Jan 26-The young Tim Cullen rink continued their impressive PEI Labatt Tankard Playdowns debut today in Montague, trouncing number one seed John Likely by a 10-4 score in just seven ends to grab the first qualifying spot for the Final Eight championship round. The Cullen rink, who also competed in the Pepsi Juniors earlier this season, and weren't born when Likely won his first Tankard (as a second) in 1985, includes Mitch O'Shea at third, Robbie Doherty at second, and lead Patrick Callbeck, with 5th player Brent Campbell, and coach Robbie Roberts. To advance to the qualifier, the unseeded Cullen team, who curl out of the Charlottetown Curling Club, clobbered Calvin Smith of Crapaud 13-4, and Blair Jay of Summerside by a 10-1 score.
Qualifier number 2 went to the number two seed. last year's runner-up and 2005 and 2006 champion Rod MacDonald of Summerside, whose team includes Jamie Newson, and former Tankard winning skips Mike Gaudet and Peter MacDonald. They defeated the Kyle Stevenson rink of Charlottetown by a 7-4 score in today's qualifying match.
Two Tankard veterans squared off for the third qualifying position, with defending champion Peter Gallant, who has been on eight winning Tankard teams, defeating 5-time Tankard and 5-time Seniors champion Ted MacFadyen by a 10-3 score, taking four points in the first end, and stealing a single in the second to grab an early 5-0 lead. Playing with Gallant are Kevin Champion, Mark O'Rourke, and John Desrosiers.