N.B. rink still getting used to each other

Jason Simmonds
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SUMMERSIDE - Here's a memo for the men's field at the 2009 Canadian senior curling championships: New Brunswick can still play better, says skip Russ Howard.
"We actually haven't played 1,000 per cent," said Howard following Monday afternoon's 10-4 victory over Brad Whitehead of the Northwest Territories/Yukon. "We've won a bunch of squeakers against some good teams.

SUMMERSIDE - Here's a memo for the men's field at the 2009 Canadian senior curling championships: New Brunswick can still play better, says skip Russ Howard.
"We actually haven't played 1,000 per cent," said Howard following Monday afternoon's 10-4 victory over Brad Whitehead of the Northwest Territories/Yukon. "We've won a bunch of squeakers against some good teams.
"I think we got outcurled two or three of those games and managed to come out on the right side of the inch."
Howard, who also downed Nova Scotia's Bryan MacPherson (1-3) on Monday, enters Day 4 alone in first place at 6-0 (won-lost). Other members of the Fredericton Curling Club rink are third stone Wayne Tallon, second stone Mike Flannery and lead Marty Mockler.
"We only actually played two games as a team before we got here (senior nationals)," said Howard. "I didn't play in the zone playdowns, they won it without me.
"They played in three-quarters of the provincials without me. I only showed up for the final round-robin game and the finals."
One of the biggest adjustments facing Howard this week is holding the broom in the right spot.
"Everybody has a different release out here," he explained. "Mike throws a little harder than Wayne; I give Mike lots of ice and he's a hair wide, so I tighten the ice up and Wayne's a little lighter."
Howard described this year's field of 50-and-over curlers as "really good" and went as far to say it's "way better than last year."
He said New Brunswick's goal is to qualify for the playoffs.
"With six wins, we have a good shot at it now," he said. "You don't want to have two or three losses right now because there's so many good teams to play."
The first-place team after the round robin earns a berth in Saturday afternoon's championship game. The second- and third-place teams will meet in a semifinal.

jpsports@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: Fredericton Curling Club

Geographic location: New Brunswick, SUMMERSIDE, Northwest Territories Yukon Nova Scotia

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