Morris puts losing skid behind him

ANGELA MACISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

Last season is just a distant memory in the minds of the John Morris rink.

The past needed to be buried for Morris, third Kevin Koe, second Marc Kennedy and lead Paul Moffatt.

After all, they didn't win a single spiel through the entire 2004-05 season.

And now they've put together back-to-back money weekends.

"Yeah, the wallets were getting a little thin," chuckled Morris yesterday, after collecting $10,000 at the Meyers Norris Penny Charity Classic in Medicine Hat.

Morris and crew dispatched Randy Bryden of Regina 8-5 in the championship game, doing the big damage with three in the second end and a steal of one in the third.

That was after a rocky Saturday and Sunday, after which Morris qualified out of the C side.

"We just put it together," said Morris, who cashed out $7,000 as a semifinalist the weekend prior at the West Coast Classic in New Westminster, B.C.

"We ended up coming back strong with three wins today.

"The ice was a lot better here than last year and we just put it together. We actually played better last weekend and lost the semis to the old Bear (Kevin Martin).

"This weekend, we struggled a bit but we found a way to win."

The Morris foursome is taking a different approach to the season.

Instead of entering almost every event on the Ultima World Curling Tour, the boys are taking it a bit easier, focusing on the basics.

In fact, they aren't playing this weekend. And Morris -- who moonlights as a volunteer firefighter in Chestermere and a Boston Pizza bartender -- is heading to Portage La Prairie, Man., to play with Glenn Howard and two of his former Ontario teammates.

Koe, Kennedy and Moffatt will find a replacement to play in the Lethbridge spiel.

"We're putting more time into our practice and our mechanics," said Morris, the two-time world junior champ, who earned his trials berth at the 2004 WCT champion. "It showed that first week."

Of course, there's only one goal in mind: The Canadian Olympic trials in Halifax, Dec. 3-11.

And Morris doesn't want the right to represent Canada at the Turin Olympics simply handed over to Randy Ferbey, the five-time world champ.

"We've played well enough, I think, to make top three or four," Morris said. "Now we just have to tune it up and tweak it a little bit more. It should be a good battle out there in Halifax.

"All you can ask for is a chance. We have the chance. And I'm happier than ever. We're going hard for that."

ON THE ROCKS: Darren Moulding of Calgary picked up $4,000 at the Medicine Hat cashspiel, losing 5-3 to Bryden in a semifinal ... Diane Foster made it a Calgary sweep, claiming the women's title and a $5,500 prize. She beat fellow Cowtowner Heather Bedard 7-4 in the final.


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