Eric Montford is best known as the right-hand man to Manitoba's world-renowned icemaker Hans Wuthrich.
More recently, he has been getting rave reviews for restoring the pebble at the Fort Rouge Curling Club to respectability.
But, lost in all that is that Montford was once a well-respected competitive curler. And now, his two daughters are proving that his talent has indeed flowed into their blood.
Assiniboine Memorial's Michelle Montford is attempting to earn her third trip to the junior provincials at the Charleswood Curling Club this weekend -- the same facility where her proud poppa -- and coach -- won the Manitoba junior men's provincial title back in 1982.
Michelle Montford skipped her squad to a 10-7 victory over Victoria's surprisingly tough Shauna Malo in the junior women's city zone playdowns last night.
"She gave us a scare," admitted Montford, 18. "They played well the whole game."
Malo opened by upsetting West St. Paul's Jackelynn Payne 6-4 on Thursday.
Still supported by third Courtney Blanchard, 18, second Brenna Philp and her sister, Christine, 16, Montford is anxious to improve on her best record at the provincials, 3-4. But they have to get there first.
"It would be awesome to go back," said Montford, the No. 3 seed. "They are really so much fun."
Eric Montford introduced his daughters to the Roarin' Game when they were barely taller than the rocks and he continues to mentor them.
"He's very smart and he knows the game so well," said Michelle. "It's nice to have someone there who knows what to do when you have no clue."
DON'T TALK A LOT
As for playing with her younger sister?
"We get along fine on the ice," she said. "But, with me at skip and her at lead, we really don't talk a lot."
Montford's reward is a date with St. Vital's reigning Manitoba champion Calleen Neufeld at the Charleswood today.
"Oh boy," she said. "Hopefully, it will be a really good game."
There were several mild upsets in the junior men's city zone playdowns. Wildewood's Taylor McIntyre upset West Kildonan's fifth-seeded Keith Edie 6-4; Wildewood's Daniel Birchard surprised Michael Johnson of Deer Lodge 6-5; and Assiniboine Memorial's Braiden Watling ambushed Wildewood's Kody Janzen 9-4. Fort Garry's Jay Kinnaird also defeated West Kildonan's Jesse McCullough 9-4.
Late Thursday, Wildewood's Tim Armour upset Deer Lodge's No. 1 seed Corey Chambers 6-4 while Riley Smith of Deer Lodge surprised Pembina's Kyle Peters 6-4.
Play continues at both the Charleswood and Assiniboine Memorial clubs today.