Junior skip got the message

KIRK PENTON, STAFF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

BRANDON -- It's a good thing Adam Norget didn't get booted off his own team last spring. Had that happened, his Winnipeg rink wouldn't be doing so well at the provincial junior men's curling championship this weekend at the jam-packed Brandon Curling Club.

Norget, the fourth seed, is tied with No. 1-ranked Dan Kammerlock, of Steinbach, at 5-1 going into today's final round-robin draw. Norget had a chance to beat Kammerlock in an extra end last night and lock up first place in his pool, but he hit and rolled out of the rings with the final rock and lost 5-4.

The top two teams in both eight-team pools qualify for the page playoff games, which are slated for 7:45 tonight. Winnipeg's Corey Chambers, who curls out of Deer Lodge, stayed alive at 4-2 last night with a 10-4 win over Brandon's Cale Dunbar.

Norget's rink's showing this week is fairly impressive, considering it was well on its way to self-destructing last spring. The other three members of the squad -- third Andrew Irving, second Geoff Lang and lead Jordan Bauldic -- were not happy with Norget's "pre-game preparations."

Bauldic wouldn't specify what was wrong, but it's believed Norget was having trouble fitting curling into his busy schedule.

Bauldic, Irving and Lang went so far as to play in a late-season event with a new skip, to see if they wanted to go in a different direction after three years together.

"He (developed) a trend and we just got tired of it, so we told him that just for that one bonspiel that we didn't want to curl with him because we were tired of it," Bauldic said. "We were just a bit pissed and, well, we calmed down."

"After that we talked to him. ... He realized that curling's a big part of his life. If he hadn't realized it, then we probably would be curling with somebody else, but he woke up and smelled the coffee, and he made the good choice."

Norget, 19, is happy that everything worked out.

"It's very rare for (junior) teams to stay together for that long," he said. "I only know of maybe a couple other teams that have stayed together for as long as we have.

"... We've got great team chemistry and great team dynamics. That's the key thing here at provincials because it's a long round-robin -- seven games -- and you gotta stay tough.

"We kept the team together and it's paying off."

BITERS: Winnipeg's Daley Peters, the defending provincial champ, sits atop the black pool with a 5-1 mark and has locked up a playoff spot. Winkler's David Kraichy, who fell 7-4 to Peters yesterday afternoon, is tied for second with Winnipeg's Jim Coleman (Pembina) at 4-2. Kraichy and Coleman play this morning, so the winner will qualify for the playoffs.


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