Howard sets milestone at Brier

Ontario skip Glenn Howard sizes up a shot against Saskatchewan during his record-breaking 175th...

Ontario skip Glenn Howard sizes up a shot against Saskatchewan during his record-breaking 175th Brier in Saskatoon, Sask., March 6, 2012. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:36 PM ET

SASKATOON - Glenn Howard wants to know the facts, all the facts.

“One of you guys has to figure out how many rocks I’ve thrown,” said the Ontario skip who broke his brother’s record as he curled in his 175th game at the Brier here Tuesday afternoon.

“And what’s the combined weight of those rocks?”

Howard had equalled one record of his brother Russ when he stepped on the ice here Saturday, making it to his 14th Brier, the first seven of them he spent playing third for Old Hurry Hard. This is his seventh consecutive skipping his own team. He won two Briers with his brother and one on his own.

But Tuesday, in a 7-5 extra end win over Scott Manners of Saskatchewan, he went one up on his old skip.

But then there’s the rest of the story.

He almost certainly set another record as he did it.

It was Howard’s fifth consecutive game that went into extra ends in this Brier.

“I’d be more than surprised if that isn’t a record. I’d be totally shocked.

“I can’t remember playing two extra-end games in a Brier before, period,” said the 49-year-old beer store manager from Coldwater, Ont.

“That’s so many extra ends, maybe I should get credit for having played 176 now instead of 175.”

He’s had members of his teams miss games like Craig Savill, his lead who missed two due to the flu here this week. But he’s never missed one since playing the first one in 1986 in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Russ quipped that Glenn was like that as a kid.

“He didn’t miss any days of school, either,” he said on his way to the broadcast booth before the game.

“He’s right. I didn’t miss a day,” said Glenn.

“I was a better student than he was, that’s for sure.”

Savill getting actually added to the thrill of this Brier for Glenn. It gave his son Scott a chance to come in as a fifth man.

“It’s great to have him here playing with me and experiencing a day like this. He’s made me proud. He came in for the first game and played pretty good and came back for a second game and played great.”

Glenn said he has no idea why he’s ended up in so many extra-end games.

“Guys have played well against us. And we’ve had a couple of brain cramps,” he laughed.

But it kind of added to it all as he hit for two in the 11th to beat Saskatchewan 7-5 and followed up with a 8-4 win over Rob Fowler of Manitoba to leave the rink with a 6-1 record, tied with Alberta's Kevin Koe who lost his first game of the Brier, 7-6 to Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario, to drop to 6-1.

Koe's brother Jamie also lost one, 9-6 to Prince Edward Island, to go into this morning's Koe-Koe match-up with a 5-2 record.

Fowler's Buffalo Boys, Jim Cotter of B.C. and Nova Scotia's Jamie Murphy were the remaining teams to end the evening with a winning record, all sitting at 4-3.

The day belonged to Howard and his record.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said of playing No. 175.

“I honestly didn’t know until I got here.

“I know it’s an awful lot of games. It’s pretty neat to say we played more Brier games than anybody in history.

“The good news is the majority of them have been wins.”

But he said on a day like Tuesday, you appreciate the sights and the scene as much as the games and the wins.

“I’m 49 years old and I still love this.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of the Brier and every minute we’ve played, regardless of the results,” said the skip who only the night before was giving green-painted guys wearing nothing but white shorts high-fives behind the boards during the game.

“It was like we were part of a Roughriders game,” he said of the experience.

Howard said the record doesn’t just belong to him.

“Right now, I’m thinking of all the guys I’ve been able to curl with over the years. It’s a credit to them for getting there. I can’t quite believe it’s been 175. It’s been a long run.

“I just wish my father had been here to see it. But my mom was at home watching on TV. I’m sure she was proud.”

Follow me on Twitter.com/sunterryjones

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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