No leaks here

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

DAUPHIN -- The last time he competed in a provincial championship here, the roof leaked and water poured down on to the ice during play.

The year was 1985 and Craig White was playing third for Ron McMillan, who lost the final to John Bubbs.

"I remember the first game Doug Riach was getting rained on the sheet beside us but we were fine," said White, who is playing third for Fort Rouge's Mark Franklin at the 2007 Safeway Championship. "We were fortunate. We were always beside the sheet that had the leak. It never really affected us."

But it was the closest White has ever come to going to the Brier.

"As time goes by, I guess you appreciate it more that you come that close, which is more than most people have done," said White, 51.

But he won't have to worry about leaky roofs this week as the championship will be played in a beautiful new arena, Credit Union Place, which just opened last spring, and some say it is an upgrade to the arena in Selkirk. The connecting complex includes a curling club and a wave pool.

HOMETOWN FAVE: Peter Prokopowich played for Dauphin legend Ralph Wilson in that 1985 championship and will be the hometown favourite once again 22 years later.

"It's going to be something special, especially playing in this arena," said Prokopowich, 52. "This is going to be special for our hometown team here. There's a lot of family and friends around and they'll be out to see how we do. Regardless, I think it's just going to be a great event."

FATHER-SON: There are two pairs of fathers and sons playing on different teams here. Gerry Haight, third for Thompson's Rae Hainstock, will watch his son, Brad, third for St. Vital's Trevor Loreth, play in his first. Former Manitoba champ Brian Fowler of Brandon will also cheer on his son, Rob, second for Charleswood's Jeff Stoughton.

"This is his ninth trip and my first," said Brad, 27. "I've got a pretty proud grandma and grandpa coming to see both their son and grandson playing in the (SC). It's been a long time coming."

BITERS: Willie Lyburn has replaced Travis Taylor at second for Brandon's Terry McNamee. Taylor is playing second for Manitoba's Andrew Irving at the national juniors ... Charlie Salina, who had been playing third for Ron Gauthier, has replaced Scott Grant at second for Granite's Bob Sigurdson because Grant is in Florida on business ... Don Nelson, third for Valour Road's Dave Smith, skipped a squad to the Manitoba police curling title last week.


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