The inaugural edition of the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials national championship got underway on Thursday with some big numbers being put on the scoreboards at the Leduc Recreation Centre in Leduc, Alta.
And it was some of the wary favourites who were doing the scoring, including Ontario champions Scott McDonald and Jaclyn Rivington, who opened their Pool A round-robin schedule with an extra-end 7-5 win over the New Brunswick pair of Avery Hughson and Shelby Wilson. Hughson and Wilson forced the extra end with a deuce in the eighth end.
In other Pool A play, former Brier champ Mark Dacey and wife Heather Smith-Dacey of Nova Scotia rolled to an 11-3 triumph over Norm Richard and Debbie Girard of B.C.; Dustin Kalthoff and Nancy Martin scored three in the eighth end for an 8-6 triumph over Matt Lang and Jessica Hanson in an all-Saskatchewan affair; and Quebec’s Michel Briand and Genevieve Frappier of Quebec gave up stolen singles in the sixth, seventh and eighth ends before sealing a 6-5 win with one in the extra end to beat Ernie Daniels and Sarah Daniels of B.C.
In other opening round results:
Pool B — Cole Tenetiuk and Alison Ingram of Saskatchewan stole two in the eighth end for a 6-4 win over Danielle Sicinski and Derek Owens of Saskatchewan; Jason Larence and Melanie Puzzie of Alberta cruised to a 9-3 win over Newfoundland/Labrador’s Jamie Danbrook and Erin Porter; 2012 Canadian mixed champs Dean Hicke and Chantelle Eberle of Saskatchewan stole one in the eighth and two more in the ninth for an 8-6 win over the Yukon’s Mitch Young and Chelsea Duncan; and the Saskatchewan/Manitoba pair of Josh Heidt and Jenna Loder were 15-5 winners over Marta Moir and Ian Moir of the Northwest Territories.
Pool C — The Alberta/B.C. pairing of Matt Blandford and Darah Provencal stole six points in a 9-2 win over Alberta’s Dale Parker and Janice Parker; Tyler Tardi and Dezaray Hawes of B.C. took two in the eighth end for a 7-6 triumph over Kyle Leach ad Cori Dunbar of Alberta; former world mixed doubles bronze-medallist Sean Grassie of Manitoba teamed with Karen Klein for a 10-6 win over Lyle Walker and Kristen Walker of Alberta; and Jason Ackerman and Colleen Ackerman (the other half of the 2012 mixed champions with Hicke and Eberle) knocked off Kelsey Boettcher and Kelly Lauber of Manitoba 8-3.
Pool D — Bob Ziegler and Barb Cressman of Saskatchewan took three in the first end and stole deuces in the second and third ends en route to an 11-2 win over Steve Chenier and Courtney Chenier of Northern Ontario; Stephen Shepherd and Donna Davis of Newfoundland/Labrador took two in the eighth end for an 8-7 win over Robert Smallwood and Jody Smallwood of the Yukon; Chris Schille and Erin Carmody shaded Deryk Kuny and Erica Ortt 7-6 in an all-Alberta game; and Robert Desjardins and Isabelle Neron were 7-4 winners over Mike Armstrong and Ashley Quick of Saskatchewan.
The 2013 Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials continue on Thursday with draws at 6:30 p.m. (all times MT) and 9 p.m.
On Friday, games are scheduled for 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
The winning team in the four-day competition will earn the right to represent Canada at the World Mixed Doubles Championship, April 13 to 20 at the Grant-Harvey Centre in Fredericton, N.B.
The competition format consists of 32 teams (each team consists of one male curler and one female curler) divided into four pools of eight, with the top two from each pool after the round robin plus the four teams with the next-best records advancing to a 12-team single elimination playoff.
The gold-medal game is scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. MDT.
For more information on the 2013 Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials, including the team list and draw times, go to www.curling.ca/2013mixeddoubles/.
For more information on the 2013 World Mixed Doubles Championship, go to: www.wmdcc2013.curlingevents.com/