Wheels fell off the wagon for Santos squad

CON GRIWKOWSKY, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 11:36 AM ET

GRANDE PRAIRIE -- Deb Santos is hard-pressed to explain why the wheels have fallen off her team this weekend.

After all, Santos won her fourth Alberta title in 2003 and has Heather Nedohin, the 2000 Alberta champ, throwing last rocks for her.

You'd figure this team had enough back-end talent to be a playoff contender. Instead, after a shocking 0-5 start, they're planning their route home after this morning's final round-robin game.

"It is mysterious,'' said Santos.

"You know, we have been curling pretty good if you look at the stats, but for some reason, we're not getting the W's.

"It's just a break here or there. We lost the first four on last rock ... it's been close. We could just as easily have had four wins."

It's not like the Santos foursome came up here just happy to be playing in a provincial.

Over the years, Santos has skipped many teams into the playoffs. In addition to her four titles, including a record three straight (1989-91), Santos has lost three provincial finals.

This team is ranked No. 9 in Canada today, for gawd's sake.

"I say, OK it's not fair that we don't get a break, but you know what, that's the game of sports," said Santos.

"I have great expectations for this team. We've done really well and curled well. I'm sure if each one of us looks back and said if each one of us would have made one more shot, we would have won four."

Ask her if she can recall ever losing five at the Alberta level and the answer is clear.

"Never, no, never," Santos said. "I don't know how to explain it, otherwise we would have figured it out after our second loss. We've talked about it, changed up our strategy a bit, done some different things.

"I feel bad because of our record, but I don't think we've played that bad, so I have to take that as a positive."


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