Nasty divorce to end in a match

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:34 PM ET

The Manitoba Curling Tour has decided not to take sides in a dispute among former teammates. It's going to make them fight for the right to perks they won before they split up.

Winnipeg's Renaud Gagne's team won the MCT men's crown in January, which also gave it a berth in a special playoff game against the 2006 MCT champ for a spot in the 2006 provincial men's championship.

Gagne's team, however, split up in February. Third Chris Suchy reunited with skip Mark Lukowich, but he took second Hub Perrin and lead Brad Hawkins with him. Gagne, meanwhile, joined Brent Braemer's squad at third.

The MCT found itself in a pickle, because its bylaws state that either three members of the team or the skip could claim the berth in the Select qualifying game. So instead of picking one team or the other, the MCT has decided that Lukowich, featuring Suchy, Perrin and Hawkins, will play Braemer, featuring Gagne, in November for the right to meet the 2006 MCT champ in January.

The playoff game between the 2005 and 2006 MCT champs is a one-time affair, because this is a transition year. Beginning in 2007, the MCT champ will play in the provincial championship the same year he wins the MCT.

Neither Gagne nor Suchy could be reached for comment yesterday.

Suchy, Perrin and Hawkins won another battle, however. The MCT champ also gets an invitation to the Canadian Curling Association's Canada Cup West, but the Gagne team's breakup caused more confusion. The CCA's only stipulation is that a team must have three members to keep the berth, so the MCT is going to recommend to the CCA that it give the Canada Cup West spot to Lukowich.

The CCA is expected to accept the MCT's recommendation.


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