Chemistry is key

CHAD SCARSBROOK -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

Brendan Taylor hadn't thrown skip rocks since he was a junior 10 years ago. Who could blame him if his team, put together to win a provincial berth at this week's MCA Bonspiel, struggled out of the gate?

But after an 8-6 win over Reid Carruthers yesterday, the Valour Road squad was 8-0 entering last night's late draw.

"It's not really surprising," Taylor, 28, said at the Heather yesterday. "It's a good team. Our main goal was to come in here and have some fun. ... A lot of teams have been coming out to play and have made some big shots on us. We've just elevated our game, and we usually peak in the eighth or ninth end."

'DIDN'T PAN OUT'

Taylor had played third for the struggling Chris Galbraith team earlier this season.

"We had a tough season. We won one bonspiel (Selkirk) and then pretty much struggled after that. Going into zones we tried our best, but it just didn't pan out. I just decided to shake things up and get a new squad together," Taylor said.

So Taylor called up a couple of old pals -- Kyle Werenich and Scott Madams, and Tyler Specula from Sean Grassie's team.

"Sean's a great guy, probably one of the best players in Manitoba," said Madams, who had played with Grassie off and on for 10 years. "We just didn't have the right chemistry with that team. It was never meant to be. It was time for a mix-up, and I think it's serving him (well) as well."

Although they've only played a handful of games together, Madams said it's the chemistry between the old friends that is making the difference.

"We're a bunch of friends from years past, and I think we've all played with one another at least a couple of times. It's easy to get along with one another, and that's part of the reason we're winning."

Taylor was a part of the Galbraith team that made it to the Page playoff 1-vs.-1 match against Jeff Stoughton at the provincials last year. With six berths on the line at the MCA, Taylor would like nothing more than to have another chance at the Safeway Championship next month in Dauphin.

"It would be nice to get back there because anything's possible once you get on a roll," he said. "(Randy) Dutiaume showed that a couple years back."

"Based on how this team came about so late and the mix-up and the dismal year it had been up to this point, I think it would be special for all of us," Madams added. "We're all looking forward to getting there, and that's going to be our main goal for the next three days."

Taylor got a scare from Carruthers, last year's provincial finalists, when they stole two in the eighth end to tie the game. But Taylor, as has been customary of late, came right back, scoring two in the ninth. It was all they would need.

"I think there's been some rejuvenation for all of us," said Madams. "... I think all of us have new life, and I think that's what's sparking us to success right now."


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