'Toba third heading home to Alberta for Brier

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

SELKIRK -- The Alberta invader seemed a little sheepish about winning a Manitoba championship.

Charleswood's Jeff Stoughton recruited Kevin Park from Edmonton and he will wear the Buffalo at the Brier in Calgary next month.

"It's a little different," Park said after Stoughton nipped Kerry Burtnyk 7-6 in the Safeway Championship final yesterday. "I'd be lying if I said I had ever dreamt of doing this but when that phone call came last spring, it became a reality.

"I'm very honoured. It's right up there as one of the greatest curling provinces in Canada and it's just a great honour to win this."

As for curling in Calgary as a member of the Manitoba champion?

"I'll be the villain there again, I can't win," joked Park, who won three Alberta titles. "I get vilified wherever I go. It will be very entertaining, I'm sure."

Park replaced Ryan Fry, who defected to Newfoundland to join Brad Gushue's team.

"Since the first Grand Slam forward, Kevin has just been unconscious," said second Rob Fowler. "I mean, the guy's played 95% game in and game out. We've developed a good bond and having him at third is going to help us to go all the way at the Brier. That's what we set this team up to do."

Fowler will be going to his second Brier.

"We really wanted Rob to go to a Brier where there will be people there because when we were in Hamilton (2007), it was horrible," said lead Steve Gould. "Now, you can go where there's a full house and see what a true Brier atmosphere's about."

CARRUTHERS STOPPED: Burtnyk bounced West Kildonan's Reid Carruthers 11-4 in the semifinal, cracking a five in the sixth end as he avenged his only loss of the week before the final.

"It was a great week for us," said a disappointed Carruthers, who trailed 4-3 after five. "We played really well in most all of our games. We gave up five in the sixth end. We either have to steal one there or force one. We can't give up any more than two anyway. So that was disappointing, especially since I didn't even put my rock in play."

Carruthers will decide whether to concentrate on curling or a teaching career within a month.

"You know, I can say that I'm going to teach full-time but I still have to find a job," he said. "That might play into my decision, too."

SENIOR SEEDS: Pembina's former champion Lionel Walz has been named the No. 1 seed for the senior men's provincial playdown in Carman this Thursday through Sunday.

Rounding out the top five were Heather's Clare DeBlonde, Baldur's Rob Ramage, Fort Rouge's Ron Westcott and Deloraine's Murray Warren.

Minnedosa's defending champion Jean Garbolinsky is the top seed for the senior women's provincial playdown at the Fort Garry Curling Club, Thursday through Sunday. Rounding out the top five were Brandon's Lois Fowler, Joyce McDougall of Souris, Brandon's Linda Van Daele and Starbuck's Chris Scalena.


Videos

Photos