Unbelievable roll

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

Patti Burtnyk was laughing.

"My brother-in-law called from Florida, disguised his voice and said, 'This is the Canadian drug testing agency,'" she said yesterday.

After all, there must be some clandestine reason for the amazing success her hubby, Kerry, is enjoying on the pebble this season. Burtnyk's foursome beat B.C.'s Bob Ursel 5-3 in the final of a World Curling Tour cashspiel in Kamloops, B.C. late Monday night -- its fourth straight on the WCT trail and fifth consecutive overall. Burtnyk could not recall ever winning five spiels in a row -- each one he has entered this year.

"Not in my wildest dreams did I ever expect a start like this," Burtnyk said from Kamloops, where he won $12,000. "If I knew what the secret was, I'd bottle it and sell it. I'm not really sure but I don't want to think about it and ruin it."

But rest assured, it is not drugs. Burtnyk, of course, has returned to curling with three young recruits -- third Dan Kammerlock, second Richard Daneault and Cory Naharnie -- after taking a year off. And the Assiniboine Memorial squad's winning ways do remind him of when he skipped a brash young foursome that eventually won the 1981 Brier.

"It's kind of funny because, when I got handed the trophy here, it turned out that I won this spiel back in 1980 with Dan's dad (Ron) and 26 years later, Dan's name will be on it," Burtnyk said. "And this is my first time back here since then."

Ron Kammerlock played lead for Burtnyk in those halcyon days.

And the current crew is going to enjoy this ride as long as it lasts.

"It's not something we were expecting to do but we'll take it as it comes," said Daneault. "We had some goals at the beginning of the year and we're exceeding them.

"And Dan's playing very well. You need a good third to be able to do what we've been doing."

Burtnyk, who turns 48 next month, believes the time spent together during a WCT spiel in Switzerland to start the season was the key.

"We got to know each other and we came out with the win, which got the momentum going," said the former world champ. "We're playing well and we're playing consistently. And when you play well, you do get some breaks.

"But we don't want to get ahead of ourselves because we will have some rough spots. We don't expect to win every time we step on the ice because, if you start to expect it, that's when it can become dangerous."

The foursome will step on the ice again at the second annual Meyers Norris Penny Prairie Classic, which starts in Portage la Prairie this Friday.

"That's a really good field and we'll have to be at our best there," Burtnyk said. "But it will be nice to play closer to home and I am looking forward to it."

NO SNORING: Dan Kammerlock rooms with his skipper but it is not a matter of a veteran taking a young pup under his wings. "On our first trip, Kerry wanted to know who snored and who didn't," Kammerlock said recently. "Richard and Cory do and I don't so, that's why I room with Kerry. And he doesn't snore either."

BITERS: The Fort Rouge Curling Club has hired ice tech Eric Montford. Good move ... The deadline for entries into both the McDiarmid Lumber Senior Men's and Mondetta Senior Women's Bonspiels is tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. For more info, call the MCA office ... The Victoria Curling Club will honour MCA president Mitch Tarapasky on Nov. 10. For more info, call club president Blaine McLaren at 338-1758 ... Oops, Calleen Neufeld and her third, Sabrina Neufeld, are unrelated and not cousins as reported here Monday.

COMING UP: The WCT/MCT's $55,000 MNP Prairie Classic in Portage la Prairie this weekend will feature such luminaries as Manitoba's red-hot Kerry Burtnyk and Jeff Stoughton, Alberta's streaking Kevin Martin and Ontario's Glenn Howard. The final will be played 6:30 p.m. Monday with the winner earning $15,000 ... Also on this weekend is the MCT's $8,000 Hamiota Men's Cash Spiel ... The Lloyd Gunnlaugson Memorial Senior Bonspiel starts today at the Valour Road Curling Club's Asham Arena. Pembina's Lionel Walz and La Salle's Chris Scalena are returning to defend their titles ... Jennifer Jones will be one of several Manitoba teams at a cashspiel in Saskatoon.

HOUSE CLEANING: Nice to see our old friend from the Fort Rouge, Bob Boughey, back on the ice after surviving a mild heart attack last year. Boughey has returned to play second for Ron Westcott, who lost the Guild Insurance Brokers Classic senior cashspiel final in Brandon on the weekend. Neepawa's Kelly Robertson nipped Westcott 6-5 to earn $3,375. Westcott, who now has Howie Restall at third, got $2,500 ... Corey Chambers, 19, of Deer Lodge pocketed $1,200 for winning the Asham Junior Open Bonspiel at Asham Arena on the weekend. Supported by third Mike Martin, second Ryan Blundon and Jon Dueck, all 20, Chambers nipped Fort Garry's Andrew Irving 7-6 in the final ... Manitoba's Dave Boehmer won just $500 for losing a C qualifier at the same WCT spiel that Kerry Burtnyk won in Kamloops, B.C.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Darcy Robertson of the Fort Rouge is our latest Team of the Week, recognizing her success over the last two weekends.

Supported by third Julie Bueckert, second Carlene Strand and Lindsay Titheridge, Robertson was one of only two Manitoba teams to qualify at the Casinos of Winnipeg Classic at her home club last weekend -- the other being Jennifer Jones. Robertson earned $3,000 for her efforts. The weekend before, she lost a Manitoba Curling Tour final to St. Vital's Calleen Neufeld in Beausejour, pocketing $850.

"I'm very happy because it is very hard to qualify, especially in the Casinos where you have the best teams in Canada," Robertson said. "That was a true test."

Funny thing is, Robertson had decided to cut down on touring, which is the reason she split with her younger sister, Barb Spencer. But since the amicable parting, Robertson qualified for the provincials last year and has won almost $4,000 this season.

"I still wanted to curl, I just didn't want to take so much time off to travel so much," she said. "In the provincials last year was when we really stepped up our game and we have continued that this year."


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