LONDON, Ont. – Having three feet of frost on each side of the boards should have been a huge advantage for Saskatchewan in the opening draw of the Tim Hortons Brier.
“It was like any two sheeter in Saskatchewan. And there are a lot of two-sheeters in Saskatchewan,” said skip Steve Laycock.
“I grew up playing on a two-sheeter in Tonkin and a three sheeter in Saltcoats,” added the former world junior champion who skipped the Combine Pilots to a 6-4 opening draw win over Jamie Koe's Polar Bears from the Territories.
“We should have figured out the ice long before we did. It wasn't until late in the game we figured it out.
It's been a long time since I played on a two-sheeter,” said the 28-year-old skip who throws third rocks while Pat Simmons remains as the last rock chucker on the team despite no longer calling the game.
On an opening draw which featured Glenn Howard coming up short on a last rock draw to give up a steal of two to lose to longshot James Grattan of New Brunswick, a Saskatchewan loss to the other longshot in the field would have been a double whammy to rock the Brier for openers.
“Nobody wants to get off to a bad start at the Brier,” said the skip who managed to curl 63%, the second worst shot-making percentage to PEI skip Eddie “Spuds” MacKenzie who was a brutal 48% in a 12-1 loss to Newfoundland.
“”We weren't feeling very confident.
“The practice ice was pretty quick but it changed when the crowd showed up,” he said of the ice conditions, affected by the wet weather outside as well.
Saskatchewan plays Quebec in the afternoon draw and will have the chance to totally wreck Howard's opening weekend in the Sunday evening draw.
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