Buck stops here

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

Quick, call the cops.

They can find some counterfeit curling bills at Asham Arena these days. The Asham bar bucks are doled out to winning teams in the Asham Super League.

"They're actually quite hilarious," Shay Obst, who runs both the club and the Arena these days, said yesterday. "They have a picture of Arnie's face and could actually pass for a $5 bill."

Arnold Asham, who owns the arena, was unaware that a marketing agent was printing his likeness on them.

"Arnold didn't know about it and he was so embarrassed when they first came out," Obst said. "But he seems to be quite proud of them now and shows them to everybody."

The teams get paid per win with part of the payment in the Asham currency, which clearly state it is to be used at the arena bar and restaurant only.

This is the second go-round for the Super League, which was formed as an answer to the one in Edmonton that boasts such teams as Randy Ferbey and Kevin Martin.

Reid Carruthers, who lost last year's Safeway Select final to Jeff Stoughton, credited his Super League experience for his team's rapid improvement.

"You play against some of the top teams and they'll knock ya around a bit but that's going to get ya to play better," Carruthers said.

However, the Super League lost such luminaries as Stoughton, Vic Peters and Dave Boehmer this year and the two teams left from the women's Super League -- Barb Spencer and Kristy Jenion -- have joined the men. The 14-team league still includes former Manitoba champions Randy Dutiaume and Dave Smith, Chris Galbraith and Carruthers.

League play was cancelled last night so curlers could spend Halloween with their kids.

NO CRY: On a more sombre note, Brandon's Neil Andrews was diagnosed with classical Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease last month, a rare and fatal disorder that attacks the brain, causing mood swings and difficulty maintaining balance. But the two-time Manitoba senior men's champion doesn't want anyone to feel sorry for him.

"I don't want to cry," Andrews, 58, told the Brandon Sun's Rob Henderson recently. "I don't want to talk doom and gloom. I love living life today."

Although he needs help to get around, the ever-popular Andrews still goes to the office and spends a lot of time at curling rinks "to watch these guys throw the rocks and stuff for therapy."

The incurable disease affects one in a million.

PRAYING: Our prayers also go out to both competitive curler/junior coach Heather Mowat, who remains in a coma at the Health Sciences Centre after a single-vehicle accident in Brandon last week, and her family. Although no visitors are allowed, the family has appreciated the support of both the curling and police fraternity as she works as a police officer in Brandon. Here's hoping for a quick recovery.

BITERS: The deadline for entries into the junior men's and women's berth bonspiels as well as the women's floating berth spiel is tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. Contact the MCA office ... The Kaitlyn Lawes junior team has been invited to an international spiel in Ottawa this weekend ... The MCT spiel in The Pas has been cancelled due to a lack of entries and is unlikely to return ... Kyla Denisuik, a two-time junior women's provincial champ, has been hired to replace Resby Coutts as the MCA's championship event co-ordinator and media relations director. The MCA also hired Elaine Owen, a former mixed provincial champ, as development co-ordinator.

COMING UP: The MCA's Safeway Select Southern Berth Bonspiel hits the ice in Killarney this weekend ... Although the Manitoba Curling Tour's inaugural Asham 8-Ender Women's Open failed to fill its desired 32 teams, it will still feature such squads as Alberta's Olympic bronze-medallist Shannon Kleibrink, Manitoba's former Canadian champion Jennifer Jones and reigning Manitoba champ Janet Harvey ... Also on the MCT trail this weekend is the Ken Kurbis Memorial Galaxy Bonspiel at the Rossmere Curling Club.

HOUSE CLEANING: While Don Spriggs, the Pride of Portage, was impressive in earning the $10,000 runner-up cash at the WCT/MCT's second annual Meyers Norris Penny Classic in Portage la Prairie on the weekend, he wasn't the only Manitoban to go home with some jingle in his jeans. Jeff Stoughton, who lost a semifinal to Spriggs, won $6,000 while both Vic Peters and Randy Dutiaume got $4,000. Brandon's Allan Lyburn, Morden's Ian Beavis and Ste. Anne's Murray Woodward settled for $500 each, the compensation for losing C qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Deloraine's Murray Warren downed Virden's Murray Jorgenson 4-2 in the final of the MCT's Hamiota Men's Cash Spiel to earn $3,500. Jorgenson got $1,750 ... Heather's Gary Ross sank Selkirk's Neil Schmidt 8-3 in the men's final of the Lloyd Gunnlaugson Memorial Senior Bonspiel at Asham Arena to win $2,800. Schmidt settled for $1,400 ... With her victory at a cashspiel in Saskatoon, Manitoba's Jennifer Jones now leads the CTRS women's points race.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: She had just stepped off the Asham Arena ice when Brandon's Lois Fowler was told that her foursome was being anointed the Sun's Team of the Week.

"You mean we're going to be SUNshine Girls?" Fowler responded.

Well no, but the Canadian Curling News is coming out with another nude curling calendar ...

Fowler earns this recognition for winning the Lloyd Gunnlaugson Memorial Senior Bonspiel women's final on Sunday. Supported by third Gwen Wooley, second Lori Manning and Lynn Sandercock, Fowler defeated reigning Manitoba senior women's champ Joyce McDougall of Souris 7-1 to earn $1,300. McDougall got $650.

"We're quite happy to start off this way with a couple of new teammates," said Fowler. "We had a great weekend. We played very well for a new team."

Wooley and Sandercock have come aboard with Manning dropping to second.

"We wanted to go younger," explained Fowler, who is embarking on her second senior women's season. "Gwen just turned 50 and she had played with Lynn before."

Although it is a senior squad, Fowler still plans to enter the women's zone playdowns and the Hearts floating berth bonspiel.


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