Last Saturday was just one of those days, says James Buyck, who was in Yellowknife over the weekend looking for another trip to the Tim Hortons Brier.
But it wasn't to be, as the Jamie Koe rink of Yellowknife came out ahead on Sunday, and will be representing the territories in Calgary begiining March 7th.
Curling third for the Chad Cowan rink of Whitehorse, the defending champions, Buyck said they ran into a hot team Saturday afternoon that pushed Cowan's record to three wins and two losses, instead of heading into Sunday four and one.
Looking back, he suspects the Saturday afternoon loss was a factor.
The Cowan rink opened the Yukon/Northwest Territories Men's Championship Thursday night with a 6-4 win over the N.W.T. #3 rink of Darcy Moshenko.
'Cowan moved his record to 2-0 Friday morning with a 9-3 victory over the N.W.T. #2 rink of Greg Skauge.
The Whitehorse team moved to 3-0 Friday afternoon with its second victory over the Moshenko rink, in a convincing 10-4 performance.
Cowan lost its first game Saturday morning to Koe's N.W.T. #1 rink, by a score of 7-4, moving the team's record to 3-1 as it faced off Saturday afternoon against the Skauge rink Cowan had defeated so handily the day before.
They lost 8-6, Buyck noted.
"It was a combination of us not curling as well as we should have and he really made some killer shots . . .including some that weren't even called."
Heading into Sunday, the defending champs were facing the prospect of having to win twice against the Koe rink, which also has a couple of Brier appearances under its belt.
It didn't happen, and Buyck suspects Koe was playing a little freer than he would have if both rinks came into Sunday with the same records, as Koe had also dropped a game in the preliminary round.
In the eighth end, said Buyck, Koe tried and made a difficult shot through a tight and narrow port, with perfect weight and perfect line. It's a shot he may not have opted for if the Cowan rink didn't have to win twice, Buyck said.
Instead of perhaps stealing one had Koe missed the shot, the veteran N.W.T skip scored two and jumped ahead 5-4.
Koe stole one in the ninth when Cowan literally came up an inch short on his draw to the button with the hammer, going home in the tenth down 6 - 4 - without the hammer.
"We thought we were there," he said of Cowan's final rock in the ninth.
The score remained 6-4 through ten ends.
"This was our goal in curling competitively, to get to the Brier," Buyck said. "So yeah, it's very disappointing if you don't do it.
"But you go to the peak, and accept what happens."
The Cowan rink of Buyck, Wade Scoffin curling second and Clint Ireland curling lead, represented the territories at the Brier last year, finishing with a deceptive two wins and nine losses, though several games could have gone either way.
Koe's rink most recently represented the territories in 2007 and 2006.
The Yukon's Brian Wasnea rink was at the Brier in 2004, and the Cowan rink was there in 2003.