Nova Scotia’s Wayne Sangster escaped with a victory Monday night at the 2015 Everest Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championship at the Thistle CC in Edmonton in a back and forth tussle with NWT’s Glen Hudy.
After three ends of play the games was tied at 2. Hudy then scored his second deuce of the night in the 4th end only to watch Sangster reply with three points in the 5th end. Undaunted, Hudy scored two in the 6th end and then stole 2 more in the 7th end to lead by three coming home. With his last stone in the 8th end, Hudy needed to remove a red NS stone in the back twelve foot to win the game but he couldn’t navigate past a stone at the top of the house leaving the Truro foursome with a hit for three and the tie game. In the extra end, Sangster guarded a stone in the full eight foot leaving NWT a draw to the four foot which, to the chagrin of the NWT supporters, was long leaving a steal of one and an improbable 9-8 win for Nova Scotia. This victory vaults Sangster to the lead in Pool A at 4-1 guaranteeing the team a berth in the championship round.
In other Pool B action, Québec’s Ted Butler kept pace with an 11-6 win over Walter Wallingham of the Yukon. The game was in doubt until the 7th end when Butler scored four points earning the concession from the Whitehorse team. Butler is 3-1 while Wallingham drops to 0-4.
Saskatchewan’s Glen Despins also sits at 3-1 courtesy of a 7-2 win over Northern Ontario’s Al Hackner. Hackner will not advance to the championship pool and is winless in four starts.
Alberta’s Glen Hansen also sits at 3-1 but had the evening bye.
Key match-ups Tuesday in Pool A include Québec versus Saskatchewan in the afternoon and Alberta versus Nova Scotia in the evening.
In Pool B play, Ontario’s Jeff McCrady continues to lead the way now at 4-0 following a 7-1 victory over PEI’s Rod MacDonald. McCrady is guaranteed a spot in the championship pool while PEI will need a victory tomorrow and some help for a chance to advance.
Manitoba (Randy Neufeld), New Brunswick (Wayne Tallon) and British Columbia (Wes Craig) are all at 3-1 behind McCrady. Neufeld parlayed two scores of three points and a four ender on their way to an 11-3 win over Nunavut’s Ed Sattelberger. Nunavut drops to 0-5. BC on the other hand, had their hands full with Glenn Goss of Newfoundland & Labrador. Goss was down one point playing the final end but could not generate a winning deuce nor could he score just the single to tie ultimately giving up a steal of three in that last end for an 8-4 loss. Goss is now 0-4 while NB’s Tallon had an evening bye.
Key match-ups Tuesday in Pool B feature New Brunswick versus Ontario and Manitoba versus BC in the afternoon then BC versus New Brunswick and Ontario versus Manitoba in the evening.
Fourteen men’s teams and 13 women’s teams (Yukon did not enter a team) are competing at this Canadian Seniors. Unlike the previous three years, when a pre-qualifying event was held to determine which two teams of gender advanced to the main draw, this year’s renewal sees all the teams seeded into two pools per gender to first play a round robin within their pool while also playing 8 end games as opposed to the 10 ends of the past.
In men’s, the top four in each pool advance to the Championship Round for games against the teams from the opposite pool, while the bottom three in each go to the Seeding Pool.
In women’s, the top four in each pool advance to the Championship Round for games against the teams from the opposite pool, while the bottom three in Pool A join the bottom two in Pool B for a round robin within the Seeding Pool.
At the conclusion of the Championship Round on Friday, the semifinals will be held Saturday morning, March 28 at 9:30 a.m. MT, pairing 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3. The winners then advance to their respective gold-medal finals at 2:30 p.m. while the losers meet in bronze-medal games at the same time.
The winners of the 2015 Canadian Seniors will represent Canada at the 2016 World Senior Curling Championships, at a site and date to be announced by the World Curling Federation. Last year’s Canadian champions, skipped by Alan O’Leary of Nova Scotia and Lois Fowler of Manitoba, will be competing in this year’s World Seniors, April 18-25 at Sochi, Russia. Since the World Seniors began in 2002, Canada has won nine men’s and nine women’s titles.