With undefeated Quebec enjoying an afternoon bye, several pursuers were given an opportunity to close the gap in Draw 9 action at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship. And they did just that Tuesday afternoon at the Town of Mount Royal Curling Club.
Ontario’s red-hot Cory Heggestad of Orillia moved to 5-1, just a game back of Mike Fournier’s Montreal squad (6-0), after dusting British Columbia’s Tom Buchy of Kimberley, 8-4. It was the fifth win in a row for Ontario, since dropping its opener to New Brunswick, 8-3 on Sunday. British Columbia dropped to 2-3.
Heggestad opened the game with a steal in the first end, then stole another single in the fourth and a deuce in the fifth to assume command.
Saskatchewan’s Jeff Hartung of Langenburg also remained in the thick of things, hammering Northern Ontario’s Mike Assad of Thunder Bay, 8-2 to improve to 4-1, with a game in hand on the leaders. Deuces in the second and fourth ends put Saskatchewan in front, before a steal of three in the seventh end signalled game over. Northern Ontario fell to 3-3.
Right behind are New Brunswick, skipped by Brier veteran James Grattan of Oromocto, who pasted Northwest Territories’ winless Nick Saturnino of Inuvik (0-5), 10-4 and idle Nova Scotia (Brent MacDougall of Halifax), both with 4-2 marks. A four-spot in the second end, a pair in the fourth and three in the eighth decided the issue for New Brunswick.
In the other game, Alberta’s Kurt Balderston, last year’s Mixed runner-up and 1992 Canadian champion, barely stayed alive with a 7-4 clipping of Manitoba’s Terry McNamee of Brandon (2-3). It was only the second win for the Grande Prairie foursome against four losses.
In addition to Quebec and Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island’s two-time (1989, 2011) Canadian Mixed champion Robert Campbell of Charlottetown (2-4) and Yukon’s winless Steve Fecteau of Whitehorse (0-6) also had byes.
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
Tuesday evening’s draw is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST.