Runaway winners

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

Wade White's team had just lost its second straight qualifier and was drowning its sorrows Sunday night.

"Anybody ever lost THREE at this thing?'' wondered second Dan Holowaychuk.

So, history was on the line either way when White squared off against Ted Appelman in last night's C final.

First to lose three or a first-ever trip to the men's provincials next month at Drayton Valley.

White scored a runaway 7-1 win, the type of history he didn't mind being part of.

"Isn't it supposed to be third time lucky?" said White. "I wouldn't want to be the first team to go down and lose three qualifiers."

White welcomed the five-end decision after a four-hour grind against Jamie King in the semi.

"Tonight's the night for celebration," said White, 44, whose team endured its own nine-game marathon. "It's nice to get one over fast. The boys were getting tired ... especially after the last one. We weren't too, too depressed after last night's game (B final extra-end loss to Don Walchuk).

OVER THE HUMP

"We definitely had a better day today."

Always a talented shotmaker, White may have found a way to get over the hump when Blayne Iskiw stepped in at third and Holowaychuk stepped back to second. White's younger brother George rounds up the lineup.

They gave notice they were a team to watch at last month's Canada Cup qualifier. They made the playoff round beating some pretty decent name teams. For a new team that makes few World Curling Tour appearances, a No. 28 rating on the Canadian Teams Ranking System is pretty good.

"At the start of the year, I wasn't sure we'd make it to the provincial," said White. "As we got into the season and after how we played at the Canada Cup, I thought we had a chance. Our expectations were higher after that."

BIG CHANCE

And yesterday's win for a provincials berth showed White has arrived.

"Probably a good thing we got in ... otherwise, they might have cut me," said White. "I'm just glad I finally have a chance to go."

WINDS OF CHANGE: Northern Alberta Curling Association president Corey Coswan is pretty sure the 32-team northerns is now history.

"The consensus was there had to be a change to the format," said Coswan about a pre-event questionnaire he got back from the players. "Some said 24 teams, some said 16, but 90% of the ones I read said it was time for a change."

LAST STRAWS: Suzanne Gaudet qualified her team for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts next month in Lethbridge, the fourth nationals appearance for the P.E.I. skip ... Veteran Rob Armitage of Red Deer claimed the final south spot.


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