The leaders are distancing themselves from the pack for both men and women at the 2012 Canadian Seniors Curling Championships in Abbotsford, BC.
Alberta’s Cathy King of the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton is alone at the top of the women’s leaderboard with a 6-1 mark following a wild 8-6 win over Ontario’s Nancy Harrison. The first seven ends were tightly played with only singletons with Harrison holding a slim 3-2 lead. King erased that lead with a nice three ender in the 8th end only to relinquish it in the next end giving three right back. Ontario was now up 6-5 coming home without last stone. In the final end, the Albertans made great use of a corner guard piling three stones behind it. When Harrison’s final stone wrecked on the guard, King had another three ender and the victory. The loss puts the Burlington, ON skip at 3-4 and she can’t afford another loss if she hopes to make the playoffs.
Nova Scotia’s Nancy Delahunt needed a victory in her match-up with Cathy Cunningham of Newfoundland & Labrador to stay close to the leaders. With Colleen Jones delivering last stones, Nova Scotia posted a three in the first end. Despite giving back a deuce the very next end, the Mayflower CC foursome controlled the rest of the game with singles in the third and ninth ends allowing Cunningham only a single in the 6th. The final score was 5-3 vaulting Delahunt to 5-2 the same mark as the team from St. John’s.
The final women’s game of the evening featured Heidi Hanlon, the defending Canadian Senior Women’s champion from New Brunswick, against Quebec’s Odette Trudel. Hanlon is desperate for wins to keep her slim playoff hopes alive. Hanlon found herself down 6-4 after six ends but recovered with a score of 4 in the 7th end and steals of one in both the 8th and 9th ends. The final score was 10-6 for NB improving their record to 3-4 while Quebec drops to 2-5.
Saskatchewan’s Darlene Gillies had the evening off and sits alone in second place at 5-1.
There were interesting match-ups in the evening draw in the men’s section.
Manitoba’s Kelly Robertson, the current Canadian Senior Men’s champion winning the 2011 title in Digby, NS, squared off against one of the leaders in BC’s Dennis Graber. The Neepawa foursome needed a win to stay close and keep their playoff hopes alive, however, Graber had other plans with deuces in the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th ends, cruising to a 9-3 romp moving the home province favourite to 6-1 and right on the heels of Alberta’s Rob Armitage. The Red Deer, AB team had the evening off and sits undefeated with six victories.
Two teams trying to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot were former Canadian Senior Men’s champion Eugene Hritzuk of Saskatoon and two time Brier competitor Robbie Gordon of Sudbury. Both teams entered draw 13 with 3-3 records. Hritzuk roared out to a two point lead with three in the 4th end. Unperturbed, the Northern Ontario left-hander grabbed a three of his own in the 6th and then made a key steal of one in the 9th end to win 7-5. His team moves to 4-3 while Hritzuk is in danger of missing the playoffs, now at 3-4.
Quebec’s Pierre Charette stays in playoff contention scoring often in subduing PEI’s Charlie Wilkinson 10-1 in only seven ends. Charette is now 4-3.
Not playing tonight were NL’s Glenn Goss at 5-1 and Ontario’s Brian Lewis at 4-2.
The round robin continues until Friday, March 23 with semi-finals for both genders then scheduled for Saturday followed by both championship finals, Sunday, March 25 at 2:00pm EST.