Quebec club take loses in stride

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:23 PM ET

LONDON - It's a day Francois Gagne would like to forget.

Day 3 at the 2011 Brier was not a good day for the Quebec skip.

He started the day at 2-1 and finished at 2-3. What was more troublesome though was that he did not play well in in either game.

The Quebec rink from Mount Royal Curling Club in Montreal and Chicoutimi Curling Club lost Monday night to Glenn Howard of Ontario 12-4, shaking hands after seven ends. Quebec lost 7-5 to James Grattan of New Brunswick in the afternoon.

After a 2-0 start, it was Quebec's third loss in succession.

"This afternoon, I played badly," Gagne said. "But (against Howard) the team played badly. We just weren't there in that game.

"It was curling lesson."

Gagne ran into some hot skips on the day. In the afternoon Grattan made every big shot he had, skipping at 95 per cent. Gagne only managed 54 per cent.

In the evening it was Howard's turn to light it up. Whenever Gagner left a little opening, the other skips threw a rock through it.

When Grattan and Howard needed big shots, they made it.

"He must have made 10 double-raises for takeouts," Gagne said of Grattan. "I would have so many rocks in play and he would just get them all."

The numbers speak volumes. Grattan skipped at 95 per cent while Gagne was only at 54.

"I'm disappointed because even though I didn't play well, we could have won," Gagne said. "We've lost two games we could have won. But I think we can still be close."

There was no chance for Gagne to win against Howard. He went down early 5-1 and while he cut it to 5-3 in the fourth, Howard made a delicate double kill to score three in the fifth and really solidify the win.

"It was a difficult shot but when you play against a team like that you expect them to make that shot," Gagne said. "It is our job to put the shot somewhere else so they don't have a shot."

Quebec's frustration was evident in their expressions and body language. There wasn't much jump in their play. Gagne says he didn't get much sleep Sunday night. He was suffering from a sore throat and was treated by the doctor on Monday.

"It's not an excuse," he said. "It was only a little thing but it change the rhythm a little bit. Maybe a small percentage of this but no excuse to play like that."

Gagne said that the important thing now was to move on and prepare for Tuesday when things aren't going to get much easier. They have Northern Ontario and Alberta.

"It was a day to forget and we will forget it easily playing badly like that," Gagne said. "There are still a lot of games to go. (Tuesday) let's get back to work. One more win and it's a go again."


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