Restall had plenty of rest

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

It has been quite a spell since Manitoba's Howie Restall curled on a national stage.

So you can bet this senior week will hold a special spot in his heart.

"As you get a little older, you savour them a bit more," Restall said yesterday. "Fifteen years ago, you think maybe I'm going to have a chance for one or two more down the road. It took me 15 years to get back to one, so I'm savouring it.

'THIS WILL BE FUN'

"It's rather nice to be back and looking at the competition, it hasn't gotten any easier. So this will be fun."

Restall defeated Quebec's ReJean Pare 8-5 at a packed East St. Paul Curling Club to post a 2-0 record on opening day of the Canadian senior men's and women's championships.

Restall, who just turned 50, last wore the Buffalo at the 1990 national mixed, where he was the runner-up.

"There's more fans here than there were in Rimouski, Quebec, by the way," he said.

Restall, who also bested Saskatchewan's Eugene Hritzuk 7-3, is tied atop the standings with Northern Ontario and Yukon/NWT.

"Any time you can go 2-0, it's a nice feeling," he said. "We certainly didn't play our best game (versus Quebec). Kind of half shots here, half shots there. Hopefully, we'll put that one behind us, move on and play a little better. We're going to need to."

Doug Harrison, who throws the last brick, made an angle-raise-bump-spill to score three in the ninth end as Manitoba took a 7-5 lead. He then made a raise-takeout in the 10th to salt the game away.

"Wow! He made a couple of nice shots out there," Restall said. "Nine was a real nice shot."

Restall plays Yukon/NWT and Newfoundland today.

On the women's side, Manitoba's Linda Van Daele opened with a 9-1 shellacking of Saskatchewan's Crystal Frisk.

"It's the way you want to start," said Van Daele, supported by third Betty Couling, second Evelyn Clegg and Jean Ungarian. "Just continued from the provincials.

"Saskatchewan's always tough, but we thought if we play well, that's all we can do. And we just played better than them. (Saskatchewan) just didn't catch on to the ice.

"When they played provincials, it was like, 18 (seconds). It was really heavy, and this was quick."

Ontario and New Brunswick were tied for first at 2-0.

Van Daele, who was playing Northern Ontario in last night's late draw, faces Yukon/NWT and Newfoundland today.

BITERS: Former world women's champion Connie Laliberte is coaching Van Daele, while former men's/senior men's/masters national champ John Helston is coaching Restall ... Transplanted Manitoban Jamie McTavish is skipping B.C.


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