Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Burtnyk out, but Oly dream remains

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Kerry BURTNYK has his eyes on one prize these days -- the 2009 Canadian Curling Trials, where Canada's teams for Vancouver in 2010 will be determined.

And so while Burtnyk was disappointed to lose his quarter-final game 6-4 to Glenn Howard at the BDO Classic Canadian Open Saturday afternoon, he was keeping a much larger picture in mind.

And that picture, Burtnyk says, has his team competing in those Trials. "We're not going to lose sight of our goals -- winning this weekend wasn't make-it-or-break-it," Burtnyk said.

Under the complex points system that is helping to determine which eight men's teams will compete in the 2009 Trials, Burtnyk already has a berth in a pre-Trials qualifier and is in the thick of the race for two remaining automatic Trials berths.

While that latter race is incredibly complicated, Burtnyk says it boils down to a simple formula. "All we have to do is keep winning and if we do that, there's a good chance we'll get a spot."


 

Geared up for provincials

HE'S been regaled with tales for decades.

Later this week, Edmonton's Don Walchuk will finally get a chance to see for himself what all the fuss is about when he plays in his first-ever MCA Bonspiel.

Walchuk, third for Kerry Burtnyk, is playing in his first-ever bonspiel as his team looks for a tune-up in advance of next month's Manitoba men's curling championship.

"I've heard stories over the years about guys who needed to win a bazillion games to get their (provincials) spots (through the bonspiel)," Walchuk said yesterday. "Now I get to see what it's all about."

Walchuk still effectively lives in Alberta but has obtained a Manitoba address for the purposes of playing with Burtnyk in the Manitoba provincials.

He said there was no hesitation in setting up shop here for the next week or so while his team goes bonspieling. "It is what it is. We made a commitment. We have to do what is right to keep things coming around."


 

American gets practice

AMERICAN Debbie McCormick, the 2003 world champion, was in Winnipeg over the past four days getting in some practice in advance of next month's U.S. Trials, where the American curling teams for the 2010 Winter Olympics will be determined.

McCormick played a pair of exhibition games against the local Kaitlyn Lawes and Kristy Jenion teams. And she was scheduled to play a game against reigning world champion Jennifer Jones at MTS Centre Saturday afternoon during a break between draws.

But the teams weren't allowed sufficient time for a game and instead chose to practise separately on adjoining sheets.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2009 C3

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