Steve Petryk went down for the count.
The Calgary dentist, whose team's decision-making process seems to be novocaine-hampered, finally had it bite them where it hurts.
They ran out of time in their final round-robin game and Mark Johnson was handed first place in Pool A without having to throw his last rock in a 5-4 win.
Defending champ Randy Ferbey was stunned 9-3 by Jamie King and had to be satisfied with second place while Petryk grabbed the last playoff spot.
"Just the changes in the ice - we weren't picking it up fast enough,'' said Ferbey after his second straight loss. "It's not a major concern. In the worlds last year, we had to win six in a row.
"There's a good to both sides of this thing ... I'll tell you after what it is.''
Kevin Park, Petryk's last-rock thrower, launched an impassioned appeal of the decision, but to no avail.
TWO SECONDS LEFT
"Clearly, there was two seconds left when the rock stopped,'' maintained Park, after the game was called with one of his rocks to come. "Then, it went tick, tick and the game's over. It's a terrible way to end the game. They had the advantage (hammer) anyway. I don't know why the officials would want to rule that way but, oh well. I know they're wrong.
"I don't think there's any bias (against the team) ... I just don't know what's on their mind. We'll come out throwing hard and try to quicken up our pace, I guess.''
It's a good thing the opposing skip, Johnson, has certain investigative instincts, based on his years of experience as a city of Edmonton police officer.
"I think it was pretty obvious they did run out of time,'' said Johnson. "I think the officials made the right call. It's just too bad it had to finish that way. I was prepared to make my last shot.''
The 10th end started with just four minutes left. The timers were very liberal with time allotments for the Petryk team and there were no penalties issued when members threw their rocks before their opposition's rocks stopped.
"I think our experience has helped,'' said Johnson, who's been known to have clock issues himself in the past. Johnson takes in Pool B winner Kevin Martin in the pool winner's game (7 p.m.) tonight. One of those squads is two wins away from a provincial title.
"We get that extra life,'' said Johnson. "It's important for us to play as well as we did today for two more games.''
TO FACE MORRIS
Calgary's John Morris finished second in Pool B and will play Petryk (2 p.m.) today. The other 2 p.m. game features Ferbey against the survivor of a four-team tiebreaker of the second and third-place teams.
"It's big to have hammer,'' said Martin, who needed a steal in an extra end to seal a 9-8 deal against Brent MacDonald. "It makes a huge difference.
"First place is huge - 1-0 is a big point. Absolutely, I'd throw it in there to get the first point. Two would be even better.''
There's a good chance Johnson will choose red rocks.
FINAL STRAWS: Calgary skip Dean Ross and Bryan Blaylock, lead of the Ryan Keane rink, were named co-recipients of the Dave Tibbs Memorial Award.