Prince Edward Island, skipped by Robert Campbell of Charlottetown, has clinched a berth in Saturday’s final of the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship.
The Islanders won two huge games on Thursday, 6-4 over Nova Scotia in the morning in a battle between the top two teams, then followed up with a tight 6-5 victory over Alberta in the evening.
The result left Campbell’s team with a 9-1 mark and sole possession of first place. Regardless of how Prince Edward Island fares in Friday morning’s final round robin draw again Northwest Territories/Yukon, it has sealed first place.
Incidentally, Campbell, who has played in eight Briers, won the 1989 Canadian Mixed in Brandon, the last time it was staged in the province of Manitoba.
Even though there is one more draw to go in the round robin, the results will not affect the playoff-bound teams.
That’s because Nova Scotia, skipped by two-time Mixed champion Paul Flemming of Halifax, is in second spot with an 8-2 record after defeating Ontario, 7-4 on Thursday evening. Nova Scotia meets Northern Ontario Friday morning, but even a victory combined with a PEI loss would leave both teams tied with 9-2 records, meaning Campbell would still get the nod for first because of his win over Flemming.
There’s a logjam behind the top two though, which will require two tiebreakers… Manitoba (Terry McNamee of Hamiota), Ontario (Chris Gardner of Arnprior) and New Brunswick (Charlie Sullivan of Saint John) all finished with 7-4 records.
Since the three teams were 1-1 within the group, they are seeded based on the skill-based draw to the button results…which resulted in Manitoba being ranked highest. Therefore, Ontario will meet New Brunswick in the first tiebreaker on Friday afternoon, with the winner facing Manitoba Friday evening in the second tiebreaker to determine third place.
That means the semi-final, featuring Nova Scotia against the eventual third place finisher, will be played on Saturday morning, with the winner battling Prince Edward Island in the final of the 48th edition of the Mixed Saturday afternoon.
Prince Edward Island has two Mixed wins, the last by Campbell in 1989, while Nova Scotia, with seven titles overall, is the defending champion, having won last season in Burlington with skip Mark Dacey.
Alberta leads all provinces with nine Mixed titles since the championship began in 1964 in Toronto. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are next with eight Mixed crowns apiece, while Ontario and New Brunswick have two wins each.