January 22, 2011
Appelman team delivers on expectations
By CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency
Perhaps the biggest winner at the men's northern curling playdowns on Saturday was the entire field.
It was they who made the Tom Appelman team the No. 1 seed through their vote.
Appelman delivered on the expectations.
Breezing through the field, Appelman delivered the message he was definitely the best of this bunch.
A 9-4 win over Randy Ferbey in Saturday's A Event final was typically dominant.
Appelman ended the game in the seventh, scoring his second three-ender with a difficult thin double.
"Dramatic, yeah," said Appelman. "Tough double. Little shaky. I was a little wide, but it curled back nice."
His brother Ted, the team's former skip, had other ideas.
"Great sweeping," Ted yelled, before dashing off to the locker-room.
"I hit just what I could see," said Tom. "Just made it. Well, maybe a little more. Any time you get a three-ball on those guys, it's a small victory, so I guess we had two small victories."
The Appelman team was good enough to qualify for the Alberta men's championship through the Alberta Tour the last two years.
Curiously, though, this is the first time this team has made it to Alberta's big show through the northerns.
"It's nice to get out of here and finally win a northern final," said Appelman. "The two years before that, we lost four of five qualifiers to go to the provincials. A Event is always the best one to win ... unless you're in the C, I guess."
In their four games, they outscored their opposition 37-12 and were full marks in thoroughly thumping Ferbey.
"Our plus/minus is pretty good," said Appelman. "The team is playing so good in front of me, if we don't win games, I'd look like an idiot out there.
"They're making everything. They're making my job real easy. We played well, got a couple of breaks and were able to capitalize on everybody else's mistakes."
Breaks? When was the last time anybody saw Ferbey hog a rock, like he did in the sixth end?
"I've never seen him hog one," said Appelman. "I was really surprised."
The team got off to a slow start this season with the skip switch when Tom took over from Ted, but it seems to have found its stride this weekend.
"We're playing really good and when we're playing good, we're tough to beat," said Appleman. "All year, we just struggled. You know, I'm brand new at skipping, especially on the World Curling Tour. There's a lot of good players out there."
The next level, of course, will be much tougher with both Olympic gold medallist Kevin Martin and world champion Kevin Koe waiting for whoever shows up.
"Any time you've got those two in any event, it's going to be tough," said Appelman. "Really, in that event, you have to set your goals. Qualify first, then try and win two games, because you know they're going to be in it.
"Basically, all you can do is qualify, then hope for a couple of miracles here and there."
Ferbey was not surprised at the outcome.
"They're a very good team," said Ferbey. "They're a world-class team. They're the most experienced team here by a country mile. We're not nearly as good as they are at this time."