Unknown Quebec rink making impact at Brier; Ont. still perfect after 11 draws
They are the mystery men at the Tim Hortons Brier, but anyone who plays Serge Reid's rink will tell you they are making their presence felt.
HALIFAX, N.S. - They are the mystery men at the Tim Hortons Brier, but anyone who plays Serge Reid's rink will tell you they are making their presence felt.
The Quebec foursome out of the Kenogami Curling Club in Jonquiere sits at 5-2 after hammering Saskatchewan 10-2, before needing an extra end for an 8-7 win over P.E.I. on Tuesday.
The Canadian Curling Association media guide has plenty of information on the Brier participants - but the highlight section for Reid, lead Steeve Villeneuve, second Simon Collin and third Francois Gionest is blank.
"They are creating their own highlights this week," said one tournament official.
Ontario's Glenn Howard, now a perfect 7-0 after dumping P.E.I. 8-2 and Saskatchewan (2-5) by a count of 9-5 on Tuesday, is only one of two skips, along with Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton, to have beaten Reid.
"I don't know them at all," said Howard, who has met most of the other teams at this year's Brier in past competitions. "If you haven't heard of them you think that they're not good but that's definitely not the case here. These guys can play and they can curl.
"They're going to be a force to reckon with at the end of the week."
The fact that no one knows much about the Quebec team - they beat former provincial champion Martin Ferland to represent the province - is OK with Reid, who describes his crew as true underdogs.
"Like I told the guys before we played Glenn Howard, I know him but he doesn't know me. It's an advantage," said Reid.
"We're a good team and we're able to play against everyone here."
Coming off the ice after his 11th end win over P.E.I (1-6), Reid said his rink keeps getting stronger.
"The record is 5-2. We're in the field now, playing better every game and now we're in a comfort zone. For the team it's good," he said.
In late draw action Tuesday, Newfoundland and Labrador climbed to 6-1, while Alberta, Manitoba, Northern Ontario joined Quebec at 5-2.
Newfoundland skip Brad Gushe said his rink's game is coming together, but still not where it needs to be.
"We're still not really taking advantage of opportunities, missing some easy shots," he said.
"In the first two or three ends in just about every game we missed a draw where we could have really taken it to the other team."
Alberta's Kevin Koe, who earlier in the day dropped a 13-8 shocker to winless Nova Scotia (1-6), was able to regain some ground by beating Manitoba 7-2, in an uncharacteristically weak game for two-time Brier winner Stoughton.
But, the hurt of the earlier drubbing remained.
"That one hopefully doesn't come back in the week to sting," said Koe.
Northern Ontario, meanwhile continued it's quiet creep up the leaderboard with a 7-3 win over B.C.'s Jeff Richard who now sits at 2-5.
Skip Brad Jacobs said he likes the fact there hasn't been much chatter about his crew.
"We'll take that. We're working our way up the standings, kind of coming in under the radar," he said, praising the accuracy of his three rink mates.
"I'm not having to make many tough shots out there...they're leaving me wide open shots to make and that's always nice."
In the only other late game the Northwest Territories/Yukon crew got it's first win of the tournament beating Nova Scotia 7-2 .
Skip Jamie Koe had to hand the reins over to Kevin Whitehead for the evening because he was writing an accounting exam.