Tankard's a real eye opener

JOE PAVIA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

One went a perfect 11-0, the other saw his rink go 1-8.

Craig Savill and Mike Aprile both learned their curling in Ottawa and both played lead at the TSC Stores Tankard. In the long week of inevitability, Savill's Team Glenn Howard, now contemplate their stellar finish, while Aprile and his rookie Wayne Warren rink now look back upon their cellar finish.

Aprile, who started curling in Ottawa in 1996, experienced a range of emotions and observed a great deal in Sarnia.

On winning a Tankard spot: "I've never been so excited and wanted to jump up and down and yell hurray," he remembered. "I just contained myself until I had a private moment then I let go a little whoop."

On the incredibly good arena ice: "Our inexperience on those types of ice conditions started to show up in sweeping. Thinking a rock was right, we would sweep it too much and it would carry more than you expected."

On Tankard shot-making: "When you make a tight come around on this ice, you're probably at least a foot or two in the open. In the last foot, the rock curls a lot and we didn't quite get the hang of it. The teams with experience, who have been there, capitalized on that."

On communications between the players in the house and the sweepers: "On that ice, you have to be able to do it (communicate) a lot faster. Howard's team communicates a lot. It shows, in the end, how well they execute." He saw plenty of mistakes. "The teams that are newer tend to sweep earlier and yell weight after and hope they get it right. Whereas Howard's team is pretty close on what they are saying and they say it early and they sweep a little bit at first but more at the end. There's a good banter up and down the sheet as the rock comes down."

On playing Howard's team: "They were just automatic. They knew exactly what they wanted to do. It's almost like the other team wasn't even there. To them it didn't really matter who they were playing. It didn't matter if you were Wayne Warren or Wayne Middaugh."

Aprile has fond curling memories about the city he left only a season ago.

"The way that the Ottawa curling community is in terms of being receptive to new players is wonderful," he said. "Everyone gave me a chance to play. They are the reason I have gone as far as I have. I wouldn't be much of a curler without them."

His fondest memory of Sarnia? Carrying Thomas, his eight-month-old son, in the final player parade.

DEAFLYMPICS: Canada's teams both posted unbeaten records in Salt Lake City this month. Area gold medalists are Mike Raby and David Joseph.

OCA RESULTS: In the Gore Mutual School girl provincials, Brockville's Jenna Harrington, with Denise Donovan, Bridgette Lawrence and Shannon Harrington, captured the Ontario banner. Regional winners in Tim Hortons Colts and Trophy, play: 1A -- Keil Gallinger and Tracy Samaan; B -- Jason Curtis and Toni Rutland. Best Western Intermediates zone results: 1A -- Doug Johnston and Patricia Taylor; B -- Roy Vallillee and Mitch Baker; 2A -- J.P. Lachance and Joyce Potter; B -- Allan Norton and Lori White; 3A -- Dave Ingram and Barb Kelly; B -- Dwayne Lowe and Susan Schmidt.

CURLING THIS WEEK: The Scotties Tournament of Hearts television schedule this weekend: Page playoff games, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. (TSN, Friday); semi-final, Saturday, 2:30 p.m. (CBC); final, Sunday, 1:30 p.m. (CBC) ... The mixed zones for all age groups and the southern Ontario firefighters' provincials with Neil Harrison are in Ottawa this weekend.


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