It isn't quite like firing a salvo at the northern Alberta teams. Maybe just a warning.
John Morris swept through the men's southern curling playdowns at North Hill club, beating Calgary's Brent Bawel 7-5 in the A qualifier yesterday. Morris gets his berth at the Kia Cup provincials at the Saville Centre in Edmonton, Feb. 8-12.
But he, third Kevin Koe, second Marc Kennedy and lead Paul Moffatt aren't curling their best ... yet.
"We probably had a good 'B' game this weekend," Morris said. "It wasn't our 'A' game. We struggled at times.
"We want to get back to the form we had at the (Olympic) trials where I was the weaker link on the team and I was 88 (percent).
"If we get back to that form, we'll be very tough to beat. We'll be in every game and it will come down to me making my last shot."
Morris cracked four in the fourth, thanks to a couple of biters on the top and back 12-ft., and jumped to a 5-2 lead.
But it didn't put Bawel away. He fought back with singles in the fifth, seventh and ninth, proving the 23-year-old skip wasn't ready to give up against the more experienced Morris.
Bawel was forced to make tough draws against three in the seventh and ninth to scrape out his singles.
"We stuck with him," said Bawel, who had to take over sweeping duties for injured third Jason Lesmeister.
"We just didn't give up. We were down three but that was no big deal. We were trying to get a steal in there but we never manufactured it."
Bawel drops to the B semifinal at 10 a.m. today, awaiting the winner of last night's quarter-final between Airdrie's Art Assman and Winter Club's Mickey Pendergast.
"It was a tough one," said Bawel.
"I never like losing but we have a couple more lives and, hopefully, we don't need 'em both."
The B final is set for 3 p.m. today.