Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Tick-man' Gould humble at Hall induction

Claims skip Stoughton created now-common, innovative move

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Steve Gould will forever best be known as the "Tick-man."

But Gould revealed Tuesday it's actually Jeff Stoughton who deserves the credit for pioneering the quirky "tick' shot with which the longtime Winnipeg lead will forever be synonymous.

"I can sit here and lie to you and say I developed that," Gould told reporters Tuesday as Curl Manitoba announced the six-time Manitoba men's curling champion is among three individuals and two teams that are the latest inductees into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame.

"But Jeff was actually the guy who invented it and made it."

'Not only was he a spectacular player on the ice, he was an innovator in how the sport is played'

-- Curl Manitoba president Resby Coutts, on Steve Gould

Gould recalled how it was during a team practice at the Charleswood Curling Club that Stoughton first suggested the best way to play a 'tick' shot -- in which a guard is moved to the side of the sheet but remains in play to stay within the rules of the free-guard zone -- would be to play the shot across the face.

"And then, of course, Jeff makes it," Gould laughed. "So from then on, we did the tick across the face."

But while Stoughton might have came up with the idea, it was Gould who perfected a shot that is now played throughout the sport by teams nursing a lead and looking to mitigate the effect of the free guard zone -- a fact former Curl Manitoba president Resby Coutts emphasized on Tuesday in announcing Gould's induction.

"Not only was he a spectacular player on the ice," Coutts said of Gould, "he was an innovator in how the sport is played."

Gould said he was humbled by the induction. "I've got two words," Gould told the crowd, "grateful and thankful."

Also being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year are longtime volunteer Mitch Tarapasky, icemaker Hans Wuthrich and the 1978 Cathy Pidzarko and 1979 Barry Fry teams.

Tarapasky is being inducted in the builder category on the strength of his volunteerism in the sport in Manitoba, which included most recently being the chairman of the 2013 Roar of the Rings at the MTS Centre that propelled Jennifer Jones and Brad Jacobs to Sochi.

With Jones and Jacobs both advancing this week to the playoff round in Sochi, Tarapasky was asked if it was satisfying to know the event he chaired accomplished its objective -- to send to Sochi two curling teams that would represent Canada well.

"Absolutely. I think the two teams that did get there are the best of the best in the country," Tarapasky said. "They're doing so well over there and we did send our best teams there for sure."

Wuthrich is widely considered the premier icemaker in the sport and has been responsible for making ice at 37 assorted provincial events over the years, not to mention 18 Canadian events, 19 world championships and the last two Winter Olympics, including Sochi.

The Pidzarko team, which included third Chris Pidzarko, second Iris Armstrong and lead Patti Vande, went 12-3 in 1978 in winning the Manitoba and Canadian women's curling championships. There was no women's worlds in 1978.

Chris Scalena (née Pidzarko) recalled Tuesday how the Canadian women's title was decided in those days on the basis of a team's round-robin record at the Canadian Lassie -- and her team had drawn a bye on the final round-robin draw.

That meant her team had to sit and wait until the final draw was over -- and the three other teams that could have caught her Manitoba squad had all lost -- before being declared the national champions. "We won the Canadian championship sitting in the stands," laughed Scalena, noting the episode led to a playoff system being implemented at the women's nationals the following year.

The Fry team, which included third Bill Carey, second Gord Sparkes and lead Bryan Wood, went 17-2 in 1979 in winning the Manitoba men's title and the Brier. The team went on to finish third at the worlds that year. None of the team's players was at Tuesday's news conference.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 19, 2014 C4

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