Carruthers makes it in

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:01 AM ET

This curling cat came back after all.

Former Manitoba champion Reid Carruthers, who failed to qualify for this year's Target Junior Men's and Women's Championships in Brandon with his Pembina foursome, answered an SOS from Pembina's Jim Coleman yesterday morning.

Coleman lost his third, Burke Nagle, at the last minute due to "personal family reasons," said MCA rep Resby Coutts, and asked Carruthers to replace him. Since Carruthers is a member of the same club, that falls within the Manitoba Curling Association rules, Coutts confirmed.

That means Carruthers will now play third for Coleman's unseeded team in the same pool as Fort Garry's defending champion Daley Peters, the No. 2 seed, and Winkler's David Kraichy, No. 3.

"It's not very fair but it's allowed under the rules, I guess," said Carberry's Kevin Mark, who is in the same pool. "It makes the pool a lot tougher now."

Mark already has to open the roundrobin against Peters and Kraichy today.

Although Carruthers will play third in today's first match versus Petersfield's Kyle Flett, the rules state that he can play any position, Coutts said.

"It sure was a strange turn of events," said Carruthers, adding that he will likely stick to third. "I'm excited about being here in my last year of Juniors, although it was an unfortunate turn of events for the team."

Although Carruthers has never played Coleman at the club, he is familiar with the team.

"I definitely know how they like to play," he said. "The skip calls a similar type of game and he even throws the rock the same way."

Carruthers then referred further explanations to Lynn Coleman, the team's coach and Jim's father. However, he could not be reached for comment.

"He was a little shook up about it," Coutts said. "But he wanted to do things right for his kid and for the family. He did everything we (MCA) require in terms of handling things properly. Obviously, he was very lucky that Reid was available and is a member of the same club."


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