SELKIRK -- The shot that brought down the defending champion will be remembered for years to come. Brent Scales' reign as Manitoba men's curling champion came to an end yesterday afternoon when Kerry Burtnyk made a miraculous shot in a B-side game at the Safeway Select.
Immediately after Burtnyk's spectacular, game-breaking shot in the fifth end people in the Selkirk Recreation Centre were turning to each other with the same question on their tongues.
"What was that? A raise-double? Double-raise takeout? Indescribable circus shot?"
In the end, it was deciphered that Burtnyk's brilliant effort was a triple-raise, double takeout which allowed his team to score three and take a 5-2 lead. He went on to a 7-4 victory and ended Scales' dream of a repeat.
"That was probably our best game and it was decided basically on that one big shot that Kerry made for three," said Scales, who curls out of Swan River.
Rubbing salt in the wound for Scales was the fact that he made perhaps his best shot of the week just prior to Burtnyk's big blow. He took away two raise possibilities by making a hit-and-roll behind cover that looked like it would lead to a steal of one or at least force Burtnyk to take one and relinquish the hammer.
"After I made mine I thought he might get one at best," Scales said. "When you have lots of rocks in play, anything can happen."
Burtnyk also thought he would be held to a single, but third Ken Tresoor sold the skip on the tough combination shot and the four-time provincial champ made good.
"(Scales) made an excellent shot, exactly what he was trying," Burtnyk said. "All of a sudden, Kenny starts looking at the angles and he says 'Geez, maybe we have a shot here for three.' We weren't 100% sure it was there but we thought it was worth the effort and it worked out. It was huge for us and for sure a back-breaker for them."
Burtnyk admitted it was a shot people will remember and one he doesn't get a chance to try every day.
"You don't really want to be trying too many of them either."
The end of the road was disappointing for a Scales foursome that was the first rural team in 14 years to win the Manitoba title. But for the third straight year, the team proved it can run with the big dogs.
"We had the title for a whole year and it was nice to get this far here and prove that we are still a contending team," said Scales third Gord Hardy.
"It was a great experience. Our careers are not done, so maybe one of these years we can get another one."
ALL STARS: The Select all-star team, selected by the media, includes skip Randy Dutiaume, third Kyle Werenich (Ryan Fry team), second Rob Fowler (Kerry Burtnyk team) and lead Cory Naharnie (Fry).