Jamie Koe’s Yellowknife Curling Centre’s foursome opened the 52nd edition of the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship at the North Bay Granite in North Bay, Ontario with a 6-4 win over Manitoba’s Jared Kolomaya.
The Northwest Territories foursome of Koe, Kerry Galusha, Robert Borden and Megan Cormier scored two points in the first and third ends and were in a great position to maybe finish the game in the sixth, until Manitoba’s Kolomaya made a raise double takeout stealing a point when Koe missed his last shot. Another Manitoba steal in the seventh end made the score 6-5 for Koe with the NWT holding last stone advantage. In the final end, Kolomaya placed his last stone behind a corner guard forcing Koe to draw at minimum the full eight foot, which he easily accomplished.
This year, the championship has undergone significant format and competition changes. Now, 14 teams (10 provinces plus Northern Ontario, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon, representing all of the Canadian Curling Association’s Member Associations), instead of 12, will compete in the main draw. They have been seeded and separated into two pools of seven teams (based on their Mixed win-loss records the past three years) and first play a round robin within their respective pools.
Koe leads Pool A at 1-0 along with New Brunswick’s Scott Jones. The Curl Moncton foursome easily handled BC’s Wes Craig 9-1.
Kolomaya and Craig are both at 0-1 while Alberta’s Glen Hansen, Québec’s Tom Wharry and Yukon’s Bob Smallwood had morning byes.
In Pool B action, local favourite Colin Koivula and this Thunder Bay team of Oye-Sem Won, Chris Briand and Amanda Gates defeated Gary Oke of Corner Brook, NL 7-4. Koivula sits at 1-0 with fellow Ontarian Chris Gardner of the Ottawa CC. Gardner stole nine consecutive points in stopping Nunavut’s Wade Kingdon 9-1 in only six ends.
Kingdon and Oke are 0-1while Saskatchewan’s Max Kirkpatrick, Nova Scotia’s Brent MacDougall and Prince Edward Island’s Jamie Newson had morning byes as well.
At the conclusion of the round robin, the top four teams in each pool advance to the championship round, with the teams playing the teams from the opposite pool, carrying forward their win-loss records for only those games involving the advancing teams.
Meanwhile, the bottom three teams in each pool will go to the Seeding Pool, where they will compete against the three teams from the opposite pool. The teams carry forward their win-loss record only from the games involving the other two teams in their round-robin pool. This will determine seedings for the 2016 Canadian Mixed in Toronto.
At the conclusion of the championship round on Friday, two semifinals will take place on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET, pitting 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3. The two winners then advance to the final Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. while the two losing teams meet in the bronze-medal game at the same time.
In addition, all games throughout the competition are now eight (not 10) ends. Also, no tiebreaker games will be played at the conclusion of either round. Instead, any ties for position will be determined by accumulated pre-game Last-Shot-Draw results.
The winning team will represent Canada at the 2015 World Mixed Curling Championship, Sept. 12-19 at a site to be announced by the World Curling Federation.
For media requests during the event, contact Danny Lamoureux on site at (613) 878-3682 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Draw scores/results will be immediately available on the Canadian Curling Association’s website, www.curling.ca.
Up-to-date standings can be found here: 2015 Mixed Curling Standings