Keeping it simple

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:14 AM ET

If you were to crack open Randy Dutiaume's chest, you wouldn't find a high-tech computer system solving a million problems per second.

He's nowhere near that complicated, especially when it comes to curling.

Dutiaume subtly pointed out yesterday that there have been too many skips on his team this season, which is why his Thistle crew is fighting tooth-and-nail to grab one of five Safeway Championship berths through the MCA Bonspiel.

"We were getting a lot of input into the different shots, and it just wasn't making me feel comfortable," Dutiaume said yesterday afternoon. "I had too many things in my mind.

"I am a very simple guy, and I like to think of one thing and one thing only. Just the shot."

CRASHED AND BURNED

Dutiaume's squad, also consisting of Dave Elias, Shane Kilgallen and Chris Suchy, crashed and burned out of the zone playdowns last weekend, so the foursome sat down for a chat.

"We had a pretty good bitch session there a week ago after the zones," Dutiaume said. "We didn't play very good, and we haven't played well all year. We had a good talk, and it seemed to work."

It sure did.

Last night Dutiaume rattled off his eighth straight win in the MCA, dumping previously unbeaten Willie Lyburn of Brandon 6-2.

Dutiaume is one of only nine undefeated teams that are alive in both main events as the bonspiel enters the stretch drive.

"For the most part, we've kept it relatively quiet out there," Dutiaume said prior to last night's victory over Lyburn, who is also seeking a Safeway berth. "Dave and I are pretty much doing most of the decision-making. Only when there's lots of different options are the other two guys getting involved.

"From a simplicity standpoint, that helps me make more shots and call a better game. It's working right now."

Dutiaume enjoyed a similar hot streak in the MCA three years ago, when he snagged one of the last provincial berths and made it all the way to the Brier semifinal.

"Compared to 2005, we're just clicking along," Dutiaume said with a shrug. "We didn't expect much in 2005, and we certainly didn't expect much this year.

"... We haven't been playing that well this year. We just tried to rally the troops, and they responded."

There's still a long way to go, however. There are 37 teams still gunning for one of the five provincial berths.

PERFECT: Remarkably, every remaining undefeated team is still in need of a Safeway Championship berth.

In addition to Dutiaume, Bob Sigurdson (Granite), Doug Riach (Thistle), David Bohn (Assiniboine Memorial), Sean Grassie (Stonewall), Murray Woodward (Ste. Anne), Arnold Asham (Wildewood), Dean Nero (West Kildonan) and Ken Lowdon (Pembina) are all 8-0.

East St. Paul's Dave Boehmer is alive and kicking in one main event after a 7-5 win yesterday over the Granite's Bryan Zachary.

Notable names who fell from the unbeaten ranks either late Saturday or yesterday were Brandon's Allan Lyburn, Assiniboine Memorial's Mike McEwen, and Deer Lodge's Corey Chambers and James Kirkness, who dropped a pair.

Main event games resume today at 12:45 p.m.


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