Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Vic's last kick at the can?

Ex-Canadian champ Peters trying to save 'dismal' season at zones

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SURE, Vic Peters knows he's past his prime.

But that doesn't necessarily mean the former Canadian champion and his team can't still get to prime time on the Manitoba curling scene in '09, even if the Big Three has in most minds narrowed to the Big Two of Jeff Stoughton and Kerry Burtnyk.

Winning the Safeway Championship men's provincial title next month in Selkirk -- IF he can win a zone berth this week to get there -- would definitely be a long shot for Peters and his team of third Ken Tresoor, second Chris Neufeld and lead Keith Fenton.

"I would think that would be a surprise this year for sure because we just haven't played well," Peters said before playing St. Vital's Dale Lott Wednesday night in the city zones at the West Kildonan Curling Club.

"There comes a time when these young guys kind of take over and that's what's happening. For us, I don't think the motivation factor has been good. Last year, we had a good solid year, but this year has been dismal."

Stoughton and Burtnyk have already earned their berths to next month's Safeway Championship. So has young gun Mike McEwen, who won the Manitoba Curling Tour Championship.

That means Peters is just one of many Winnipeg teams to have to take the long and winding road through the city zones -- or, if that doesn't work, the last-gasp MCA Bonspiel -- to get to Selkirk.

He's seeded No. 4, behind No. 1 McEwen, who isn't competing in the zones, and back of No. 2 Peter Nicholls and No. 3 Reid Carruthers.

Last year's provincial finalist, David Bohn, is at No. 5 and 2005 Manitoba champ Randy Dutiaume is No. 6, followed by a host of other good rinks who've never won a provincial title.

"Obviously there's lots of skill involved and I don't think we've worked hard enough," said Peters. "You have to prepare.

"And the younger teams and anybody you see on the circuit works really hard at it because it's so hard to make any money on that tour.

"If you don't keep up with the work ethic... it makes no difference what you did years ago, right? It's what you do this weekend or next weekend," added Peters, who spends a lot of time nowadays watching his daughter Elizabeth or son Daley do their own elite curling.

"There comes a time when you have to realize that probably your days as a competitive player are numbered and I'm probably getting to that point, even though I feel like I'm throwing it half-good."

Still, Peters admitted, he's been outplayed regularly -- something he didn't encounter when he was tearing up the ice when he was 30, 40 or 45. He won a provincial senior title last year with Doug Harrison, but in the men's this year, it's all come crashing down.

"You have to be realistic. You think you can, but you just can't anymore. You think you can do stuff that you did 20 years ago but it doesn't quite just fall into place, work or play."

Still, Peters said, he'd be disappointed if he didn't get to Selkirk and make some noise there.

"When you're seeded fourth (in city zones), obviously your expectations and capabilities should be there.

"But we've felt we should have done a lot better all year so maybe...

"That's the beauty about curling. You can turn your season around if you get fortunate enough after Christmas... in the run to the purple hearts.

"A lot of guys have turned their years around by just having a good after-Christmas and that can happen, for sure."

Winnipeg Zone results

Vic Peters, Fort Garry (#4) 9 Dale Lott, St. Vital 7

David Bohn, Ass'n Mem. (#5) 5 Barry Mandryk Ass'n Mem. 1

Randy Dutiaume West Kildonan (#6) 9 Dave Watt Heather 1

Brad Haight West Kildonan (#7) 9 Bryan Zachary Granite 6

Sean Grassie West Kildonan (#10) 9 Arnold Asham Thistle 4

Doug Riach West Kildonan (#11) 9 Paul Armstrong St. Vital 7

Dave Smith (#12) St. Vital 9 Kyle Peters Pembina 2

Glenn Hobson, Fort Rouge 7 Les Hooper, Pembina 6

Kerry Kingsland Deer Lodge 9 Ken Schenkeveld Fort Rouge 0

Jim Kirkness Fort Rouge 6 David Hicks St. Vital 5 (extra end)

Ross Ryback West Kildonan 8 Lionel Walz Pembina 4

Mike Mahon Deer Lodge 7 Kelly Dennison Pembina 3

Jim Coleman Pembina 10 Eugene Desjarlais Deer Lodge 8

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 8, 2009 C1

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