Playoffs started today at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship.
The afternoon 1 vs 2 draw pitted Nova Scotia against Alberta, both coming in with 8-1 records, with Alberta’s only loss coming at the hands of Nova Scotia.
The game was marked by many steals, with Alberta kicking it off in the first after Nova Scotia skip Michael Fitzgerald wrecked on a guard with his last shot, putting 1 on the scoreboard for Alberta. Nova Scotia came right back in the second though, trying an aggressive shot to score three. Though the shot wasn’t made quite to plan, Nova Scotia still got 2 to lead 2-1. It was Nova Scotia’s turn to steal one in the third, after Alberta skip Bruno Yizek’s last hit rolled away, leaving the score at 3-1 for Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia stole one again in the fourth after Alberta came up light on the draw, turning in a score of 4-1 at the fourth end break.
Alberta came back after the break with a draw for 2 to narrow the gap at 4-3 for Nova Scotia. After again wrecking on a guard with last rock, Nova Scotia gave up a steal of 1 in the sixth end to tie the game at 4. Drawing against a mess of Alberta rocks in the seventh, Nova Scotia skip Michael Fitzgerald once again wrecked on a guard, leaving a steal of 2 for Alberta, who went up 6-4. With time running out in the eight, Nova Scotia’s last shot flashed through the house, leaving them lying 1, which wasn’t enough to win. The final score was 6-5 for Alberta’s Bruno Yizek and his team from Calgary.
When asked about how his team played, skip Bruno Yizek complimented his second, Anne Hibberd, saying “Our second was as hot as Hailey’s Comet. She made some pistols!” Alberta coach Andy Jones admitted “Nova Scotia was lights out in the first half – we were lucky to turn it around in the second half!” Alberta goes through to Sunday afternoon’s final, and Nova Scotia to the semi final Sunday morning.
The 3 vs 4 game in the evening saw Manitoba take on British Columbia. Manitoba started with the hammer, and the game started with a measure for shot, which went to Manitoba for a score of 1-0. In the second end, Manitoba skip Chris Sobkowicz made a great freeze on their own in the four foot, and British Columbia jammed on their takeout, giving Manitoba the steal for 1 and the 2-0 lead. A flash on Gary Cormack’s last British Columbia stone in the third gave Manitoba another steal point, widening their lead to 3-0. British Columbia finally got on the board in the fourth end, drawing for 1 to leave the score at 3-1 for Manitoba going into the break.
The fifth end brought with it another steal, this time for British Columbia when Manitoba wrecked on a guard, still leaving Manitoba up 3-2. Manitoba made up for it in the sixth though, making an open draw for 3 to put the score at 6-2. Manitoba skip Chris Sobkowicz wrecked a guard again in the seventh, allowing British Columbia to split the house for 2 points. The was score of 6-4 for Manitoba going into the final end, with hammer. British Columbia, with the goal of stealing 2, had one on the pin, but skip Gary Cormack came up short on the draw in for 2 and Manitoba did not have to throw their last rock. Manitoba won 6-4, ending British Columbia skip Gary Cormack’s chance of defending his title.
Manitoba will play Nova Scotia in Sunday morning’s semi final. The winner will meet Alberta in the final Sunday afternoon.