Alterations looking good

JIM BENDER, STAFF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

He'd stepped up to replace his demoted skip after the first game of the city zone playdowns.

And although Wildewood's Geoff Lang led the revamped foursome into the Target Junior Men's Provincial Championship, such a late change is usually a recipe for disaster. But with Kody Janzen playing second -- quite willingly -- Lang is boasting a 4-0 record.

"It hasn't surprised me, because we came into this really prepared and my team has been playing really good," Lang said from Rivers yesterday.

Lang played second for top-ranked Adam Norget last season before moving up to play third for Janzen this year. He's still getting used to seeing his name on the scoreboard.

"That's a little different," admitted Lang, 19. "It's usually been Team Norget or Janzen, and I haven't skipped since the high school championships."

Supported by third Brad Van Welleghem, 19, Janzen and Kevin Prior, both 18, the sixth-seeded Lang is tied with Team Flett atop his grouping.

Both Fort Garry's top-seeded Andrew Irving and Carman's Ryan Thomson were 3-0 heading into the late draw.

At the junior women's provincials, Springfield's Sherry Just was another surprise, as the No. 8 seed was tied for first in her group with St. Vital's defending champion Calleen Neufeld at 3-0 records heading into the late draw.

"I was nervous coming here," Just admitted from Virden. "I thought we'd do OK, just not this good."

Just, 20, played third for Jillian Sandison at the provincials two years ago, but this is her first as a skip. She is supported by third Jodi Dirr, 17, second Shea Maywood and Sarah Norget, both 18.

Meanwhile, Pembina's Kaitlyn Lawes and Assinibone Memorial's Michelle Montford are tied atop their group with 4-0 marks. Petersfield's Kerri Flett is 2-2.

BITERS: Assiniboine Memorial's Kerry Burtnyk has been named the top seed for next week's Safeway Select city zone playdowns, with Charleswood's defending champion Jeff Stoughton No. 2. Rounding out the top seven are: Valour Road's Randy Dutiaume, Fort Garry's Vic Peters, Valour Road's James Kirkness, West Kildonan's Dean Dunstone and Valour Road's Doug Riach ... Although the Winnipeg Grand Slam will take a break next winter when the Brier comes to town, it will return in both 2009 and 2010, said MTS Centre event manager Kevin Donnelly ... A total of 423 teams have actually entered the MCA's annual bonspiel, not the 434 it had incorrectly announced Thursday, executive director Ian Staniloff admitted sheepishly. Yikes.


Videos

Photos