Heavy on the draw

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 6:53 AM ET

Back in 1988, Saskatchewan's Eugene Hritzuk came up short with a last-rock draw in the Brier final against Alberta's Pat Ryan.

Yesterday, Hritzuk was just a shade heavy on a draw to the button with the hammer in the senior men's final at the Canadian Senior Curling Championships.

As a result, Alberta's Les Rogers escaped with a 6-5 victory at the East St. Paul Curling Club and the Canadian crown.

"I was hoping he'd be heavy ... or light," Rogers said. "It didn't really matter. I never wish to see anybody miss, but somebody's going to win that game, and it's a disappointment when that (happens)."

Hritzuk had blanked the ninth end to keep the hammer in the 10th.

"It was our game to win," Hritzuk said. "We had the chance. All I had to do was get a good piece of the button with my last one, and I was too heavy. It's just the way it goes."

Rogers, third Marvin Wirth and lead Millard Evans were named to the all-star team.

"At this time in my life, this is perfect," said Rogers, also supported by second Ken McLean. "It couldn't get much better. It was a good week all around. The competition was good, the ice was good, and conditions were good.

"It was a very well-curled game. Give the boys from Saskatchewan credit, they played very well, and I'd like to congratulate my team. They played very well."

Rogers hones his skills by playing against the likes of Brier champion Randy Ferbey and Kevin Martin in Edmonton.

"We play a lot of other top teams in northern Alberta, too, and that makes us better," said Rogers, adding that Marcel Rocque had been playing for him before Ferbey recruited him to play lead.

Saskatchewan second Jim Wilson was also an all-star.

On the senior women's side, Joyce Potter continued an Ontario tradition by capturing the national title with a hard-fought, 7-6 extra-end victory over B.C.'s Kathy Smiley. Ontario has now won four of the last five titles.

"We've got Anne Dunn's team and Jill Greenwood and many, many wonderful teams, so we're really proud to be amongst those," said Potter. "We've won a number of provincials, but this is absolutely the best and the biggest (event) that we've ever won.

"They're just a fabulous team. You might have noticed that they were all all-stars, and I'm really proud of them."

Third Muriel Potter (her sister), second Janice Adler and lead Bonnie Morris made the dream team, with Smiley at skip.

Meanwhile, neither Rogers nor Potter know if they will be representing Canada at a senior world championship next year since the World Curling Federation is still seeking a host site.

"We'd be looking forward to that because apparently, we won't be able to come back to the (nationals)," Potter said. "So we'd love to be able to go to the worlds."

Actually, if no host site is found, her team would then be able to defend its title.

"We were looking forward to winning this game and if something comes out of it, that would be great," Rogers said. "It was just a really good feeling to win the worlds, or, to win Canada."


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