A combined Saskatchewan-Manitoba duo is off to a hot start at the inaugural Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials curling championship in Leduc, Alta.
Josh Heidt of Saskatchewan and Jenna Loder of Manitoba capped a 2-0 start to the 32-team competition at the Leduc Recreation Centre in Leduc, Alta., with an 8-6 Pool B win over Cole Tenetiuk and Alison Ingram of Saskatchewan.
The game, along with seven others in progress at the time, was delayed nearly an hour when alarm bells started ringing. It turned out to be a false alarm, and when play resumed, Heidt and Loder were able to score three in the sixth end to take control after giving up a steal of three in the fourth end to Tenetiuk and Ingram (1-1).
In other Pool B games on Thursday evening, Saskatchewan’s Dean Hicke and Chantelle Eberle, who represented Canada at the 2012 World Mixed Doubles Championship in Turkey, stole one in an extra end to improve to 2-0 with a 7-6 win over Jason Larence and Melanie Puzzie of Alberta (1-1); Ian Moir and Marta Moir of the Northwest Territories (1-1) scored three in the first end en route to a 6-5 win over Danielle Sicinski and Derek Owens of Saskatchewan (0-2); and Mitch Young and Chelsea Duncan (1-1) of the Yukon rolled to a 7-2 win over Newfoundland/Labrador’s Erin Porter and Jamie Danbrook (0-2).
In other second-rround results:
Pool A — Nova Scotia’s Mark Dacey and Heather Smith-Dacey, who won a national mixed title together in 2010, improved to 2-0 with a 6-2 triumph over New Brunswick’s Avery Hughson and Shelby Wilson (0-2); Ontario’s Scott McDonald and Jaclyn Rivington also enjoyed a perfect opening day, capping it with a 9-1 win over Norm Richard and Debbie Girard of B.C. (0-2) thanks to steals of one in the second end, three in the third and two more in the fourth; Dustin Kalthoff and Nancy Martin of Saskatchewan improved to 2-0 with a 7-4 win over Michel Briand and Genevieve Frappier of Quebec (1-1); and Ernie Daniels and Sarah Daniels of B.C. (1-1) scored four in the first end and hung on for a 6-5 win over Matt Lang and Jessica Hanson of Saskatchewan (0-2).
Pool C — Tyler Tardi and Dezaray Hawes of B.C. (2-0) scored four in the third end and stole two more in the fourth in an 8-4 win over Manitoba’s Sean Grassie and Karen Klein (1-1); Jason Ackerman and Colleen Ackerman of Saskatchewan (2-0) put five on the board in the third end for a 10-3 triumph over Dale Parker and Janice Parker of Alberta (0-2); Kyle Leach and Cori Dunbar of Alberta (1-1) stole all of their points, getting deuces in the first two ends and three more in the third, in a 9-1 win over Lyle Walker and Kristen Walker of Manitoba (0-2); and Manitoba’s Kelsey Boettcher and Kelly Lauber (1-1) took two in the eighth end for an 8-7 win over the Alberta/B.C. duo of Matt Blandford and Darah Provencal (1-1).
Pool D — Chris Schille and Erin Carmody of Alberta (2-0) scored deuces in three of the first four ends and sailed to an 8-3 win over Robert Smallwood and Jody Smallwood of the Yukon (0-2); Stephen Shepherd and Donna Davis of Newfoundland/Labrador (2-0) scored two in the eighth end for a 9-7 triumph over Deryk Kuny and Erica Ortt of Alberta (0-2); Quebec’s Robert Desjardins and Isabelle Neron forced extra ends with three in the eighth end, and then stole the winning point in the ninth for an 8-7 win over Bob Ziegler and Barb Cressman of Saskatchewan; and Mike Armstrong and Ashley Quick of Saskatchewan (1-1) stole singles in three straight ends in a 6-5 victory over Steve Chenier and Courtney Chenier of Northern Ontario (0-2).
The 2013 Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials continue on Friday, with games 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, standings 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.