Brier drought won't end for Gang Green

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:15 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- In Saskatchewan, "1980" is starting to sound a lot like "1967" sounds in Toronto.

Make it 31 years of failure since the province, which considers itself the heartland of curling, has won the Brier.

And this one hurts more than most.

When Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton drew to the four-foot to score a 7-6 win over Steve Laycock in an extra end Wednesday afternoon, it was again wait-'til-next-year time for the guys in green.

"It's a mathematical impossibility now," said the new skip of a two-loss day that began with a shake-hands-after-seven 11-3 thumping by Kevin Martin's Albertans.

"We would have liked to have gone to the last day of the round robin with

hope," he said.

Moreso than most recent Briers for Saskatchewan, this one was very much a coulda, woulda, shoulda.

Coulda won this one.

The Combine Pilots had a 5-2 lead on the Buffalo Boys before giving up two in the seventh and a steal of two on the eighth. The ninth was blanked and then Saskatchewan settled for one with hammer to go to the 11th end.

"We had a really bad end on eight," said Laycock.

Woulda won against Brad Gushue of Newfoundland.

If last-rock throwing Pat Simmons hadn't had a hog line violation, which turned a potential big end for Saskatchewan into a draw-for-three end for Gushue, they'd have won that one, too.

Shoulda won, if Simmons hadn't been short by a broom hair and lost 7-6 to Nova Scotia on the game-deciding measurement.

"It was just a bunch of small mistakes," said Laycock. "If we hadn't had the hog line violation, hadn't lost that measurement and hadn't given this game away we'd be up there with these guys we played today looking at playing in theplayoffs."

Instead they're looking at getting back next year.

Next year the Brier is in Saskatoon.


Videos

Photos