The 5th draw of the 2013 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship featured but two games; heavyweight match-ups with Alberta facing perennial mixed curling powerhouse New Brunswick and the traditional Northern Ontario versus Ontario for provincial bragging rights.
Grande Prairie’s Kurt Balderston opened his game with three points in the opening end; however, his opponent James Grattan of Oromocto, NB, roared back with four points in the 4th to lead 5-4. After a couple of blank ends, Balderston was forced to a single in the 7th on the back of a great come around tap back. With the score tied in the 8th, Balderston missed a double take-out leaving Grattan with a draw to the four foot for two points and the lead.
Balderston made a clutch draw to the side of the four foot for a single point in the 9th end to get within one of the lead. In the 10th end, Alberta lay shot stone, full in the four foot with his own guard biting the top twelve foot. Grattan chose to draw the button for the win but came up inches short forcing the extra end.
In the 11th end, Balderston hit and rolled out in an effort to lie two leaving Grattan with a simple hit and stay for an 8-7 win. Grattan improves to 2-1 while Alberta falls to 1-2.
In the all Ontario matchup, Orillia’s Cory Heggestad stole a deuce in the 2nd end and built on that lead to 4-1 after four ends of play. Thunder Bay’s Mike Assad avoided an early finish with a terrific double raise to the four foot in the 6th end. Heggestad’s heavy weight hit to score multiple points barely missed and Northern Ontario was alive down a single point playing the 7th. Heggestad missed an open hit for two in the 7th and, when Assad replied with two in the 8th end, the game was tied.
In the pivotal 9th end, with numerous stones in play, the Ontario skip calmly raised a front stone for a score of three and an 8-5 lead which turned out to be the final score with an uneventful 10th end.
Ontario and Northern Ontario now sit at 2-1.
Play continues all week at the TMR Curling Club in the Town of Mount Royal, Quebec (part of greater Montréal) with the championship final set for 2:00 pm EST on Saturday, November 24th.
Real time results are available at www.curling.ca
Live streaming is available at www.canadianmixed.com
Monday’s games are scheduled for 10:00 am, 2:30pm and 7:00 pm EST. The key match-up in draw 6 is the game between Quebec and BC.