Rinks ready to rock

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Lionel Walz is champing at the bit to get going.

The Pembina Curling Club skip is making his first appearance on the national stage this week in Trois-Rivieres, Que., where the Canadian senior men's and women's championships will be staged.

Walz, along with third Bill Menzies, second Laurie Leclair and lead Brian DeRiviere, kick off the round robin tomorrow morning against Prince Edward Island.

"I feel real good," Walz said yesterday from Quebec. "It's good to finally be here. You want to get started.

"We're anxious, a little excited. I don't think anybody's nervous, but we'll find out (tomorrow) when we get started."

PICKING THE BRAINS

Walz has been picking the brains of other Pembina members who have been to national championships before, like Carl German and Martin Bailey, and practising as often as possible.

"After a while," he said, "there's only so many practice rocks you can throw."

Joyce McDougall's Souris rink is representing Manitoba in the women's championship. McDougall has been to three national championships -- twice as a skip -- and her best showing as the last rock tosser was 6-5.

McDougall, who is supported by third Karen Dunbar, second Pam Horn and lead Lynn Locke, believes winning the eight-day event will come down to mental preparation.

"You can't doze off," McDougall said yesterday at the Winnipeg airport. "You have to be on your toes, every shot, every game."

McDougall's crew has kept sharp by playing in a men's league in Souris, and it's confident going into its first game tomorrow, against P.E.I.

"We've had a big struggle this year, but when we finally got playing well at provincials, we played very well," McDougall said.


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