It's not like Brian Lewis hasn't beaten some great curling teams in the past. But when the Rideau skip downed No.1-ranked Glenn Howard yesterday morning for his second straight win at the Canada East Cup cashspiel, some thought he might be ready to pull off something special for the home fans.
The bubble kind of burst last night when Lewis faced another formidable opponent, losing 7-3 to Oakville's Peter Corner in a tournament A-side semi-final at the Rideau.
"Those guys played great. No doubt about it, we got outplayed," said Lewis, who, along with teammates Willie Jeffries, Mark Rodgers and Jeff Norman, resume action this morning on the B-side.
Lewis struggled with the Rideau's ice last night after winning his first two games on the sheets of the Ottawa club, on the other side of Centretown.
"The weight here was a little different than at the Ottawa," said Lewis. "I didn't pick up on it. That was the difference for me, because I missed a couple of draws."
Playing Corner marked the second straight game that Lewis played a member of Russ Howard's 1993 squad that won the Brier in Ottawa, followed by the world championship.
Turns out that Lewis will face the other member of that 1993 Howard squad -- Wayne Middaugh -- this morning.
Facing big-name opponents is nothing new for Lewis. Following a five-year hiatus from the competitive game, he came out of retirement last year to play for Ontario champion Bryan Cochrane.
Then, Lewis formed his own team this summer and made an immediate impact as a giant killer in September at the Shorty Jenkins Classic in Brockville.
He qualified for the money round, then beat Guy Hemmings in the quarter-final and Corner in the semi before losing to Kevin Martin in the championship.
"We're a new team, so it's great to do so well right off the bat against teams of that calibre," said Lewis. "It was quite a thrill and a good way to start the year."
Russ Howard, who curls out of New Brunswick, advanced to an A-side final today against Aylmer's Jean-Michel Menard.
Corner meets Shawn Adams of Nova Scotia in the other A-final this afternoon at the Rideau.