History in the making

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

The legend is resuming his attack on local curling history.

When Assiniboine Memorial's Kerry Burtnyk starts to pursue what would be a record-tying fifth Manitoba men's title in Dauphin, Feb. 7-11, he will also be closing in on a mark of Howard-like proportions. According to Rick Mutton, the MCA's unofficial historian, Burtnyk is the leader with 92 wins in the men's provincial championships and is closing in on the century mark.

"I was wondering if anyone keeps a statistic like that because I figured we'd be up there somewhere," Burtnyk said after beating Granite's Carl German 8-0 in a Safeway Select city zone A-B final at the Elmwood Curling Club yesterday.

"It would be pretty nice to get to 100 because that means we're down near the final somewhere."

HIATUS

After taking a one-year hiatus, Burtnyk returned to earn his 22nd trip to the provincials, which ties him for fourth all-time, with a new foursome of third Dan Kammerlock, second Richard Daneault and Cory Naharnie.

"I wasn't really sure of the number," Burtnyk said. "It still feels good, no matter what the number is. It's always tough to get there and now we have a chance to play for the province."

Kammerlock, 22, will make his first appearance.

"I'm excited about it," he said. "And it's good to be going there with someone who knows how to win the thing."

THE PHANTOM: Granite's Bob Sigurdson is usually nowhere to be seen until the late part of the cashspiel season, then shines in playdowns.

Sigurdson breezed through the zones unbeaten to earn his ninth trip to the provincials.

"It's not every year I sneak in and get a spot but it's nice when it happens," said Sigurdson, supported by third Darren Oryniak, second Scott Grant (after a five-year hiatus) and Cory Wolchuk. "I mean, it never gets old.

"We don't play a lot. We played in three events on the bonspiel circuit, qualified in one. We take a long time to get it going, we don't really start until November. This is the time we want to play."

UPSET: In other city zones, St. Vital's Brad Haight upset Valour Road's James Kirkness 9-3 in an A-B final. Valour Road's Randy Dutiaume and David Bohn and West Kildonan's Pete Nicholls will be joining him in Dauphin.

It will be the 19th trip for Nicholls, tying him for 11th on the all-time list.

"It never gets stale," Nicholls said. "I'm really looking forward to it and, with Dean (Dunstone) throwing last rock, he's as good as anyone in the province."

COUNTRY SELECT: Rural Select winners included: Stonewall's Mark Lukowich, Swan River's Brent Scales, Beausejour's Reid Carruthers, Brandon's Brian Fowler, Emerson's Brent Braemer, Neepawa's Kelly Robertson, Arborg's Kyle Foster, Portage la Prairie's Ryan Hyde, Deloraine's Blair Goethals, Dauphin's Peter Prokopowich, Hamiota's Kelly Skinner, Thompson's Rae Hainstock and Flin Flon's Don Holmes.


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