Success, but no fanfare

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

HALIFAX -- How can you be the team that represented Canada at the last Olympics and one before that and fly under the radar?

How can you be Kevin Martin, get out of the gate at 3-1, and not be a story?

It's the way it's worked so far.

The crashing and burning of four-time Brier champion and three-time world champion Randy Ferbey rink and the undefeated start of Brad Gushue, with 49-year-old Russ Howard skipping and throwing second stones, has been hogging the headlines.

Here yesterday there seemed to be more media interest in Howard benching himself in a blowout win over Mark Dacey after the fifth end than in Martin coming from behind 4-2 to win 7-5 against Shawn Adams.

"He didn't miss one shot for six ends,'' said Martin of the Nova Scotia skip who lost the final of the Edmonton 2005 Brier to Ferbey. "He finally missed one in the eighth. That was the first break he gave us. He just didn't ever miss.''

Martin wasn't taking any great delight in the situation his Edmonton rival found himself in with a 1-3 record after Day 3 of the 'Roar of the Rings' Olympic Trials.

"We were 2-3 in the Nagano Olympic Trials and made it to the final. We were 2-2 in the Salt Lake Trials and ended up winning it. Kerry Burtnyk was 0-3 in the same event and we ended up going against him in the final.''

ABOUT THE INK ...

Getting most of his ink for the game he gassed to Ferbey was the other Alberta rink, John Morris of Calgary, who also sits at 3-1 not getting much notice along with Winnipeg's Jeff Stoughton, who lost his first one and has now won three straight.

Gushue brought in Howard to replace Mike Adam. Yesterday Adam saw his first action as Howard took himself out of the game and watched the usual member of the rink come in and make four perfect shots for a 100% shooting percentage for the event so far.

"Yeah, I missed one shot and they cut me,'' said Howard, who added it was nice to have a lopsided game.

FLIP A COIN

"The way this has been going so far, you could just flip a coin to see who wins,'' he said of the contests.

"There's a lot of luck out there,'' admitted Gushue, who leads all last-rock throwers in percentage.

Howard said he's not going to let Gushue and his (otherwise) talented young team get carried away at being 4-0.

Four years ago, Howard started this same event at 4-0.

"I missed the playoffs,'' he said of ending up with a 4-5 record with Randy Ferbey.

Gushue, even with Howard in the lineup (some would say especially with Howard in the lineup) didn't come here as a favourite.

"Someone has to win. Why can't it be us?'' said Gushue.

Dacey, the only skip other than Ferbey to win a Brier in the last five years, was a major mess. And the Gushue crew continued to rock and roll.

"They were high from beating Ferbey the night before and we got smoked the night before. I think we both took those frames of mind into the game.''

Dacey blamed himself for being in the same boat as Ferbey and Nova Scotia mate Shawn Adams, with 1-3 records going into today's play.

"I feel it's on my shoulders,'' he said.

"Our rink is setting things up, but I'm not finishing it.

"Three weeks ago I could have made everything with a blindfold.''


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