Dutiaume gets back to having fun

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:19 PM ET

The 'Lunch Box' had a heart-to-heart with his teammates late Friday -- over a few libations.

Then, Manitoba's reigning champion Randy Dutiaume went out and won his first match in his last game of the Grand Slam's Canadian Open.

"We had to put the old liver in the pickle jar before we went out (yesterday morning)," Dutiaume joked after blasting Ontario's Glenn Howard 9-5 at MTS Centre to eliminate him from playoff contention. "We had a great talk (Friday) night, and everybody's starting to feel real good."

The team discussed mental preparation.

"I said we're throwing caution to the wind, because we were going to get back to the way we were playing last year, where we're having some fun and having lots of laughs out there," Dutiaume said. "We finished on a high note. The guys played really good (yesterday). We went out and played very relaxed, and it's something to build on going into the MCA (bonspiel) and the (Safeway) Select."

GUSHUE GONE: Newfoundland's Olympic-bound Brad Gushue finished out of the playoffs when he dropped a 5-2 decision to Manitoba's Dave Boehmer in yesterday's only tie-breaker.

"We would have liked to have done a little bit better, but we were all pretty tired out here this weekend," Gushue admitted. "There's been a lot of demands on our time so far, and I think over the next couple of weeks we have to get better at balancing those demands and curling.

"No excuses. We didn't play well. We made some mental mistakes. I thought everybody was throwing the rock well, which is a good sign, because once you're focused and into the game like we will be in Turin, some of those mistakes won't happen. I'm not worried. It just wasn't our week."

TRULSEN TANKS: Norway's Pal Trulsen finished with a 1-3 record and out of the playoffs here. Not exactly the way you want to head to the Olympics.

"No, it's not," said Trulsen, who was clobbered 11-3 by Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton yesterday. "I guess we weren't quite ready here. It's a tough field, and if you miss a shot you're going to pay. We're not quite used to that back home."

Although Trulsen won the Olympic gold in 2002, he denied being the favourite to repeat at this year's Olympics.

"I don't think so. Miracles never strike twice," he said with a laugh. "Gushue is the favourite, of course. The Canadian teams are always the favourites."

Although Trulsen repeated that he may retire from competitive curling at the end of this season, he could be lured to the Continental Cup, which is expected to be revived somewhere in B.C. next year.

Otherwise, he will be done after the Olympics.


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