Opposites attract

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

SOURIS -- Today they will go after their second straight Scott Tournament of Hearts provincial women's curling championship together. They will finish each other's sentences, bump fists after good shots and sometimes butt heads over the sweepers.

Other than that, skip Lois Fowler and third Gerri Cooke could not be more different.

"We're basically opposites," Fowler said. "I'm very feminine and she's very masculine, like tomboy-ish. We're completely the opposite -- completely.

"I like the ruffles and the frills, she likes the blue jeans and the T-shirts. But that's good. It's probably a real good mix."

Fowler and Co. have some work to do if they're going repeat. They fell 5-2 to St. Vital's Kristy Jenion in last night's 1-vs-1 Page playoff game before a packed house at Murray Arena.

'ODD COUPLE'

Jenion goes straight to today's 1:30 final, while Fowler must play St. Vital's Jennifer Jones in this morning's semifinal. Jones beat Brandon's Liza Park 7-6 in last night's 2-vs-2 game.

Fowler and Cooke, who are a self-described "odd couple" of Manitoba curling, first got together in 1993 when Fowler's rink, which at the time was skipped by her current second, Maureen Bonar, needed a fifth for nationals. Cooke then joined the team full-time in 1996.

The squad broke up briefly in the late 1990s and Cooke's knee surgery shelved her for the 2002-03 season. Despite their oil-and-water lifestyles, they keep coming back to one another.

Fowler is a 50-year-old realtor who lives in Brandon, while Cooke is a 41-year-old house painter who lives in Minnedosa. They rarely speak in the summer, and if it weren't for curling they would never be friends.

"Rarely we might have a golf game," Fowler said, "but that's it."

For her 50th birthday two weeks ago, Fowler's husband gave her a trip to Las Vegas, where she will watch Elton John and Celine Dion perform. Earlier this winter, when Cooke popped Good Charlotte into the team car's CD player, Fowler didn't like what she heard.

"She skipped through about six songs and said, 'No,' so I put it back in my bag," Cooke said.

On the ice, however, they've made nothing but sweet music.

"I'm so used to her," Cooke said. "It doesn't bother me that she's 10 years older than me and is a realtor and likes to do this and that, because she lets me do my own thing."


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