Forrest Gump once said sometimes there just aren't enough rocks.
Such was the story for the Muskie boys' curling rink, which ran out of rocks—and time—against the Hammarskjold Vikings (Thunder Bay) on Tuesday in Longlac in a bid to win its second-straight NWOSSAA crown.
Fort High, the defending OFSAA silver-medalists, lost in a four-end second tie-breaker against the Vikings 3-2 to allow the Thunder Bay rink to advance to the all-Ontarios on March 22-25 in North Bay.
The Muskies tried to survive an arduous week-long stretch of competition that started the previous Thursday at the U18 boys' provincial championship in Nipigon, where they finished seventh with a 1-6 record.
With regular skip Chris Silver unable to compete in either Nipigon or Longlac, Fort High did its best to make do by moving Daniel Vandenbrand from third to skip and Jason Bazylewski from second to third.
Rookie Owen Riches was inserted at second to help veteran lead Davis Jackson on the front end.
The locals won their first three games at NWOSSAA before losing 9-3 to Hammarskjold in their first game Tuesday.
After beating the Geraldton Knights in their second game to cap the round-robin, the Muskies found themselves in a three-way tie for first with the Vikings and St. Patrick's Saints (Thunder Bay) at 4-1.
By a random draw, Hammarskjold got a bye to the final while the Muskies and Saints squared off in the first four-end tie-breaker, with the Muskies prevailing (score unavailable).
All of the male team members are eligible to return next season, when the Muskies girls' and boys' teams are guaranteed an OFSAA berth as the host rinks.