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Bice brothers hope for repeat at Tankard

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Barry Wright

Mike Bice wouldn’t mind turning back the hands of time when his rink competes at the Ontario Tankard at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford next week.

The Sarnia curler was part of Greg Balsdon’s Hamilton foursome that won the provincial men’s title in 2014 and went on to represent Ontario at the Tim Hortons Brier.

Bice would like nothing better than to return to the national stage again, only this time as skip.

“Going to the Brier is pretty much every curlers dream that lives in Canada,” he said. “Once you get a taste of what that was like the first time, it definitely becomes the goal to make it back.”

The Bice squad includes older brother Steve as well as Aaron Squires, Tyler Morgan and Jamie Farnell. All but Squires were part of the championship team from two years ago.

Bice, who took up curling at the age of seven, said the experience gained from five previous provincial playdowns should help him and the team.

“It’s a long week and eventually it does wear on you,” said the two time provincial junior curling champ. “Knowing what to expect from past experience helps because as the week goes on you get more and more tired, both physically and mentally.”

With a field full of quality teams, such a former champions Balsdon, Glenn Howard, Mike Harris and Joe Frans, Bice doesn’t expect any rink to dominate the bonspiel.

He said his approach is to take the event one game at a time.

“We’re hoping to play well during the week and to make the playoffs,” he said. “From there, if you get hot you never know.”

Round robin play opens Monday and continues through Friday.

Playoffs are scheduled for next weekend, with the championship game set for Sunday at 3 p.m.



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