Leafs keep rolling to post-season with win over Devils on record-setting night
TORONTO — Franchise rookie records continued to fall as the Toronto Maple Leafs kept on rolling toward the post-season.
This foursome at the Bluenose Curling Club recently scored an eight-ender, a rarity in the sport. From left are Cyril Gerrior, Chris Blundell, Robert Simpson, and Merle Pratt. SUBMITTED
NEW GLASGOW – Merle Pratt has been curling for 61 years and had never achieved it. He doesn’t think anyone else on his curling team has, either.
Cyril Gerrior, a curler of 36 years – the same. Chris Blundell, 48 years – ditto.
Robert Simpson, the neophyte of the bunch, hasn’t done it either, in more than three years, Pratt said.
It is a rarity in curling – an eight-ender – when a team gets their eight rocks in the house in an end and scores on all of them.
That happened to the above group a week ago at the Bluenose Curling Club.
“This is very rare,” said Simpson.
While there is little evidence to indicate the odds of an eight-ender, Internet research found one curling site that estimated it to be about one in 12,000.
That’s about the same as a hole-in-one in golf, but Pratt thinks an eight-ender might be harder to accomplish.
“You hear of three or four holes in one every summer at Abercrombie,” said Pratt, who is also an avid golfer. “Eight-enders are as rare as hen’s teeth.”
Pratt is usually the skip of the team but last Monday, Gerrior was throwing last rock. It was a sublime choice.
“I’ve curled for 61 years and that was my very first,” Pratt said. “I don’t think anyone on that team had ever had one, because no one mentioned it last Monday.”
Back when the Bluenose Curling Club was located on the grounds of Abercrombie Golf & Country Club, Pratt was playing not with, but against, a team that scored an eight-ender.
He remembers the name of the skip of that rink – Peter Dufault – but couldn’t recall the other names on that team. “You never want one scored against you,” he said.