Day one of the 2011 SaskTel Tankard began, as expected, cautiously, but the excitement picked up inside the Civic Centre and finished with three games coming down to the final rock in the final draw of the day.
In an extra end it was the Brent Gedak rink beating Shawn Joyce with an open hit for one after Joyce hit for two in the 10th end.
Gedak's opponent in the morning draw is Randy Bryden, who used his young front end of Trent and Kelly Knapp to draw to the four-foot and force a measurement for the game. After some extreme sweeping and a second look it was confirmed Bryden scored two in the 10th and won 6-5 over Terry Marteniuk.
The other game going down to the wire in the second draw Wednesday had Dean Moulding beat Brad Law 7-6. Moulding had a draw for two with his final shot in the 10th and didn't miss, putting him further along in the A-event.
Scott Bitz won 8-3 over Derek Gaudreau. After Gaudreau slid through the house in the seventh giving up steal of three it opened the door for the Bitz team who ended the game in eight ends.
In the first draw of Tankard there were plenty of points scored and handshakes early. The Pat Simmons rink beat Jamey Jordison, one of the younger teams in the event, 12-3 in seven ends. Simmons scored three in the second, one in the fourth and four in both the fifth and seventh ends to defeat Jordison.
Brian Humble won 9-4 over Darren Camm. Three in the second and three in the eighth for Humble were keys to the victory, as the Saskatoon Sutherland rink capitalized against a team they were familiar with, Camm, who also curls out of the Sutherland Curling Club.
Carl deConinck Smith, beat Mike Eberle 10-1 thanks in large part to a five-point third end.
Mark Herbert advanced after winning 5-2. After blanking the first three ends and giving up a single in the fourth, Herbert scored singles in three straight ends and earned two more with the hammer in the ninth to seal the victory.
All eight winning teams will be in action at 8:30 a.m. with the loser all dropping to the B-event and hitting the ice at 3 p.m.
At 8:30 a.m. Team Simmons plays Team Humble, Team Herbert plays de Coninck Smith, Team Bitz takes on Team Moulding and Team Gedak faces Team Bryden.
Jordison will play Camm, Gaudreau faces Law, Eberle takes on Lane and Marteniuk plays Joyce.
There will also be a 7 p.m. draw Thursday featuring the A-event semi finals and two B-event games.