January 27, 2009
Ross off to provincials
By TODD SAELHOF, SUN MEDIA
Dean Ross took a page from recent history to steal his way into the Alberta men's curling championship.
Just a few days after seeing Dan Petryk miss a key draw , Ross gambled his foe would fail again on the shot -- this time to decide yesterday's C final of the 2009 Southern Alberta Curling Association's Boston Pizza Cup at The Glencoe Club.
The result favoured Ross a second straight time, as he beat Petryk 6-3 to earn the the final spot in the 2009 Alberta Men's Curling Championship in Wainwright, Feb. 11-15.
Ross will join fellow Calgary Curling Club skip Steve Petryk, the A-event champ, and Red Deer's Rob Armitage, the B-side winner, as SACA representatives at the provincials.
Competition in Wainwright will include Edmonton super-shooters Kevin Martin, Kevin Koe and Randy Ferbey.
"Dan used to play front end, so he's an extremely good hitter -- he showed that in the ninth (to blank that end)," Ross said. "He had to draw against four of our rocks in the preliminary round, and he missed it.
"We stole three in that fifth end and won it. So if you have to make him throw any shot, you want it to be a draw."
Ross set up the end by freezing two rocks to one of his own and one of Petryk's, creating a line of four rocks at the front of the house and forcing Petryk to find draw weight on the right side of the rings in an attempt to get at least a piece of the four-foot for the win.
"It wasn't the ideal way to be sitting because nine times out of 10, he makes that draw," Ross said. "But we'll take it.
"I think he got a little further out in a faster path, and the rock carried on him."
It carried right on through the four-foot, giving Ross the steal of three and a berth in the Alberta championship.
"It's good to be back. I went in '02 and '06 and thought maybe I wouldn't be going back until '10, but we broke the jinx," said Ross, who heads to provincials this year with third Greg Northcott, second Chris Blackwell and lead Aaron Westgard.
"We worked hard to get this far. We put out a lot of cash to go to the spiels -- maybe it didn't exactly work for us, but we felt we improved."
For Petryk, a provincial appearance would have been emotional, given the competition against his brother and vs. Martin, with whom he won a Brier title, a Canadian junior crown and two Alberta championships.
"Just to go to provincials would have been nice," said Petryk, who flanked by third Scott Cripps, second Mike Westlund and lead J.D. Lind. "I didn't make the four-foot draw. You miss that, and you should stay home. I just came out of the hack a little hot."
To reach the C final, yesterday's semis saw Ross beat Coaldale's Darren Moulding 9-7 and Petryk top Airdrie's Don DeLair 5-2.
Ross fell in Sunday's B final to Armitage, while Petryk lost Saturday 's A final to brother Steve.
At the Northerns playdowns, St. Albert's Shane Park captured the A event, Edmonton's Jamie King won the B side and Bonnyville's Shawn Broda triumphed in the C event. The trio will represent NACA at the provincials alongside the four north teams who pre-qualified -- Martin, Koe, Ferbey and Ted Appelman.