Olympic hopefuls taking last shot

JOE PAVIA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

This weekend offers hope.

Teams that began play yesterday in the Grey Power Players' Championship in Grand Prairie, Alta., have a lot more at stake than money. It's the last chance to qualify for either the Olympic trials (Edmonton, December 2009) or the pre-Olympic trials (Prince George, B.C., November 2009).

One men's team this weekend will earn the last of four trials spots, joining Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard and Kevin Koe. In contention are Randy Ferbey, Wayne Middaugh, Jeff Stoughton and Kerry Burtnyk.

On the women's side, two teams will advance to the trials, joining Jennifer Jones and Shannon Kleibrink. With a good shot are Cheryl Bernard, Stefanie Lawton and Kelly Scott.

Other rinks, including Ottawa's Rachel Homan rink, the youngest at the Players, hope to qualify for the pre-trials. Homan has to win a lot of games and hope higher-ranked teams lose.

The women's final is Saturday at 3:30 p.m.; the men's Sunday at noon. Both will be on CBC.

OCA RESULTS

Ottawa's Layne Noble took the senior mixed provincial crown on Saturday by finishing first in the round-robin at 6-1. His teammates were Barb Kelly, Bob Boland and Eveline Shaw. Another area team skipped by Dwayne Lowe finished 2-5. In mixed, no area teams were in contention. Jonathan Beuk placed third at 4-3, while Bryan Cochrane posted a 3-4 record. Sarnia's Mark Bice won the title and a trip to the nationals next fall.

MOANTOWN

How many times did you replay the 10th end of the men's world championship? TSN reports its video-on-demand, 10th-end clip drew 170,000 views in two days. Kevin Martin's Alberta rival, Randy Ferbey, told Sun Media: "We'd never, ever have thrown that rock away. In 100 years of curling, in the millions of ends of curling, no one has ever thrown one away in the 10th end like that." Ferbey said Martin's troubles started earlier in the end in the 8-6 loss. "Where he really gave the game away is when he didn't start peeling those guards with Marc Kennedy's first shot on the 10th end."

WCF NEWS

A motion to examine tie-breakers was passed at the World Curling Federation's annual meeting in Moncton. Pre-game draws to the button differentials will decide the order of ranking before the championship round, not tie-breakers. The WCF also passed a motion banning alcohol consumption at junior events ... Attendance at the men's worlds was 78,470, much higher than the 48,699 who attended last year in Grand Forks, N.D. ... Ottawa may be hosting the worlds in the near future.

HOUSE CLEANING

I reported that Team Delaney will represent Canada in the world seniors in New Zealand. Right event, wrong year. In fact, Bruce Delaney and his Navy crew will go to Chelyabinsk, Russia, next April. Saskatchewan's Eugene Hritzuk carries Canada's colours this year, starting April 25 ... Richmond is looking for teams for its spring bonspiel, April 29-May 3. There's cash for every win. Call 613-838-3491 for information ... It seems Edmonton rules all parts of curling. The online Ford Hot Shots competition culminated with a playoff between two Edmontonians, Dan Sherrard and Doug McLeod. Sherrard won after McLeod threw away his first shot ... This is the season's last column. Thanks to all who hosted me. It's hard not to have a good time in a curling club.


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