Playdowns take a hit

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

The law of unintended consequences has hit the Edmonton and area men's curling playdowns. "We have the lowest-ever number of teams entered,'' said city playdowns co-ordinator Rick McKague.

Only 26 teams filed their entry forms at yesterday's deadline for the Jan. 6-9 event being held at the Glen Allen Recreation Complex in Sherwood Park.

Highlighting this year's city field are Kevin Martin, Jamie King and Shane Park throwing last rock for an all-brothers foursome battling to get into the northerns.

"I'm not sure why it's dropping off like this,'' McKague said.

Simple. It's a trickle-down effect from the new 12-team provincials format.

Randy Ferbey is already in as defending provincial champ. Mark Johnson grabbed one of the two spots available from the inaugural Alberta Curling Tour, along with Red Deer's Rob Armitage.

Calgary's John Morris is in as the top-rated Alberta team in the Canadian Team Ranking System after beating Martin in last year's Tour Championship. That means Martin will have to grind it out, trying to grab one of the eight available zones in next week's event.

It's not all bad news for McKague. He claimed his first-ever zone with a win in the First Chance Spiel two weeks ago.

EXTRA ENDS: Kaylynn Park and Derek Miller won their A Event finals at the junior northerns in Camrose.


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