Peters labouring for Select berth

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:16 PM ET

If Vic Peters is going to return to the Safeway Select after a four-year absence, he'll have to do it on one leg.

Peters, who would like nothing more than to qualify for the first provincial men's championship to be played in his hometown of Steinbach, lost yesterday at the 118th MCA Bonspiel to fall out of one of two major events.

Only the top five eligible teams in the main events will find out if it really is worth the trip to Steinbach.

"The main thing is to still be on one leg by Monday and have a good shot at it," said Peters, who lost 7-6 to Arborg's Wes Jonasson at Victoria. "Sometimes (being on one leg) is a blessing because you are not playing so much."

There were lots of other big names down to one leg after the dust settled yesterday, including Mark Lukowich, David Hamblin, Jeff Stoughton, Ryan Fry and Dave Smith. Stoughton, who lost 7-6 to Granite's Bob Sigurdson, already has a Select berth, as do Fry, Smith and Lukowich.

Other notables suffering their first losses included Chris Galbraith (already has berth), Arnold Asham, Adam Norget, Reid Carruthers and Dave Tonnellier.

Peters, who is curling out of Valour Road, is a three-time provincial champion and former Brier winner, but he hasn't been to the Safeway Select since 2001.

He participated in the Grand Slam in 2002 and 2003, forgoing any opportunity to play in provincial or national championships, and didn't attempt to qualify for the Select in 2003 and 2004 because his son Daley was playing in back-to-back national junior championships.

"It has been a while," said Peters, who was facing elimination from the main events when he played St. Vital's Don Stott late last night. "For sure you miss the Select. It has always been a mini-Brier."

Peters, 50, has added his son to his team this year, while the foursome is filled out by longtime second and Steinbach native Chris Neufeld and his son Denni.

It has the makings of a powerhouse, but Peters never expected to just cruise through the MCA like defending grand aggregate champion Randy Dutiaume did last year.

"You hope you can do that but it's not realistic to think you can sweep through it," Peters said.

"You can't press too much, and you just have to put up as many Ws as you can. We're looking at the (Select) spot but we're still so far away that it's not really time to be thinking about it."

Regardless of how he does in the rest of this bonspiel, Peters will be in Steinbach as the event's honorary chairman.

"It's great that they can finally get an event like that there," he said. "We've had a good contingent following us over all the years from Steinbach. It would be nice for us to get there."

JUNIOR CONSOLATION: Kyle Flett, who lost the recent junior men's provincial championship final to Travis Bale, was happy to be curling yesterday, although he would have liked to have been doing it somewhere else.

"Oh yeah, there's somewhere I'd rather be, but there's nothing you can do about it," Flett said on the day Bale opened as Team Manitoba at the Canadian juniors in Thunder Bay, Ont.

"We're still trying to get to the Select, and that would make up for it."

Flett is throwing skip stones for Kyle Einarson of Gimli. The team was still alive, albeit on one leg, in the main events yesterday. They were playing Valour Road's James Kirkness in the late draw last night.


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