Martin loving his new look

CHAD SCARSBROOK -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

So far so good for Kevin Martin's new team.

The Alberta skip broke up his longtime squad of Don Bartlett, Carter Rycroft and Don Walchuk last year and brought in youth -- Marc Kennedy, Ben Hebert and two-time world junior champion John Morris.

"It definitely has to do with the Olympics, for sure," Martin said after defeating Quebec's Pierre Charette 5-3 at MTS Centre yesterday during the BDO Classic Canadian Open. "He's a brilliant young player, the best young player to come up for 20 years. I didn't know how he'd fit in at third because he's never done that before. He was always a skip. But he's fit into the mould easy. He's had no trouble with it. I think he kind of enjoys it, not having the pressure for the first time in his life."

Morris, the 28-year-old who was born in Winnipeg, said he's enjoying the sweeping aspect of the game, as it will be the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver or bust for the talented squad.

WEIGHING IN: Responding to Brad Gushue's comments in the Sun slamming the World Curling Tour's switch to eight-end games from 10, Alberta's Dave Nedohin had a "simple solution."

Gushue, who was down 4-0 after three ends to Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton on Wednesday before eventually losing 6-5, said he hated the new format because if a team gets down early "there's no time to come back."

"I agree that if you do get down a bunch it's definitely harder to come back. You've got two less ends. I think that's an obvious statement," said Nedohin. "However, there's a simple solution, try not to get down four."

Nedohin also noted that several teams on the same ice that night made comebacks. Martin was down 2-0 to Don Walchuk, Jean-Michel Menard was losing 3-0, and Nils Carlsen was behind Pierre Charette 4-0. All came back to win their games.

"Do I prefer eight ends? No, I probably don't prefer it," said Nedohin. "But at the same time I certainly don't dislike it or think it's a terrible thing for the game."

SQUEAKING: Stoughton squeaked out a win against Sweden's Nils Carlsen to remain undefeated heading into last night's late draw. Carlsen missed an angle raise as Stoughton stole one in the eighth for the 6-5 win. Kerry Burtnyk wasn't as lucky, dropping a 12-4 decision to Ontario's Glenn Howard. The Manitoba skip is was 0-2 heading into last night's action.


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