P.E.I. men still unbeaten

Jason Simmonds
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SUMMERSIDE - Even P.E.I. skip Mel Bernard admits he's a little surprised by his rink's unbeaten start at the 2009 Canadian senior men's curling championships.
Bernard, third stone Blair Jay, second stone Douglas Simmons and lead Earle Proude are enjoying playing on home ice at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club.

P.E.I. lead Earle Proude, left, and second stone Douglas Simmons sweep a rock during Monday afternoons game against Northern Ontario at the 2009 Canadian senior curling championships in Summerside. P.E.I. is off to a 5-0 start. Jason Simmonds/Journal Pion

SUMMERSIDE - Even P.E.I. skip Mel Bernard admits he's a little surprised by his rink's unbeaten start at the 2009 Canadian senior men's curling championships.
Bernard, third stone Blair Jay, second stone Douglas Simmons and lead Earle Proude are enjoying playing on home ice at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club.
The P.E.I. representatives won twice Monday - 8-5 over Quebec's Mike Carson (1-4) in the evening and 6-3 against Northern Ontario's Ian Fisher (2-4) in a late-afternoon draw - to improve to 5-0 (won-lost).
"It's more than we thought of," said Bernard. "These are pretty strong teams.
"But we're playing well and when we were in Three Rivers (for the senior nationals) a couple of years ago, we played well and lost a couple of close games.
"We're just playing that much better, hanging in there and we know each other. We're enjoying ourselves and we're throwing our rocks pretty good."
Bernard sits alone in second place, behind New Brunswick's Russ Howard (6-0).

Lone game today
Bernard's lone game today is against Newfoundland and Labrador's Bill Jenkins (4-2) at 7:30 p.m. Howard plays Alberta's David Olsen (2-3) at 2:30 p.m.
Bernard credits a total team effort for P.E.I.'s success.
"Our front end, Doug and Earle, played great, kept things going for us and kept us from being in a lot of trouble," said Bernard. "Blair made big shots when we needed them. . . He's got a lot of ability, so when he makes those shots it picks us all up and way we go."
Against Northern Ontario, Bernard hit and had a slight role in the eight-foot for a deuce in the seventh end to take a 4-3 lead. The Island representative then went on to steal singles in the eighth and ninth ends.
"When we got to the eighth end and we were up one, we wanted to steal one because if they get one or two in the ninth, then you have the hammer in the last end," explained Bernard. "The eighth end was pivotal as once we were up two it was tough on them.
"The ice got a little flat at the end and got a bit tricky."
P.E.I. was also able to steal points versus Quebec. After Bernard had to settle for a single with hammer to tie the game 2-2 in the third end, P.E.I. stole back-to-back single points to take a 4-2 advantage into the fifth-end break.
Carson countered with a deuce in the sixth end to tie the game 4-4. But Bernard came right back in the seventh to score three with the hammer to retake the lead 7-4. Carson closed to within 7-5 in the eighth end, but Bernard regain last-rock advantage. He scored one in the ninth to take a three-point lead into the final end.

jpsports@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club, Three Rivers

Geographic location: Quebec, Northern Ontario, SUMMERSIDE New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador Alberta

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