A new feature in this year’s championship was the opening day mixed draws. Ladies first…
In the women’s opening draw, Yukon, Alberta and Ontario posted victories. In a showdown of territory teams, Yukon’s Nicole Baldwin used an open hit to preserve a 6-5 victory over the NT team. The team from Hay River fought hard, coming back after giving up four in the sixth end.
Team Ontario’s Michelle Fletcher cracked a three in the first end of their game with the Newfoundland & Labrador crew en route to a 7-3 win. The Burlington Curling Club rink held off their Eastern foes with a deuce in the fourth end, to take control of the contest.
Alberta’s Lauren Jenkins rink faced New Brunswick’s Paulette Girvan crew in their opener, with a 9-2 final in seven ends. The St. Albert Curling Club from Wildrose Country struck early with three to open the game, and then stole three more in the second end.
Turning to the men, the defending Canadian champions from Alberta had their hands full in the opening draw – pulling out a 6-5 victory over New Brunswick’s Chris Jeffrey. Playing in this championship with his father Kim, Chris had a chance to send the game to an extra end but his draw to eight foot for a deuce crashed the front guard leaving New Brunswick with only a single point.
The other men’s winners were Ontario and Yukon. The Kitchener-Waterloo Granite Club had an 8-3 opening win against Newfoundland & Labrador. They were behind the eight-ball early in the game, giving up three in the second end and two in the third to fall to a 5-1 disadvantage. The Pat Paslawski rink out of the Whitehorse Curling Club put two three-enders on the board in the fifth and seventh ends to outscore their northern counterparts from Northwest Territories 11-5.
It is a proud moment for a curler to experience the pride and pageantry of being piped onto the ice wearing the colours of their home province or territory. The 5th annual championship officially kicked off in true northern Ontario style Monday evening with the Opening Ceremonies at the Fort William Curling Club. Led by the Pipes and Drums of Thunder Bay and Leigh Armstrong, TDCCC Chair waving a Canadian flag, 112 curlers paraded on to the same ice where names like Hackner, Lang, Tetley, Houston and McCarville have slid before them.
The colours of our country stood as a group for the first time on the ice as Cassidy Houston sang our national anthem. The ceremonial first rock was thrown by Gino Sonego, who represented Northern Ontario at the 2013 Canadian Wheelchair Championship. Holding the broom was Tom Todd of the 1958 Canadian Schoolboy champion rink. Sweeping duties were handled by Aaron Skillen, the vice of Jason Repay’s Canadian Junior Championship squad of 1991, and two-time Canadian Women’s champion Lorraine Lang, of Team Heather Houston and Team Krista McCarville fame.
Greetings were provided by Dave Kawahara, FWCC President, Northern Ontario Curling Association Executive Director Leslie Kerr and Shelagh Paul of Travelers Canada.
The ceremonies wrapped up with curling legends Rick Lang and Heather Houston, Host Chairs, declaring the Championship officially open.
After the Opening Ceremonies, the mixed play continued. Yellow was the resounding winner for the first draw, while Nunavut men spoiled the red sweep for the second draw in the event’s first ever mixed round robin play.
The Prince Edward Island and Nunavut women finished after seven ends, with a final score of 8-4 for the PE rink.
On sheet six, the Saskatchewan women dominated; finishing 10-2 in 6 ends over the Nova Scotia women.
The Prince Edward Island men’s team, skipped by Alan Inman, found themselves neck-and-neck with the Wade Kingdon rink out of Nunavut. In an extra end, Nunavut took one – making the final score 9-8.
Last year’s runner-up team, the Manitoba men, overtook Northern Ontario – the final score, 8-5.
Saskatchewan squeaked out a win against Nova Scotia, taking two in the eighth end to finalize the score of 6-5.
Yukon dominated the day’s skills competition, with the men and women finishing first in each of their pools – scoring a perfect 20 and 18 respectively. In a TDCCC first, the men’s skip Pat Paslawski covered the pin on the final draw and couldn’t get any measurement. When forced to throw again, he covered the pin once more!
Live scoring can be viewed www.curling.ca/scoreboard/
About The Dominion Curling Club Championship:
The Dominion Curling Club Championship is an annual event for men’s and women’s curling teams who have won their respective local club championships. Winning teams from each club play down to produce a provincial/territorial champion from all ten provinces and three territories, plus a separate entry for Northern Ontario, who will then compete at the national level. The event raises funds in support of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Their mission is to assist persons with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities achieve independence, self-reliance and full community participation. Over the past four years, the event has raised over $300,000 for SCI chapters across Canada and wheelchair curling. To learn more, visit thedominioncurls.ca