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Saskatchewan’s Kirkpatrick remains undefeated

Saskatchewan’s Max Kirkpatrick, representing the Swift Current Curling Club, is alone at the top of Pool B at the 52nd edition of the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship at the North Bay Granite in North Bay, Ont.

Saskatchewan skip Max Kirkpatrick (Brian Doherty Photography)

Saskatchewan skip Max Kirkpatrick (Brian Doherty Photography)

Kirkpatrick, with teammates Jolene Campbell, Chris Haichert and Teejay Haichert, earned their third consecutive win, 7-4 over previously unbeaten Brent MacDougall of Halifax. The Saskatchewan foursome jumped ahead 4-1 after four ends refusing to allow the Nova Scotians any major opportunity to score for the rest of the game. Nova Scotia drops to 2-1 in third place behind Ontario’s Chris Gardner, who had the morning off.

In the only other game from Pool B, PEI’s Jamie Newson earned his first win 9-2 over Iqaluit’s Wade Kingdon. A terrific double takeout for five points in the fourth was the deciding factor. Nunavut remains winless at 0-3.

After an opening round loss, BC’s Wes Craig has jumped into a tie for first place, handily defeating previously unbeaten Glen Hansen of Hinton, Alta. 8-4. Alberta was up a point playing the third end with last stone advantage only to see BC steal two critical points. Another BC deuce in the fifth end with the hammer and a steal of one in the sixth gave Craig breathing room in the final end. BC and Alberta are both at 2-1, joined by the NWT’s Jamie Koe.

In a highly entertaining and well-played game, the Yellowknife team stopped New Brunswick’s Scott Jones 4-2. Koe made a number of terrific shots to secure this win. With the game tied at one in the fourth and NB lying two, Koe made a perfect freeze on shot stone in the button, ultimately stealing the end. The game was tied at two in the seventh end with Koe holding last stone. He made a nice draw to the four foot behind cover. Jones followed him but rolled off the shot stone by a couple of inches. The perennial Brier-bound skip calmly executed a quiet weight tap-back for the deciding two points. There were many stones in play early in the eighth end, but two great double takeouts, one by third Kerry Galusha and one by Koe, ended New Brunswick’s chances.

Teams with the morning byes Tuesday were Newfoundland & Labrador’s Gary Oke (0-2), Québec’s Tom Wharry (1-1), Ontario’s Chris Gardner (2-0), Northern Ontario’s Colin Koivula (1-1), Manitoba’s Jared Kolomaya (0-2) and the Yukon’s Bob Smallwood (1-1).

BC third Sarah Wark (Brian Doherty Photography)

BC third Sarah Wark (Brian Doherty Photography)

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 dlamoureux@curling.ca.

For event, team and draw information, visit www.curling.ca/2015mixed-en. Click here for a downloadable copy of the rosters.

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.

Photos from the 2015 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship can be found here (Brian Doherty Photography).