Skip makes lemonade

ANGELA MacISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:05 AM ET

Life can be so sweet on the sunny side of the street.

Words of wisdom, originally from Billie Holiday, now from Calgary skip John Morris.

That's how he's looking at the 8-2 semifinal loss to Kelowna's Pat Ryan at the Canada Cup West in Edmonton Sunday.

"We had a tough go in that last game," Morris said yesterday. "But all in all, you gotta look at the bright side, right?"

Right. Especially since the Canada Cup West is the rink's best result since a third-place finish at the McCain SuperSpiel West in Portage la Prairie, Man., on Halloween weekend.

But not even a mention of the five-ender he gave Ryan in the second end of the semifinal could bring down his spirits.

Nope. After all, Morris, third Kevin Koe, second Marc Kennedy and lead Paul Moffatt met their goal: Qualifying for the $180,000 Strauss Canada Cup, March 15-20 in Kamloops, B.C.

"Oh, they outplayed us that game," Morris said. "If we'd won the toss, I'm sure it would have been 1-0 for us, at least, rather than 5-0 for them.

"It's unfortunate because the end was going back and forth. My last rock just didn't curl enough. I left him with a tough shot for five and he made it."

Frustrating? Sure, how else would he describe the last couple of months?

The Morris rink was 2-0 to start several cashspiels but failed to make the championship draws.

"It was looking a little bleak for a while," the skip said.

"I wouldn't say we played any better or differently than we have been. Things just started going our way."

This is but one step on a long list of goals for the season. There's winning the Canada Cup and the Tim Hortons Brier, plus repeating as World Curling Tour champions.

The rink's goal last season was just to earn its berth at the Olympics trials in Halifax next December. Done.

"Yeah, you have to look at the big picture,"Morris said. "The best we can do is prepare as well as we can for the four big events we have left."

That includes the M&M Meat Shops Skins Game, which starts Dec. 27, in Waterloo, Ont.

Nope, not even a Christmas break for this pack.

"Yeah, we've done a little too much," Morris said. "It takes a bit of a toll. I would probably be singing a different tune if we were winning all these events.

"It's been an eye-opener, that's for sure ... Right now, I'm just looking forward to my first eggnog," Morris said, chuckling.

ON THE ROCKS: Calgary's Shannon Kleibrink, who finished top 4 on the women's side of Cup West also earned a spot at the Kamloops Cup ... Juniors vied for berths at the Target provincials, Jan. 12-16 at the Thistle club in Edmonton. Coming out of the men's side at Southern playdowns in Lethbridge were Calgary's J.D. Lind, Ryan Keirstead and Jon Elder ... Women's berths went to Lethbridge's Jodi Marthaller, Red Deer's Whitney More and Calgary's Lindsay Blyth ... Men's Dist. 1 reps for Southerns in Drumheller, Jan. 21-24, are Trent McQuarrie, Terry Meek, Travis Phillips and Lloyd Heller. Dist. 3 spots went to JasonBackman, Jim Walsh, Rob Johnson, Duane Grierson and Garth Smith.


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