Brother act

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:06 AM ET

Ted Appelman was feeling his oats yesterday afternoon.

Back-to-back wins against world No. 3-ranked Kevin Koe and No. 4-ranked Pat Simmons gave the 28-year-old Edmonton skip the 2008 Boston Pizza Shootout title.

It wasn’t so much the $4,500 his lineup won in their first bonspiel together in their 8-3 final win over Simmons after beating Koe for the second time this weekend in the semi.

Appelman has been trying for years to get to the Alberta men’s provincial and a shot at the Brier.

He lost the B and C finals at the northerns in Edson in 2005 and at least one qualifier in the three years since.

No, the big deal for Appelman is that he picked up the maximum 20 Alberta Tour points for the win and an early lead in the race for a provincials bye.

Defending champ Kevin Martin and CTRS points leader Koe already have berths to the 2009 provincial in Wainwright.

The way it worked out, Appelman has taken a 15-point jump on the other three in the Alberta Tour race – Rob Krepps, Jamie King and Randy Ferbey – who qualified and were bounced in the quarterfinals.

The weekend results were particularly damaging for three-time world champ Ferbey, who needs to grab the Alberta Tour spot to avoid a conflict between the men’s northerns and a Grand Slam appearance.

“That’s his problem,” said Appelman, whose seven-spiel schedule this year includes six Alberta Tour events.

It’s a long grind yet, but nobody can take away what the team did this weekend.

“Not bad for the first spiel of the year with a new team,” said Appelman. “It was a good weekend. We’re looking forward to our next spiel now.”

Brother act

After a year apart, Appelman decided his best chance for another provincials run would be with his brother Tom playing third.

“We’ve always wanted to play back end together,” said Appelman. “We throw the rock very similar and we’re brothers, so we know each other well. There’s some brothers it works for and some it doesn’t. Fortunately, it works for us and it’s fantastic.”

Their bonspiel schedule will be broken up in early November as Tom heads off to the Canadian mixed championship with second Brandon Klassen.

“That’ll be a real good experience for him,” said Appelman, who skipped Alberta’s entry at the 2006 mixed. “I think they’ll learn a lot from that.”

There’s no question about their work ethic. They’ve taken this year seriously, taking to the ice in early August in an attempt to join curling’s elite circle.

“To compete against the top teams in the world, you have to give it all or you don’t,” said Appelman. “They’re training hard, they’re working hard, they’re practising all the time. If you’re not, how are you ever going to get to their level, right?

“Our team is dedicated to get better. We’re just getting started, so we’re looking at the future.”

Appelman has the attitude and temperament to take this team a long way, but seem unconvinced there’s a realistic shot at an Olympic Trials berth next year in Edmonton.

“As a first-year team, we can’t honestly say we have a chance at that,” Appelman said. “If that were to happen – fantastic – but it’s not something we’re expecting to happen at all.”

This is curling and stranger things have happened.


Videos

Photos