Gogal clicking at home

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:10 AM ET

Flin Flon has produced its own 'Gogal.com.'

That would be Blaine Gogal, who amalgamated with some veteran curlers to compute a 6-4 win over Morden's Ian Beavis in the final of the Safeway Select Northern Berth Bonspiel at the Flin Flon Uptown Curling Club yesterday.

"It feels really good to take the pressure off of going into the (rural) zones," Gogal said via telephone moments after posting the victory. "It's the first time I've won the floater so that's good because we have another good team in our zone in Bobby Bensen. Hopefully, we can have two teams from Flin Flon at the Select now."

They did last year after Bensen had won "the floater."

Supported by third Jim Quinn, 48, second Kelly Peterson, 47 and Russ Reeves, 50, Gogal will 'surf' down to the 2005 men's provincials, to be held in Selkirk, Feb. 9-13. The Flin Flon foursome will join Swan River's Brent Scales, the defending champion, St. Vital's Ryan Fry, the Manitoba Curling Tour champ, and Grain Exchange's Dean Steski, who won the southern floating berth bonspiel.

Gogal, 34, will be making his fifth trip to the provincials. He made the championship round twice while curling for Bensen, then went 2-2 last year, skipping at the Select for the first time.

"We had a good run at the (MCT) championship last year, too," he said. "So, we like our chances (in Selkirk). We'll be pretty competitive."

Gogal, who also pocketed about $700 by winning the nine-team spiel, admitted that it was a little sweeter to beat a team from South-Man in the final.

"And it means a lot winning at home, too," he said. "There was a big crowd up in the lounge watching so it might be worth a few free ones."

Gogal gouged Flin Flon's Ed Sattleberger 7-3 while Beavis, who got about $400, bean Thompson's Sam Antila 9-6 in the semifinals.

DOUBLE WINNERS: A pair of former Manitoba senior women's champions earned trips back to the provincials through the Great Canadian Travel Berth Bonspiel at the Granite Curling Club.

Brandon's Linda Van Daele beat Minnedosa's Jean Garbolinsky 8-5 while Joyce McDougall of Souris defeated Heather's Rita VandeVyvere 7-5 in the semifinals to win the two spots available. Van Daele and McDougall will compete at the Pace Setter Senior Women's provincial playdowns, to be held in Dauphin, March 3-7. Van Daele, by the way, edged McDougall 7-6 in the final.

BITERS: Manitoba's Howie Restall earned $5,000 US by winning a World Curling Tour cashspiel in St. Paul. Minnesota ... Manitoba's Dave Boehmer won at least $4,000 and valuable Canadian Team Ranking System points when he qualified at another WCT event in Yorkton. Jeff Stoughton, Kerry Burtnyk, Allan Lyburn and Scales were playing in C qualifiers last night ... Joelle Duguid -- the only Manitoban left -- was playing a C qualifier at a cashspiel in Regina last night. Jennifer Jones failed to earn a loonie there, the second straight weekend her team has been shut out.


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