Emotions running high

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:49 PM ET

The rocks were flying at Rossmere Curling Club last night, and that was after the game was over.

The Thistle's Doug Riach was more than a little perturbed that his draw attempt with the final stone of the extra end had wrecked on a guard, giving Ste. Anne's Murray Woodward a steal of one and a 6-5 victory in a main-event quarter-final of the MCA Bonspiel.

It was Riach's first loss in 13 starts, and he was hot. Since the rocks had to come back down the sheet, Riach grabbed one and gave it a mighty heave. The rock slammed into the back wall and took a few shavings out of the ice as it rebounded towards the hack.

DODGED A BULLET

Carefully guiding a couple of rocks back, meanwhile, was Woodward, who dodged a major bullet after blowing a glorious opportunity to win it in regulation.

Alive in only one main event going into the match against Riach, Woodward needed only half of the eight-foot with his final stone in the eighth to score two and get the win, but the rock sailed through the house.

He reacted by slamming his broom on the bench, but he was all smiles after the extra end.

"It's fun when you win. It's not so much fun when you lose," Woodward said. "The emotions, they run high." That's what happens when you get to Tuesday in the MCA and you're still searching for a spot. There are five Safeway Championship berths up for grabs, and every toss counts.

Woodward is one of six teams vying for a berth today, and he will do it with a squad he slapped together less than a month ago.

Famous for changing personnel like most people change underwear, Woodward brought Ron Gauthier, who lost the 2002 provincial final to Mark Lukowich, out of retirement to play third. Members of Gauthier's old crew, Russ Hays and Grant Mistlebacher, are at second and lead, respectively.

"It's nice. I'm enjoying playing," said Gauthier, a Lorette resident. "For me, I've always skipped, so it's a little bit different playing third, but I'm really enjoying playing.

"It's nice to just play again and see the same guys you used to see. I'm just happy that I'm contributing."

DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS: East St. Paul's Dave Boehmer played in last year's Safeway Championship. Incorrect information appeared in yesterday's Sun.


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