Skipping the skip

Geoffrey Lang took over as skip and led his Wildewood squad to a victory at the Charleswood Curling...

Geoffrey Lang took over as skip and led his Wildewood squad to a victory at the Charleswood Curling Club yesterday. (Winnipeg Sun/Marcel Cretain)

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:18 AM ET

Desperate curling times sometimes call for desperate curling measures.

Frustrated by his own performance in his first game of the junior men's city zone playdowns, Wildewood skip Kody Janzen accepted a demotion to second. Third Geoff Lang then moved up to skip and guided the revamped foursome to an 8-3 victory over Riley Smith of Deer Lodge in an A-B zone final at the Charleswood Curling Club yesterday.

ACCEPTED THE MOVE

"I struggled at the beginning of the week and felt like I was letting the guys down," said Janzen, who accepted the move after it was recommended by coach Hilton Wood. "They asked me to play second to get my mind off everything. And it did take the pressure off me.

"It worked out very well."

Janzen, who recently moved from Thompson to attend university here and hooked up with Lang, had been playing second for Adam Norget. Janzen, 18, will be making his fifth trip to the Target Junior Men's Provincial Championship, to be held in Rivers, Jan. 4-8, 2007, but it's his first time as a second.

"We switched our team up after the first game because it just wasn't working," said Lang, 18. "We lost a game we never should have lost. Kody played 90% at second so he responded to it very well."

They will likely keep the winning lineup intact for the provincials.

"I've never really skipped before," said Lang, also supported by third Brad Van Welleghem, 19, and lead Kevin Prior, 18. "It worked out real well."

Also winning city zone spots yesterday were: Tim Armour, Daniel Birchard and Taylor McIntyre, all of Wildewood.

Armour, 20, was the surprise of the weekend. His unranked squad upset Deer Lodge's top-seeded Corey Chambers to start.

"That gave us a lot of momentum -- to beat the top seed and not even be seeded was just huge," said Armour, who defeated Fort Garry's Jay Kinnaird 6-4 in an A-B final.

Armour, who played third for Travis Hoare at the provincials two years ago, will be skipping a squad at the provincials for the first time.

"That's going to be a rush to play against all those top teams," predicted Armour, supported by third Curtis Atkins, 18, second Andrew Mitchell, 17, and Shane Halliburton, 18. "But we held our own here."

Both Birchard and McIntyre are products of a super league for those 17 and under started at the Deer Lodge Curling Club.

In junior women's city zone play, Assiniboine Memorial's Michelle Montford earned her third trip to the provincials, to be held in Virden, Jan. 4-8, with a 9-2 triumph over West St. Paul's Jackelynn Payne.

"It's very exciting and we're pumped," said Montford, 18, supported by third Courtney Blanchard, 18, second Brenna Philp, 18, and her sister, Christine, 16. "We probably played our best this whole weekend. Now we have to go there and do better."

Pembina's Lindsay Robertson (Darcy's daughter) upset Wildewood's fourth-ranked Lisa Deriviere 7-4 to also qualify.


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