Icemaker gets grip on pick problem

TERRY JONES

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

WAINWRIGHT -- It soiled and spoiled the big game the night before, but the mystery has been solved.

The reason the 'A' event final at the Boston Pizza Cup provincial curling championship turned into a 'pick'nic -- setting some sort of modern-day record for the number of rocks which lost their curl, changed direction, came to a hault, etc. -- was recycling.

Icemaker Tim Yeo, working his final provincials prior to retiring, did an analysis of the material they swept off the ice after the two Edmonton rinks combined to record what they figured was somewhere between 12 and 15 picks in the game eventually won 8-5 by Kevin Martin when a pick resulted in a three-point swing on Dave Nedohin's final rock of the eighth end.

"You should have seen the stuff we picked up last night," said Yeo.

"Most of it was recycled rubber tires, which were used to make the floors of the dressing rooms and floors of the hallway and the players benches here," he said of Peace Memorial Multiplex.

Yeo figures the reason there was more of it in the Martin-Ferbey game than the other game was that "John Morris was in and out of the dressing room four times in that game" and tracked a new batch of the stuff on his shoes every time.

You'd have figured the problem would have been discovered last year when the provincial women's championships were held here, but Yeo blushed a pretty pink on that thought.

"With the women we tend to make things a little prettier, so we had put down some carpet over the floor," he said.

"That's what we did overnight. We put down carpet.

"We had no picks in one game, one in another and two in the other," he said of the three morning draw games that eliminated the first three rinks of the tournament -- Peace Zone's Jeff Ginter, Edmonton's Mike Hutchings and Calgary's Steve Petryk - without any controversy about the quality of the ice.

"It was like when we collected all the stuff we swept off the ice during the Continental Cup in Calgary and discovered about 85% of it was from the shoe grippers the curlers are wearing now.

"All the grippers used to be made in Canada, but now they are being made off-shore - and who the hell knows what the Chinese are using?

"The stuff coming out of China is just awful."


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