INNISFAIL -- John Morris sat in stunned silence outside the locker- room after another Brier dream shattered like a ship on the rocks. This time, though, he could not hold back a counterattack by an Army on the march.
Morris dropped a 7-5 decision to Red Deer's Rob (Army) Armitage, who claimed his fifth straight victim after dropping his first two games on opening day.
"(Fuddle duddle),'' said Morris. "I don't know what to say.''
Morris had yesterday afternoon's Page playoff quarter-final game well in hand at the fifth-end break. His team had cruised to a 4-2 lead and was playing like it did in the two-win Friday.
Then, the tide turned.
"Everything was going pretty well and all of a sudden the wheels fell off,'' said Morris. "In the second half, we got a couple of bad breaks and ... it's frustrating.''
Armitage fashioned steals in the seventh and eighth ends after a couple of superb bailout hit-and-flops, and Morris couldn't respond.
"I guess we just didn't want it badly enough,'' said Morris.
"No, I wasn't looking ahead. I knew these guys were going to be tough.
''We were pretty comfortable after the fifth end, then we just couldn't get anything going.''
Morris qualified for this event as Alberta's top-rated Canadian Team Ranking system foursome, and the expectations to carry on were high.
Morris took no solace in the fact he made this year's playoff round.
"That's not the way I look at it,'' said Morris. "We don't come here to make playoffs or do better than last year. If you come here not to make the top three, you're in the right frame of mind.
"You come here to win and I guess we just didn't want it bad enough. We didn't rise up.''
Next up for Morris is the Canada Cup the week following the Brier.