Only three left unbeaten

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:03 AM ET

Only three teams remain undefeated at 2-0 after the first day of play at the Alberta junior championships being held at the Thistle Club.

It could be an early omen of how evenly matched this year's event will be.

Jodi Marthaller of Lethbridge stole the 10th and 11th ends against Red Deer's Lindsay Blyth to keep her undefeated playdowns streak at seven straight games.

"Luck always plays a part in this game," said Marthaller. We did what we needed to."

The biggest surprise in the women's draw was the fact highly touted Desiree Robertson finished the day as the only winless team. Edmonton's James Fletcher and Thomas Sallows of Grande Prairie also finished the day with unblemished records.

"It's nice to bail the guys out for a game," said Fletcher.

"This is what we did last year. We got off to a 3-0 start, then we fell off from there (missing the playoffs).

"It's nice to get off to a 2-0 start, get rolling and build some confidence in the team.

"Coming in, we knew the guy's side would be really tough. The teams are all evenly matched. We've played pretty much everybody here before and it could swing either way."

Sallows, who lost the semi in 2003 and final last year, agrees that the men's side is totally unpredictable.

"It's all even," said Sallows.

"It's one of the closest ones I've ever seen. They're always really close but this year anybody can take it.

"There were some great teams the last couple of years -- teams that have won it before and did well at the nationals.

"I'd say it's definitely not weaker. There's a lot of young guys coming up who are pretty good shooters."

EXTRA ENDS: A total of 16 teams entered the men's Last Chance Spiel, being held at the Ottewell Club this weekend. There are five zones up for grabs with winners heading off to the men's northerns in Edson next weekend.


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