Ryan's hope: that trip to St. John's will be worth the effort

Kenn Oliver
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

His is one of only two non-St. John's rinks in Tankard

There were no big surprises on the first day of competition at the Labatt Tankard provincial men's curling championship Tuesday at the Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club in St. John's.

Three-time defending champ Brad Gushue, in search of his seventh title, handily won both his matches and the rest battled to many tight finishes.

Telegram photographer Keith Gosse went to great heights ... er, depths, getting down to ice level to get this shot on Tuesday, the opening day of play in the 2010 Labatt Tankard provincial men's curling championship at Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club in

There were no big surprises on the first day of competition at the Labatt Tankard provincial men's curling championship Tuesday at the Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club in St. John's.

Three-time defending champ Brad Gushue, in search of his seventh title, handily won both his matches and the rest battled to many tight finishes.

An exception was an opening-draw match between Keith Ryan's Labrador City rink and Andrew Symonds' entry out of the Re/Max Centre (St. John's Curling Club). Ryan scored six in the third end on his way to a 10-4 win.

The Ryan rink out of the Carol club in Lab City is one of just two at this year's provincials which don't call St. John's home. The other is skipped by Ryan's clubmate, Jeff Staples. Both qualified for the provincials without having to compete in zone playdowns or the open event, neither of which took place this season due to a lack of interest province-wide.

Normally, there would be competitions at the four zone levels - Western, Central, Labrador and Eastern - with two rinks advancing to the provincials from each of those competitions. Then there would be a second-chance open to provide the ninth and 10th entries for the Tankard.

But with no interested teams from Western or Central and just the two from Labrador, this week's competition is very much townie-dominated and still one rink shy of the regular quota.

"It's very scary," says Ryan, the Newfoundland and Labrador Curling Association Northern Zone director.

"There's supposed to be 10 teams here in our provincials looking for a chance to go to the Brier, and there's only nine."

"Here we are in St. John's, the mecca of curling in Newfoundland, and it's very surprising there's not 10 teams."

For much of the last decade, Ryan's has been one of a few rinks, if not the only, to come out of the Big Land for the provincial men's. He says it's not an indication of the majority of curlers losing interest - Carol's Thursday-night competitive team has "six solid teams" - but more a result of the continually rising cost to compete provincially.

"It's almost $1,000 a pop to just come down. We've got five people on our team, so that's $5,000 for airfare, $1,500 for accommodations, rent a vehicle for about $600... you're talking almost $8,000 just to be here for a week.

"Plus it's a week off work and a big family sacrifice."

Ryan says more and more recreational curlers are being turned on to the competitive game, fostering a desire to get to a higher level. He hopes mixed the provincial championship, being held this March in Lab City, will help attract more females to the competitive game and that some of them will form a team or teams that will enter future provincial Scotties.

koliver@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Ryan's, Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club, Max Centre Newfoundland and Labrador Curling Association Northern Zone

Geographic location: St. John's, Newfoundland, Lab Western

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Derek
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Can someone post the schedule for the provincial curling???

  • 2cents
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    To Suzanne and Curling Fan your both wrong. Brad's own team mates expressed shock at being let go and fat lot of good that did him huh. Making changes to make the team better hogwash. The new team sucked! That's why he got his old rink mates back. Jerome is right and many people feel the same way as he does.

  • Curling Fan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Jerome...Brad Gushue did nothing wrong in getting rid of a couple of his teammates. In professional sports the leaders of teams make changes to help improve the team to gain further success. I'm sick of people bashing Brad because he wanted his team to improve and reach higher goals. Every sports team does it!

    Derek...the schedule for the provincial tankard can be found at www.curlingnl.ca and then click on the Men's link under the Tournament section.

    Let's go Team Gushue...we need the best team at the Brier!

  • billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Telegram please stop posting information on curling in the sports section. This is a game if you can be over weight and be the best in the world you cannot really call it a sport.

    I understand they have skill but so do half the b'ys down at doolies pub.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    The time, money and effort is just not worth it when you know the chances of beating a world class team like the Gushue rink is slim to none.

    Curling still remains strong recreationally and at the junior level though.

  • Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    There's no doubt about it, the Gushue Team are top-notched curlers;
    no denying that.
    However, I'm still having difficulty trying to re-gain respect for Brad
    after his greed for his own personal fame forced him to get rid of a couple of his team mates. Brad needs to come down off his self-inflicted high throne a little.

  • suzanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Jerome do you believe everything that you read in the paper? Personal fame, greed what are you talking about?
    Brad and his other team mates made adjustments to their team based on the group's chemistry. He is not the only one who made those decisions it was a group decision. Money, fameor greed had nothing to do with it.

    Like any professional sport sometimes changes need to be made in order for the team as a whole to succeed. Why don't you complain about every trade decison and draft pick in the NHL while you are at it??

    I don't know Brad G personally but I'm sick of small minded people like you ASSUMING that you know what went on behind closed doors. Did you ever think that the players that were released were causing a problem because of their behavior and that Brad and co. had no choice but to make the tough decision to release them?
    They are professionals for god sakes!!

  • Derek
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Can someone post the schedule for the provincial curling???

  • 2cents
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    To Suzanne and Curling Fan your both wrong. Brad's own team mates expressed shock at being let go and fat lot of good that did him huh. Making changes to make the team better hogwash. The new team sucked! That's why he got his old rink mates back. Jerome is right and many people feel the same way as he does.

  • Curling Fan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Jerome...Brad Gushue did nothing wrong in getting rid of a couple of his teammates. In professional sports the leaders of teams make changes to help improve the team to gain further success. I'm sick of people bashing Brad because he wanted his team to improve and reach higher goals. Every sports team does it!

    Derek...the schedule for the provincial tankard can be found at www.curlingnl.ca and then click on the Men's link under the Tournament section.

    Let's go Team Gushue...we need the best team at the Brier!

  • billy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Telegram please stop posting information on curling in the sports section. This is a game if you can be over weight and be the best in the world you cannot really call it a sport.

    I understand they have skill but so do half the b'ys down at doolies pub.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    The time, money and effort is just not worth it when you know the chances of beating a world class team like the Gushue rink is slim to none.

    Curling still remains strong recreationally and at the junior level though.

  • Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    There's no doubt about it, the Gushue Team are top-notched curlers;
    no denying that.
    However, I'm still having difficulty trying to re-gain respect for Brad
    after his greed for his own personal fame forced him to get rid of a couple of his team mates. Brad needs to come down off his self-inflicted high throne a little.

  • suzanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Jerome do you believe everything that you read in the paper? Personal fame, greed what are you talking about?
    Brad and his other team mates made adjustments to their team based on the group's chemistry. He is not the only one who made those decisions it was a group decision. Money, fameor greed had nothing to do with it.

    Like any professional sport sometimes changes need to be made in order for the team as a whole to succeed. Why don't you complain about every trade decison and draft pick in the NHL while you are at it??

    I don't know Brad G personally but I'm sick of small minded people like you ASSUMING that you know what went on behind closed doors. Did you ever think that the players that were released were causing a problem because of their behavior and that Brad and co. had no choice but to make the tough decision to release them?
    They are professionals for god sakes!!