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Nova Scotia wins Canadian Mixed

Nova Scotia, skipped by Mark Dacey of Halifax, won the 2010 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship Saturday at the Burlington Golf and Country Club, defeating Ontario, 7-5 in the final.

Team Nova Scotia celebrates with the 2010 Canadian Mixed Trophy.

The 47th edition of The Mixed was a well-curled affair, as evidenced by team shooting percentages.  Nova Scotia fired 86%, while Ontario, skipped by Mark Bice of Sarnia, came in at 78%. The lead changed hands on four occasions, with a deuce in the eighth end by Dacey proving  the difference.

It’s the second Mixed title for Dacey, who also won in 2002 in front of his home club fans at the Mayflower Curling Club.   But it’s the third Mixed title for his wife, Heather Smith-Dacey, who plays third.  She also won the championship in 1994 when playing third for New Brunswick skip Grant Odishaw, as well as in 2002 with Dacey.

For second Andrew Gibson, who teamed with Dacey to win the 2004 Nokia Brier in Saskatoon and a bronze medal at the 2004 Ford Worlds in Gävle, Sweden, it was his first Mixed title.  It was also the first for lead Jill Mouzar, a former Canadian junior champion and 2004 world junior silver medallist, who shot a game-high 95%.

Nova Scotia led 5-4 at the fifth end break, but a couple of subsequent triples kept the contest close.  First, Dacey made a cross-house triple in the sixth end to hold Ontario to an eventual single.  Then, in the seventh, Bice returned the favour, wiping out three Nova Scotia counters and forcing Dacey to blank the end.

After Nova Scotia took two in the eighth,  Ontario blanked the ninth but in the 10th end, down 7-5, Bice, staring at one Nova Scotia counter, was heavy with his first draw and thus neither skip had to throw his  last stone.

“I’ll never catch up to her,” said an excited Dacey, about his wife’s third Mixed title.  “It was a very well curled game.  In the sixth, Mark (Bice) had a three-ender going, so I threw a bullet at one of his stones, doubled them out and rolled over to remove the other one.  Then, in the seventh, we had a three going and he made a triple to save the end for them.   My hat’s off to them. There always has to be a winner and loser, but they curled extremely well and should be proud.”

It was the seventh Mixed title for Nova Scotia since the championship began in 1964 in Toronto, but the first since 2003, when skip Paul Flemming directed his Mayflower Curling Club team to victory in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Nova Scotia’s Mayflower Curling Club team was favoured to win this 2010 Canadian Mixed, and, spurred on by an 8-7 extra end win over Ontario on Thursday evening, claimed first place and a bye to today’s final by winning its final round robin game on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, Ontario, which had led throughout the week, was relegated to the semi-final Friday night, when it throttled British Columbia, 12-3 to advance to a rematch with Nova Scotia.

In addition to the Canadian title, two players from the winning team will represent Canada at the 2010 World Mixed Doubles Championship in Chelyabinsk, Russia, April 16-24.     Dacey confirmed shortly after the game that he and Heather Smith-Dacey will be Canada’s representatives.