Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Super shot sends Roy to victory

In the wide-ranging pantheon of curling shots a skip can call, the angle double raise double take-out rarely sees the light of day.
But facing a possible two-point deficit with two ends to play, Raymond Roy dared to embrace the rare.

“That’s exactly how we drew it up,” Roy laughed after pulling off the unlikely shot in the sixth end to turn what looked like a sure steal of one for Greg Gustafson into a deuce for himself en route to a 6-5 victory in the men’s grand aggregate final at the Fort Frances Curling Club last Thursday.
“It was probably my best shot this season but it was out of desperation,” he admitted.
“We didn’t have anything else.”
Roy, who earlier in the evening played lead for his Monday night league team in defeating his Wednesday night rink 5-4 to take the men’s ‘A’-event title, appeared to be destined for a 5-3 deficit with Gustafson’s shot stone buried deep behind cover.
But with the most delicate of touches, Roy’s shot hit his own rock, which then careened into a Gustafson stone out front of the house.
That rock slid into the house and pushed a Roy stone into the button—displacing the Gustafson shot.
The result caused a wave of disbelieving murmurs and exultations from the crowd in the club’s upstairs lounge perched above the action.
“I’ve never won the club championship and the grand aggregate before in the same year,” said a pleased Roy, whose rink for the grand aggregate final included third Tom Mayer, second Richard Boileau (promoted from his normal lead position), and substitute lead Dave Broman, who filled in for absent second Dave Johnson.
“I think the key was we played fairly consistent all season,” he noted.
“Tommy and Dave [Johnson] and I have curled together for about 10 years now,” Roy remarked. “But we brought on a new lead this year in Richard and he brought a little bit of extra enthusiasm to the team.
“In case you didn’t notice tonight, he’s kind of a competitive guy,” Roy chuckled.
Gustafson and his team of third Dan Cousineau, second Jim Ward, and lead Tyler Cousineau, which had captured the Thursday night men’s league by winning a tie-breaker over Rick Wiedenhoeft, held the lead three different times in the game.
After scoring one in the first before giving up two in the second, Gustafson had an open draw for three in the third but came up light—settling for a pair and a 3-2 lead.
Roy tied it with a single that came down to a measurement in the fourth after his tap-back barely moved Gustafson’s shot stone enough to earn the point.
Gustafson drew for one in the fifth before Roy’s YouTube-worthy shot in the sixth.
He then had a chance to hit-and-stick for two in the seventh, but his shooter rolled too far—leaving Gustafson to take one for the tie and give up the hammer.
As it turned out, Roy didn’t even need his last rock after he hit and rolled perfectly into the four-foot behind a high guard to lie one.
Gustafson’s last stone then wrecked on the guard out front, clinching the win for Roy.
In the men’s ‘B’ final last Thursday, Jon Yellowega downed Adam Bolen 7-5.
Dan McFayden beat Rick Collett 6-2 in seven ends to capture the ‘C’ title.
The club next will hold its annual awards night wind-up and barbecue in the upstairs lounge this Friday (April 11) starting at 6 p.m.
Tickets cost $25 each, which are available from club manager Rick Grenda (274-6667), as well as at Sight & Sound and Fort Frances General Supply.

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