Boehmer Express hits bump

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:06 AM ET

The story has already become legendary. You know, the one where Dave Boehmer hopped a train home from a Grand Slam event in Prince Albert, Sask., in the middle of the night, then banged off 17 straight wins in the minor events to earn the last Safeway Select spot available through the MCA's annual bonspiel.

And that was the only way Boehmer could make it to the provincials, because he had already lost his rural zone playdown. Well, Boehmer had another dilemma this week. He had committed to play in this weekend's Slam in Humboldt, Sask., but just discovered that his rural zone is being held at the same time. So, Boehmer has now joined the Grain Exchange Curling Club to be eligible to compete in the city zone playdowns, to be played Jan. 10-16.

So, he has gone from being the 'Pride of Petersfield' to 'Dave the Defector.'

"The people here will be mad," admitted Boehmer, who lives in Petersfield. "But we're not going to give up playing in a Slam to go into a zone."

Aside from the $100,000 available in Humboldt, Boehmer has another reason to compete in the Slam. His foursome is almost tied with Jeff Stoughton as the top Manitoba squad on the Canadian Team Ranking System, which will be used to determine the new exemption into the Select this season. Boehmer is .08 ahead of Stoughton with just the Slam and the Canada Cup Bonspiel West to go before the Dec. 31 deadline.

"You can't help but think about it," Boehmer conceded. "When Stoughton struggled out of the gate, we had it in our minds that we had a chance for that spot. This weekend will probably determine how we do but he always does well in the Slams because it's his kind of ice."

RURAL CITY ZONES: St. Vital's Jennifer Jones has been named the top seed for the Scott Tournament of Hearts city zone playdowns, which will be played in Selkirk tomorrow through Sunday. Rounding out the top five seeds are: Barb Spencer and Joelle Duguid, both of Fort Rouge, and Karen Porritt and Kristy Jenion, both of St. Vital.

Former provincial champion Karen Young has decided to pass on the city zones to play out of Springfield this year.

BITERS: James Kirkness got into the Canada Cup West Bonspiel as one of the top-ranked CTRS squads that had not already qualified, Canadian Curling Association administrator Danny Lamoureux said. Although Vic Peters had also made it, he is not sure if third Mark Lukowich can go because he is moving ... Both Ontario's Wayne Middaugh and Glenn Howard will pass on this week's Slam to enter their provincial qualifiers ... Sportsnet will introduce a new innovation where viewers can vote on which Slam semifinal they prefer to watch Sunday ... Those wishing to enter the new $34,000 senior cashspiel at the Granite in February can pay their entry fee by postdated cheque, said co-organizer Terry Braunstein.

HOUSECLEANING: Junior men's rural zone winners not listed on the weekend for various reasons were: Alonsa's Cory Zdan, Wheat City's Travis Brooks and Warren's Andrew Hunt. Junior women's winners were: Dauphin's Meaghan Anger, Shoal Lake's Jennifer Kienas, Kailegh Strath of Souris and MacGregor's Megan Stewart ... Saskatchewan's Maurel Erick earned $6,500 by winning the Manitoba Curling Tour spiel in Dauphin, defeating St. Vital's Ryan Fry ($4,500) 6-1 in the final.

COMING UP: The Brandon Bonspiel goes this weekend, with one Safeway Select spot up for grabs ... Two Select rural zone playdowns will also be played ... And the Manitoba Curling Tour's Thistle Integrity Stakes starts at the Thistle Curling Club today.


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