Last game all that matters to Pahl

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

WAINWRIGHT -- James Pahl may be the Rodney Dangerfield of this field.

The Sherwood Park foursome seem to be getting no respect from their fellow competitors.

Pahl comes into this weekend seeded No. 8 in the pre-event straw poll.

This is a guy who skipped his team to a playoff spot at the 2008 provincials.

Not only that, but he went through this year's men's northerns undefeated.

"It means nothing," said Pahl. "It doesn't matter if you're the first seed or the 12th seed. We all have the same idea when we're out here and that's to win your last game."

Pahl curtailed the team's World Curling Tour activities this year and figures that played a factor in how his foursome is regarded.

"A lot of players have seen that and maybe they're thinking we're not going to be as sharp as we were last year," said Pahl. "We probably feel a lot more refreshed than any other team out here, though, so we should be ready to go. We're ready to rock and roll, so we're going to have some fun this week."

Maybe the other guys don't appreciate just how much the presence of lead Don Bartlett has elevated the team. Bartlett's knowledge of the game helped Pahl through a few rough spots at the northerns.

"When you add a world-class lead like that, it made our team better," said Pahl. "He'd make any team better. His knowledge and wisdom is phenomenal and we've already benefited from it. Let's hope we can keep that trend going."

Pahl will find out in a hurry if his team does measure up. If he gets past his first start this afternoon, he'll face defending champ and Bartlett's former skip Kevin Martin in tonight's draw.

EXTRA ENDS: Edmonton's Rob Bucholz is substituting at third for teacher Les Sonnenberg on the Kurt Balderston team ... Sherwood Park's Rob Schlender is throwing last rocks for Calgary skip Steve Petryk ... It's rumoured that Pat Simmons will be asked to play for Chris Schille at the Players Championship. The team dumped two-time world junior champ Charlie Thomas and qualified for the Tour Championship by winning a spiel in Prague, Czech Republic, earlier this month.


Videos

Photos