Climenhaga's in

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:24 AM ET

EDSON -- The big question is not whether third time will be lucky for John Climenhaga.

Last night, Climenhaga became the third northern Alberta rep to advance to the men's provincial at Innisfail.

He killed giant-killer Ted Appelman 5-2 in the C Event final. Appelman beat Kevin Martin for the second time this weekend in yesterday afternoon's semi.

Climenhaga has made two previous provincials appearances, both in the supporting cast of family members.

In 1981, Climenhaga threw second rocks for his father Clarence. The team won just once.

Then, in 1988, he threw third rocks for brother David. That team went winless.

"Back in '88, I'd been there twice in the '80s and I figured I'd be there again," said Climenhaga, who's back after a 17-year drought.

"I had pretty well written it off. I took another crack at it this year and it turned out good."

This provincial, a half-win would equal his career batting average.

Climenhaga is skipping a team that includes Cliff Phillips, Brad Kucek and Jason Saboe. It's the kind of team that hangs in there.

He won C after losing out at the A and B semis.

"I curled with these guys a couple of times before and we've been close," said Climenhaga.

"In '96, we lost the C final. Last year, I hooked up with these guys again and lost the A final to Ferbey.

"I had a shot for two in 10. It picked and we never saw another final."

The team has been in three World Curling Tour events, making enough money to pay for expenses.

"We're not quite trying to do it professionally," said Climenhaga, who works in the software field.

Now that he's a first-time skip at the provincials, he has a chance to improve on his history.


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