Alberta’s Glen Hansen and Manitoba’s Randy Neufeld are tied for first place at the 2015 Everest Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championship at the Thistle CC in Edmonton.
Both rinks are 4-1 in championship pool play after hard fought victories Wednesday night.
Hansen was up against 2014 World Senior champion Wayne Tallon of New Brunswick. Tallon’s Capital Winter Club crew from Fredericton held a slim 3-2 lead at the fourth end break only to see it disappear the next end by virtue of a well played count of two by Hansen. The Albertans forced the issue in the 6th leaving little for Mike Kennedy who delivers last stones for New Brunswick. That steal gave Alberta a two point lead. New Brunswick scored one in the 7th via a run back to be one down coming home without last stone. In the 8th, Kennedy drew around his own stone at the top twelve stopping just behind the button. Hansen elected to not draw as he was laying second stone. He preferred the straight back double takeout which he made to perfection and the 6-4 victory. Tallon is still in the hunt for one of the four playoff spots tied for third at 3-2 with Québec and Ontario.
Neufeld was up against a desperate Saskatchewan team who needed a win for any realistic hope of making the playoffs. The Callie CC’s Glen Despins led 2-0 then forced Neufeld to draw the button for one to make it 2-1. With the hammer, Despins gave up a steal of two in the 5th end then another deuce in the 7th book-ending a Saskatchewan single in the 6th. When Neufeld missed a run back to end the game in the 8th end, Despins notched his game tying deuce to send it to extra ends. The Manitoba team hit very well in this end allowing Neufeld a relatively easy hit for the win at 9-5. While not yet eliminated, Despins will need a lot of help to get to the playoffs.
In other championship round play, Québec’s Ted Butler also needed a win to stay close to those coveted four playoff berths and he did so with a workmanlike 6-4 win over Ontario’s Jeff McCrady. Butler was never behind in this match needing a simple hit and stay for the 6-4 win. Both teams are part of that three way for third place at 3-2.
Finally, Nova Scotia’s Wayne Sangster kept his hopes alive beating Wes Craig of Victoria, BC 6-4. A three ender in the 3rd was too much for Craig to overcome against this very good hitting team. NS is 2-3 in 6th place while Craig is 0-5 and will not make the playoffs.
In addition to the men’s championship pool games, the women played two seeding pool games with New Brunswick’s Shelly Graham stopping PEI’s Shirley Berry 7-3 and Debbie Moss of Yellowknife defeating Beverly Ford of Nunavut 8-3. Graham and Moss are 1-0 in the five team round robin while Nunavut is 0-1 and PEI 0-2.
STANDINGS – Championship Pool – MEN
Alberta (Hansen) 4-1
Manitoba (Neufeld) 4-1
Quebec (Butler) 3-2
Ontario (McCrady) 3-2
New Brunswick (Tallon) 3-2
Nova Scotia (Sangster) 2-3
Saskatchewan (Despins) 1-4
British Columbia (Craig) 0-5
STANDINGS – Championship Pool – WOMEN
Alberta (Loblaw) 4-0
Saaskatchewan (Inglis) 3-1
Nova Scotia (Jones) 3-1
Northern Ontario (Taylor) 2-2
Manitoba (Link) 2-2
British Columbia (Jenkins) 2-2
Quebec (Roy) 0-4
British Columbia (Philips) 0-4
STANDINGS – Seeding Pool – MEN
Northern Ontario (Hackner) 3-4
Northwest Territories (Hudy) 3-4
Newfoundland & Labrador (Goss) 2-5
Prince Edward Island (MacDonald) 2-5
Nunavut (Sattelberger) 1-6
Yukon (Wallingham) 1-6
STANDINGS – Seeding Pool – WOMEN
New Brunswick (Graham) 1-0
Ontario (Brown) 1-0
Northwest Territories (Moss) 1-0
Nunavut (Ford) 0-1
Prince Edward Island (Berry) 0-2
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.