CALGARY - They love each other. They really do.
It's just that timing has always been an issue for Steve and Dan Petryk, Calgary's answer to which brother tandem has the best chance to knock off Kevin Martin and other curling favourites since Russ and Glenn Howard parted ways.
"Good question," said skip Steve, when asked to recall the last time the Petryk brothers teamed up together at the Alberta men's curling championship. "I think we're talking double-digits ago (in years) now.
"It's interesting, because the last six or seven years either he's gone or I've gone -- except for the year we played with Josh (Lambden) and Eugene (Doherty), but we didn't make it that year."
Added Dan, "It's just circumstance. He'll start a team when I've already got one, and then he'll have his team set when I'm looking to join one -- and you don't just fire a guy from your team because you want your brother to play."
Regardless, the veteran Petryks are on the same side -- along with young-guns Kevin Yablonski and Brad Chyz -- for this year's shot at provincial glory, running Wednesday through Sunday at the sold-out High River Arena.
Of course, they'll face a stacked field -- with usual suspects and star-power rinks suiting up to pursue Alberta's purple heart, including Edmontonians Martin, Randy Ferbey, Ted Appelman, Don Walchuk and defending champion Kevin Koe.
In all, 12 teams make up the provincials, with Steve Petryk, Terry Meek and Brock Virtue -- all three representing the Calgary Curling Club -- carrying this city's flag.
And of the three, the Petryks boast the best resumť -- and arguably the best chance.
"Certainly we're not like the Park brothers -- we get along," said the Petryks, referring to the high-profile curling family from Hythe, Alta. "What did they say? One Park on a team is gold. Two Parks on a team is a disaster waiting to happen. Three Parks is a disaster. And four Parks is suicide.
"Our family gets along."
Certainly the Petryks got along well enough as the front end for Ed Lukowich in 1994, the last time a Calgary team won the provincials and represented Alberta at the Brier.
And that begs the question of whether this is the year a team from the south finally breaks through to win the Alberta men's championship? Asking the question is an annual rite of February that never brings a happy answer for rinks from Calgary -- at least not in the last 16 years.
"If we can get somebody to run over Kevin Martin and somebody else to tie up Kevin Koe, then we have a chance to win," said fourth Dan, only half-joking about their odds in High River. "No, it's all about getting into the semifinals against one of them and having a one-game chance to knock off one of those two giants, and then doing it again in the final."
Maybe two Petryks gives them double the fighting chance.
"It's very comforting to have Dan join me because I know how he throws and how he plays," Steve said. "And we've picked up the two (former junior stars in Chyz and Yablonski), and they've come along nicely."
Added Dan, "It's like putting on an old pair of shoes playing with my brother again. We get along."
A ticket for the 2011 Boston Pizza Cup is a tough find since all draws for the men's provincials sold-out a few weeks ago ... The masters men southerns saw Dave Rutherford (Inglewood), Garry Clarke (Lethbridge) and Doug McIntyre (Calgary Curling) win respective A-, B-and C-final titles over the weekend in Black Diamond. The winners will represent southern Alberta at the provincial championships, Feb. 23-27 in Edmonton.
The juvenile men's and women's southerns run Saturday through Monday at the Brooks Curling Club.
Kevin Koe Defending champ (Edmonton)
Kevin Martin CTRS qualifier (Edmonton)
Rob Schlender Alberta Tour (Edmonton)
Don Walchuk Alberta Tour (Edmonton)
Ted Appelman North A rep (Edmonton)
Randy Ferbey North B rep (Edmonton)
Glen Kennedy North C rep (Edmonton)
Steve Petryk South A rep (Calgary)
Terry Meek South B rep (Calgary)
Brock Virtue South C rep (Calgary)
Graham Powell Peace A rep (Sexsmith)
Geoff Walker Peace B rep (Grande Prairie)