High-flying Fry dealt early loss

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

STEINBACH -- Ryan Fry had been flying high ever since he lost last year's Safeway Select final.

His Valour Road foursome enjoyed its most lucrative cashspiel season ever, earning its way into at least two Grand Slam events and it just won an elite international bonspiel in Japan.

But clubmate Reid Carruthers grounded Fry, at least temporarily, 9-4 in his very first Select match at the T.G. Smith Centre yesterday.

Carruthers, 21, built a 4-0 lead after four ends and never allowed Fry to launch a counter-attack.

"Getting our very first win against the No. 3 seed is obviously a really good confidence-boost for us," said Carruthers, supported by third Jason Gunnlaugson, second Derek Samagalski and Tyler Forrest. "But we've still got a long ways to go.

'A VERY GOOD TEAM'

"I was a little surprised to be up a couple of points. I think they were a little tired. Obviously, they had been on a roll playing in Japan and what not. Maybe the trip had a little bit of an effect. But that's a very good team and I can't imagine them not bouncing back."

Fry, who was trying to stay alive against clubmate David Bohn last night, returned from Japan late Monday but denied feeling the effects of jet lag.

"I don't think so," he said. "We were all in pretty good spirits. We were throwing the rocks just as good as we were throwing it in Japan and sometimes, you just don't get the results. Some of that falls on my shoulders for just not reading the ice correctly.

"You've got to give it to Reid. He played a great game and he came after us when he had to and it worked out well for him."

Carruthers was nervous before his first game in an arena before a soldout crowd of about 1,200.

"You're never sure what to expect in your first one," said the former junior men's provincial champ. "A little jittery at first but we managed to pull off a couple of steals and get up a couple of points. The ice was a little tricky at first but, other than that, I'm pretty happy about the game."

That was just one of the upsets on opening day. Brandon's Terry McNamee shocked Swan River's sixth-seeded Brent Scales 13-7; Selkirk's Wayne Ewasko, another Select rookie, beat Bohn 6-3; and Morden's Ian Beavis shocked Granite's Howie Restall 7-2.

In other games of note, Charleswood's top-seeded Jeff Stoughton lashed Lac du Bonnet legend Barry Fry (Ryan's dad) 8-2; Valour Road's second-seeded Dave Boehmer beat Hamiota's Brent Strachan 8-4; and Valour Road's defending champion Randy Dutiaume nipped Portage la Prairie's Ryan Hyde 8-7.

"That was a great way to start because it was easy on the nerves," Boehmer said. "The last thing I wanted was a nail-biter because that would have gotten me thinking about last year and the early exit then."


Videos

Photos