Howard sub relishing Brier trip to Ottawa
He’s the 43-year-old rookie.
Guelph’s Adam Spencer, who stepped into Wayne Middaugh’s shirts at the Recharge with Milk Ontario Tankard last week, will make his first Brier appearance after Team Glenn Howard won another trip to the national championship.
“I honestly don’t know what to expect,” said Spencer, with an eye toward the March 5-11 event at TD Place. “It’s been a dream of mine since I started curling,” 33 years ago.
“I really don’t now what to expect other than to have a great time and to soak up every possible moment I can.”
Spencer is a production manager for the Farley Group, a company that makes air supported structures. The dome at the University of Ottawa is one of its products. His wife also works and they have two children, Hope, 8, and William, 6.
His regular team, on which he plays vice, failed to make the Tankard through regional play, so they competed at the Challenge Round. When his team failed to advance, Spencer got the call from Howard that night.
“He explained the situation they were in and (asked) would I be interested to put my name in the spare pool,” Spencer said.
Wayne Middaugh had broken his leg earlier. So off Spencer headed to his eighth provincial championship.
Spencer is no stranger to his new team. He played in two early-season Grand Slams when Middaugh couldn’t attend.
While they won all their round robin games, their three championship games were each won by only one point.
“I would be lying to say that there weren’t some nerves going on there, especially in the final game,” Spencer said. “I saw myself talking to myself a lot, trying to keep myself to the moment.”
During the Tankard, the second would wear Middaugh’s jerseys. At the Brier, “I am going to have my own shirt with my own name and it will fit.”
So far the Brier field includes Steve Laycock (Saskatchewan), Mike Kennedy (New Brunswick), Brad Gushue (Newfoundland and Labrador), Jean-Michel Menard (Quebec) and Adam Casey (P.E.I.).
The Brier field won’t be complete until this Sunday, when Manitoba, Northern Ontario, Alberta and B.C. play their finals. Jamie Koe (Northwest Territories), Jamie Murphy (Nova Scotia), Nunavut and the Yukon will play in the qualification round to add the final team to the round robin. Scotties: Team Jenn Hanna’s chance of making the playoffs in the Scotties might just be a good bet. Leading the field is Team Canada’s Jennifer Jones. Chelsea Carey of Alberta is most likely the second-strongest rink, followed by Kerri Einarson (Manitoba), then Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville. This Scotties just might make Russ Howard tread delicately when Saskatchewan plays. His daughter, Ashley, is the third. Winner’s circle: The winner of the main event in the Crystal Heart Curling Classic was Team Sandra Chisholm, with Maureen MacDonald, Heidi Rausch and Ruth Buckland. The tournament’s oldest player, at 92, won the senior section: Tedde Barker with Dawn Blackman Overton, Christine Henry and Myrna Latham. The event raised $60,400 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. End notes: The Canadian Vision Impaired curling championship is now in mid-week with the finals set for this Friday at the Ottawa. Team Hanna’s Brit O’Neill and Karen Sagle threw the first rock on Monday. … The 2016 Tim Hortons Brier Committee announced a Support Our Troops day on Monday, March 7. Canadian Forces members will get special pricing on tickets and special activities will take place during draws 6 and 7.
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