It was a snowy day in Edmonton, but things are heating up at the Jasper Place Curling Club in Edmonton, as teams vie for the coveted 5-0 on the standings board.
The afternoon draw 4 once again saw Newfoundland skip Joanne MacDonald and her team bow out early, losing 10-2 to Saskatchewan after six ends. The Alberta Host team, disappointed with yesterday’s two losses after giving up four in both of Tuesday’s games, saw Quebec get four in the second and seventh ends. Preventing a repeat of yesterday though, skip Cliff Nuspl and his team got 2 in the eighth to defeat Quebec 9-8.
Nova Scotia handed Manitoba their first loss of the week to remain undefeated after 4 games, winning 7-4 in eight. Another game between two undefeated teams, Alberta and British Columbia, went into an extra end. Alberta stole a point to win and also remain undefeated after 4. The final score was 7-6.
The final game of the afternoon also went to an extra end. Northern Ontario and Ontario faced off in a battle for the John McCrae Trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the annual competition between the Northern Ontario Curling Association and the Ontario Curling Association held at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship. The awarding of this trophy, named after a former general manager of the Ontario Curling Association, is similar to what both teams do at the Brier. It has been awarded since 2008 with Ontario winning the first battle, and again in 2010. Northern Ontario won the trophy back in 2009, and again this year in the extra end, beating Ontario by a score of 8-7. Northern Ontario skip Wayne Ficek said “We got off to a sluggish start, but once we got that three [in 4] we were comfortable with stealing. Both Ontario teams can curl a lot better. It wasn’t the best curled game for the John McCrae Trophy.”
In the evening draw (5), Manitoba and BC were off the ice after 6 ends when Manitoba ran away with the game 8-1. Manitoba skip, Chris Sobkowicz appreciated the win, as some frost had starting to creep in on the outside sheet; he stated “You had to believe what you saw and go with it!”
On the other outside sheet, Darwin Bender and his Saskatchewan crew fell 3-8 to the Alberta Host team. Alberta and Nova Scotia extended their undefeated streaks, with Alberta downing Ontario 7-5 and Nova Scotia taking out Newfoundland 9-5.
Benoit Lessard, skip for Quebec, continued his “four” streak, scoring his third four-ender of the day in the fifth end against Northern Ontario. Quebec went on to win the game 8-4.
Two teams remain undefeated: Alberta and Nova Scotia. Newfoundland is the only team without a win after 5 games.
The event has been running smoothly, as the many fans and followers lining the windows on the second floor of the club can attest too. Val Adair, the sister and aide to Northern Ontario’s alternate Cindy Hoffstrom, in conversation with a member of the organizing committee commented “You folks have done a fantastic job!” – and Val would know as she’s attended three previous Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships.