OTTAWA -- Thurso's Pierre Charette will need to muster all the experience he has gained at nine Briers to stay in the top three at the Canadian senior curling championships.
With no Page playoff system at the nationals, the first-place rink in the round-robin advances directly to the final, while the second- and third-place teams duel it out in a semi-final.
A logjam is forming in the race for those second and third spots, with Charette's Quebec rink still in the hunt after a 9-6 loss to the Yukon/N.W.T. Wednesday night dropped it into a tie for fourth with Northern Ontario's Al Hackner at 5-3.
"The next two games are very important," Charette said before Wednesday night's loss. "We are playing two teams that are out of the playoffs (Yukon and New Brunswick). They got nothing to lose. The last day, we are in tough against Nova Scotia and Ontario. We've got to win the next two to make sure those games mean something on Friday."
Unlike many other teams battling at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club this week, Charette just formed his rink in the fall.
"Louis (Biron) and I played last year. Mo (Maurice Cayouette) just turned 50, so we agreed we would play together this year. Louis bumped into Marco (Ferraro) at the Skins game at the Rideau in the fall and he heard he was playing again, so we picked him up to play lead. It was that simple. We only played one 'spiel together this year, then we went to provincials and now we are here."
It might sound simple, but it wasn't long ago that Charette suffered from leg problems that sidelined him for a while. He has played in high-level competitions all season, more than ever before.
Has it wreaked havoc on his body?
"I think it's the opposite," he said. "The fact I went to the Scotties and threw some rocks in the evenings. Then I went directly from there to men's provincials and played a whole bunch of games. Then I went to the seniors and played a whole bunch of games. Last week, I was at the Brier with the Quebec team. I threw 64 rocks a night. My legs, they have never been as solid. That's why I feel so good on the ice this week."