Riach's run doesn't get him respect he desired

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

Doug Riach's post-MCA Bonspiel plea for respect seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Riach won the grand aggregate title -- and a Safeway Select berth -- at the 118th annual bonspiel recently after busting out of the gates with a 14-game winning streak and eventually putting together a 15-2 record.

His team of Russ Hays, Dennis Wiebe and Tim Friesen is the second foursome Riach has skipped to a grand aggie -- he did it previously in 1992.

The 44-year-old was barely off the ice after his clinching victory when he served up this volley: "Maybe the curlers should take note. Maybe we'll get some respect."

Riach's beef was that he wasn't seeded for the provincial zone playdowns or last year's Safeway Select despite having capable credentials.

Things don't look much better this year.

Riach's St. Vital squad is seeded 16th for next week's Select in Steinbach. That puts him in position to face top seed Jeff Stoughton in the second round.

"I don't think they disrespect him, but if guys knew Doug Riach, Rusty Hays and those guys, they would know they have battled it out in the trenches for years," said defending Select champion Randy Dutiaume, who won the provincial title shortly after claiming the MCA grand aggie last year.

"Arguably I think he could be higher. I put him higher than that ... at about 11ish. We certainly had him higher because we know him.

"He gave us one of our toughest games at the Select last year, and I'm hoping he's not in our section."

Don't worry Randy, he's not.

But he could pose a problem for the teams that are in his quadrant. Riach is not only on a roll, but will be playing with a chip on his shoulder.

"Anybody who can get on a grand aggregate run like that should definitely be in the top eight," said Pat Spiring, third for second-seed Dave Boehmer. "For sure he has a beef. That means he's in with Stoughton's grouping, and that will hurt a bit for sure. I grew up playing Doug Riach, and he's always been a quality player."


Videos

Photos