Rescue Ralph

ANGELA MACISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

Ralph Brust actually looks a bit like Clark Kent. With his unassuming approach -- and, of course, the glasses --Brust led his La Glace Curling Club rink to a 7-6 extra-end win over Lloydminster's Doug Zingel for the provincial mixed curling championship.

"He's our Superman," said third Karen Powell after the victory at Calgary Winter Club.

"He had a great week. If we got into trouble, he made some unbelievably great shots. A good skip is the one who can keep bailing you out.

"He put on his cape and saved the day."

Brust is a Calgarian curling with friends Powell, second Ken Powell and lead Tina McDonald from the town near Grande Prairie.

Up for double duty, Brust threw last rocks and took care of some sweeping while Powell called the shots.

She wasn't able to sweep due to a shoulder problem and it didn't seem to faze anyone on the team.

"The switch seemed to work quite well for us," she said.

But the Brust foursome did run into its share of trouble against Zingel.

The Lloydminster skip eliminated Dean Ross of the North Hill Curling Club in the semifinal, winning 10-7 yesterday morning. That came after surviving Saturday night's semifinal, a 10-5 win over Edmonton's Aaron Bartling.

Brust was up 3-0 after two ends but Zingel got back in the game quickly. He hit and stuck to the 4-ft. for one in the third and then stole one when Brust tried to tick off a rock onto the button and missed.

Brust was up 6-5 coming home with the hammer when his team got bit by the free-guard zone rule.

The guard was put back in its spot and Zingel was able to get two rocks buried behind protection.

Brust drew to the 4-ft. and gave up one, letting Zingel score the tying point.

And it all came down to one shot in the 11th. Zingel again was buried for shot rock on the four and Brust had to draw to the button.

Fans in the crowded gallery waited for any sign of the outcome at the other end of the ice and got it when Brust threw his arms in the air to celebrate.

"We played very well," said Brust. "Doug and his team do not quit. They came at us and came at us and we were hanging on for our dear lives at the end.

"The whole week was mentally tough but we put together a very good winning streak. We played well and we were the best team here, without sounding arrogant."

The location for the nationals in January 2005 has yet to be determined, although there have been whispers it may touch down in Calgary.

"That would be outstanding," said Brust.

"This is the greatest city in the world. It should be here."


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