This morning’s draw at the 2015 Everest Canadian Seniors Curling Championships at the Thistle Curling Club in Edmonton was ripe with upsets in the championship pool.
Northern Ontario’s Peggy Taylor continued to provide excitement in Edmonton, as she handed the previously unbeaten host province’s Terri Loblaw her first loss this week stealing single points in each of the last three ends to win 6-5, much to delight of her fans. The Albertans were up 4-0 after two ends and it looked like it might be an early finish for the team from Kenora. Yet Taylor persevered setting up the winning steal with a nice come around draw to the back of the button. Loblaw could see a tiny portion of the stone and decided that a hack weight come around would be the winning shot. Either a bit light or a maybe narrow on the broom left Loblaw’s stone wrecking on the guards and Taylor with the improbable win. Northern Ontario is now in a three-way tie for third place with B.C. and Nova Scotia, all three at 3-2 chasing one of the four spots available in the playoffs, while Alberta is tied for first with Saskatchewan at 4-1
The team from the Mayflower C.C. in Halifax had hoped to keep pace with the leaders, but fell victim to a surging B.C. team from Salmon Arm. A lousy opening day for skip Sandra Jenkins left the team 0-2, but since then they have reeled off five consecutive wins surging up the leaderboard to within striking distance of first place. In a low scoring affair, Jenkins led Colleen Jones 3-2 playing the final. Jones needed to draw to the full four-foot to tie the game, but was a touch wide requiring a measure for shot stone, a measurement she lost.
Manitoba’s Kim Link struggled to score in her first two games in the championship pool, posting only three points last night against Northern Ontario and only two points today against Élaine Roy of Québec losing 5-2. Manitoba dropped to sixth place at 2-3 while Roy notched her first win in the championship pool.
Finally, barely avoiding a clean sweep of upsets, was Cathy Inglis of Yorkton, Saskatchewan who breathed a sigh of relief when Laura Phillips’ open hit for four to win the game in the eighth end rolled out counting only three points to force the extra end. In the extra end, had Phillips’ last stone made it to the face of the Saskatchewan counter, there was doubt if Inglis could remove it to win. But it curled past shot stone. After carefully looking at the two stones, Phillips agreed Inglis had shot stone and the last rock of the game did not have to be delivered for an 8-7 win. Phillips is 0-5 in this pool.
In a single seeding round game for women, Ontario’s Kathy Brown scored early and often in a 9-4 romp over Yellowknife’s Debbie Moss.
STANDINGS – Championship Pool – WOMEN
Alberta (Loblaw) 4-1
Saskatchewan (Inglis) 4-1
Nova Scotia (Jones) 3-2
Northern Ontario (Taylor) 3-2
British Columbia (Jenkins) 3-2
Manitoba (Link) 2-3
Quebec (Roy) 1-4
British Columbia (Philips) 0-5
STANDINGS -Seeding Pool – WOMEN
Ontario (Brown) 2-0
New Brunswick (Graham) 1-0
Northwest Territories (Moss) 1-1
Nunavut (Ford) 0-1
Prince Edward Island (Berry) 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 – 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
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.