Bohn, of contention:

PAUL FRIESEN

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

BRANDON -- The sign in the stands welcomed us all to the "Bohn Yard."

Turns out it was more like a graveyard for underdog David Bohn.

After chewing through the field all week, taking chunks out of legends like Jeff Stoughton and Kerry Burtnyk along the way, Bohn had his chain yanked in the final of the Manitoba men's curling championship yesterday.

And it was Burtnyk at the other end of it, tying Bohn up with four quick points in the first end and coasting to an 11-5 win for his fifth provincial title.

"We lost the whole weekend on one end," Bohn lamented. "Not one shot worked out well for us."

Particularly the last one, in which Bohn's draw attempt against four Burtnyk stones sailed through the house, getting his first provincial final off to the worst, possible start.

Bohn could have showed up half an hour late, instead, and only been penalized two points.

"I just overthrew it," he said. "And we paid for it, big-time."

Perhaps this was predictable. As surprising as Bohn's unbeaten run to the final was, things change at crunch-time. Suddenly, you're on the centre sheet, the only teams playing, the TV cameras rolling. One win from the Brier.

The enormity of the moment can affect a seasoned vet, let alone someone who's never experienced it.

"Honestly, I didn't feel any more nerves this game," the 32-year-old insisted. "I'm sure people are going to beg to differ, but I didn't feel nervous at all. Shots just didn't work for us. If we could have snuck through that first end, it would have been a different game."

All week, Bohn, his identical twin, Dennis, and teammates Andrew Melnuk and Chad Barkman had been sneaking through, making spectacular shots when they needed them.

It was enough to attract the entire hamlet of Waldersee (the twins' former home, estimated by one person to be "eight to 10 people"), and then some, to yesterday's final.

Most carried noisemakers and had plastic bones from the dollar store hanging from their necks.

"It was awesome," Bohn said. "It gets your adrenaline going a bit, too."

But it didn't help anyone's shot-making. Instead, Burtnyk's plan to go right after the upstart worked to a tee.

If he showed the killer instinct of a champion during the game, the champ showed the class of a gentleman after, when he paid tribute to his opponent in a speech to the crowd.

"They had a remarkable week," Burtnyk said. "That shouldn't be lost in all this."

He also told Bohn to learn from his experience, and "use it in the years to come."

Which is exactly what Bohn plans to do.

"Your first time there, it can often be that, the satisfaction of being here," he said. "Once you get there, you know you can do it. The second time out is going to be easier.

"We beat some good names this weekend, all the way up to here. Including Kerry. I just hoped it was going to be a better final."


Videos

Photos