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Ontario maintains lead at Mixed

Ontario, skipped by two-time former provincial junior champion Mark Bice of Sarnia, maintained its lead through Draw 10 of the 2010 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, taking place at the Burlington Golf and Country Club.

The host province won both of its games on Tuesday, a 7-3 decision over Saskatchewan followed by a 7-2 rout of Newfoundland/Labrador, to improve to 6-1 in the 12-team round robin.

Prince Edward Island, skipped by Kyle Stevenson of Charlottetown, another former provincial junior champion, kept pace, though, with a 9-2 victory over Quebec and a 8-2 pasting of Yukon/Northwest Territories, to sit a game behind at 5-2.

Nova Scotia and British Columbia are next in line with 4-2 marks.  Nova Scotia, skipped by 2004 Brier winner Mark Dacey of Halifax, also won a pair on Tuesday, 5-2 over Manitoba and 7-4 over Alberta, while British Columbia, with Duncan’s Jason Montgomery at the controls, took down Northern Ontario, 10-7 and Saskatchewan, 7-5, in the evening draw.

New Brunswick, skipped by Mary Jane McGuire of Fredericton, is next at 4-3.

Ten provinces, plus Northern Ontario and Yukon/Northwest Territories, are contesting the 47th edition of The Mixed, from November 14-21.   After the round robin concludes Friday morning, the first place team will advance directly to Saturday’s final, while the second and third place teams meet in a semi-final.

Alberta leads all provinces with nine wins since the championship began in 1964 in Toronto, while defending champion Manitoba and Saskatchewan are next with eight victories each.

Ontario has won the Canadian Mixed twice – in 1986 by skip Dave Van Dine in Kamloops and by skip John Epping at the 2006 edition in Whitehorse.

Round robin play continues with draws at 9:00 am, 1:30 pm and 6:00 pm ET through Thursday, with a final draw at 9:00 am on Friday, prior to the playoffs.  Locally, Cogeco Cable is providing coverage of the evening draw on a tape-delayed basis, as well as the playoffs.

In addition to the Canadian title, two players from the winning team will also represent Canada at the 2010 World Mixed Doubles Championship, slated for April 16-24, 2010 in Chelyabinsk, Russia.