Suchy wants to move on

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:40 PM ET

He might look the part, but Chris Suchy has grown weary of being painted as the Villain of Manitoba Curling.

"I sure did feel like a villain after what was printed about me," said Suchy, who reunited with Valour Road's Mark Lukowich after a controversial split with Ste. Anne's Renaud Gagne last winter. "It was said that I took the whole team away from him, and that's not the way it happened."

BITTER FEELINGS

After Suchy helped Gagne win the Manitoba Curling Tour Championship and, with it, a playoff spot for a Safeway Select berth last year, he and second Hub Perrin decided to seek a new team. They eventually hooked up with Lukowich, who had skipped Suchy to the Brier back in 2002. Lead Brad Hawkins followed later. That not only left the playoff spot up in the air but understandably bitter feelings on Gagne's part.

"Hub and I joined (Gagne) together, and we left together," Suchy said after Lukowich clipped Pembina's Bill North 4-2 in a Select city zone A-side semifinal at the St. Vital Curling Club last night. "Then Mark became available. Then Brad gave us a call. And that's the way it happened.

"It was nothing personal against Renaud. He's a very nice fellow. We just didn't think he had what it takes to get us there (next level). He and I conflicted on the ice, and when you're conflicting you're not going to win too many games. Yeah, we did well on the money tour, but the only spiel we won was the tour championship."

Since then, Lukowich had to play against Gagne's new team, Valour Road's Brent Braemer, to determine which one would be eligible for the Select spot playoff versus this year's winner, Virden's Graham Freeman. Gagne exacted some revenge by skipping Braemer to victory.

"That certainly was awkward," admitted Lukowich, who became available after parting ways with Vic Peters midway through last season. Yet, he feels comfortable playing with Suchy at third once again.

"He keeps me from getting too excited, which is good," Suchy said.

Lukowich will play Mark Franklin of Fort Rouge in the A final at the Thistle today at 1 p.m. Franklin whipped West Kildonan's Dean Zammit 7-3 in the other semifinal. Franklin, by the way, has picked up third Craig White, who had split with Valour Road's Randy Dutiaume before he made his incredible run to earn a trip to last year's Brier.

"He's not always Mr. Happy out there, and that can get to you if you expect to win all the time," Franklin said. "But Craig's a quality third, and I've been playing against him since we were kids and went through all-nighters together."

In another zone A semifinal, Granite's Gord Green edged Fort Garry's Gary McCartney 9-7.

Play continues today with draws at 9:45 a.m., 1, 4:15 and 7:30 p.m.


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