Island rink fined for early exit

STEVE GREEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:25 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- Glenn Howard called it "offside," but the Canadian Curling Association fined the P.E.I. team $500 Wednesday for failing to go the minimum seven ends in an 11-1 loss to Ontario at the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier.

With Howard, the Ontario skip, having gone to use the bathroom at the fifth-end break, he came back to find Eddie MacKenzie and his Island rink prepared to shake hands.

"You're down 10 against one of the top teams in the world, you're not getting back into it," MacKenzie said. "It's kind of a pointless activity to still be out there."

However, a new rule instituted by the CCA requires teams to play at least seven ends, and Warren Hansen, the CCA's director of event operations and media relations, said the P.E.I. squad would be fined $500 as specified in the players' guide.

"That's offside," said Howard, who immediately offered to split the fine. "He doesn't deserve that. It's not a televised game. Plus he's frustrated and he wants to get off the ice and, as a player, I get that. I know there's an issue with the fans and I get that, too."

Howard was on the receiving end of a similar situation 10 years ago at the Ontario championship in Woodstock.

Playing Wayne Middaugh in the 1-2 playoff game, he gave up a steal of one in the first and a steal of seven in the second, but because the game was being televised by local cable, he had to go at least six and endured a 14-3 shellacking.

"The worst thing that could possibly happen for us was to be out there another hour and a half," he recalled. "Eddie didn't want any part of this and I know what he's feeling."

Hansen, though, said the seven-end rule is there for the benefit of spectators.

"We're in Ontario and most of these people came here today to watch Ontario," he said. "When I played, they were 12-end games and we played all 12 and I want to get back to the days when we did that. If I want to watch Tiger Woods play golf, I don't care if he's winning by 18 or losing by 18, I want to see him play the whole round."


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