Winning follows Turcotte

TODD SAELHOF -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

A shot at this week's national curling crown in Calgary wasn't exactly in the mix for Bob Turcotte.

But here he is among the leaders after five draws of the 2008 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, and it's thanks to the kind of success the Ontario skip has enjoyed often throughout his career.

"We were playing in the mixed provincial playdowns to keep sharp for seniors, and we kept winning," said Turcotte of his strategy to prepare for last year's national seniors championship. "Once you get to provincials, pride takes over and you want to play well."

Of course, his rink won the Ontario mixed title last year to earn the right to be here. But it didn't stop there, as Turcotte skipped teams to four provincial finals in 2007, including at the senior, master and intermediate levels.

"We won two of them and lost in the tiebreaker of the Masters," said the 63-year-old Turcotte, whose senior rink went on to find success at the 2007 national championships only to lose the finale to Alberta's Pat Ryan.

He also represented Ontario at the senior nationals in 2004 and won titles in 1996, 1997 and 2000. To boot, he played third for Bob Fedosa at the 1979 Brier. And he found global glory later in 2000, when he skipped his rink to the world senior championship title.

So if there's a true favourite here at the mixed nationals, it's arguably Turcotte.

"Sure ... because I've won stuff, but these other guys have been here, too -- like Brian Miki," Turcotte said of the B.C curler with a Canadian men's and world men's title under his belt. "And the Manitoba team (skipped by hot-shot Reid Carruthers) looks like they're shooting well."

So is Turcotte and his team of wife Kristin, second Roy Weigand and lead Andrea Lawes. Not bad for a foursome that was only put together this past year for mixed action.

SCORES & MORE

Yesterday's fifth draw scores: Northern Ontario 9, Saskatchewan 3; Alberta 5, Yukon/NWT 3; PEI 11, Quebec 2; Newfoundland 6, Manitoba 5; Nova Scotia 8, New Brunswick 1.

LAST ROCK

Draws continue today at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. The final is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. ... A first for any Canadian championship are private boxes with personal bar service. There are eight such on-ice 'suites' for fans of the Canadian Mixed Curling Championships at the Calgary Curling Club.\


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