While the match-ups for the semifinals have yet to be determined, the four teams who will play in those semifinals has been decided at the 2015 Everest Canadian Senior Men’s Championship at the Thistle C.C. in Edmonton.
Alberta’s Glen Hansen and Manitoba’s Randy Neufeld will play tonight to determine the number one seed and will play Québec’s Ted Butler in one semifinal. The loser of that game will meet New Brunswick’s Wayne Tallon, the 2014 World Senior champion, in the other semifinal.
Tallon and Butler squared off earlier today. The two skips are well-acquainted with each other from Tallon’s days in Ottawa. Tallon had to win this game otherwise his fate was in the hands of Nova Scotia’s Wayne Sangster. Had Tallon lost, Sangster would have had to defeat Ontario’s Jeff McCrady since the Ottawa team held the tiebreaker against New Brunswick because of a 5-4 win earlier in the week. The game was not as critical for Butler, as he would advance to the final four regardless of the outcome since he owned the tiebreaker over McCrady. And use that tiebreaker he did, as he managed only one point against a relentless New Brunswick team. Butler had a chance to steal in the sixth end to the score, but Mike Kennedy, fourth stone thrower for New Brunswick, made a perfect raise-takeout for two and took full control of the game. The final score was 6-1, conceded in the seventh when Tallon stole two more points. Tallon finished at 5-2 while Butler is 4-3.
The other men’s championship pool game this afternoon, featured B.C.’s Wes Craig against Saskatchewan’s Glen Despins. Though neither team had a chance to make the playoffs, they curled an interesting game with good shotmaking. Tied coming home without last stone, Despins needed to bump his stone two feet to the button and into a pocket of B.C. stones. He was just a touch light, ending the game without Craig having to play his last stone. The final score was 5-4. B.C. and Saskatchewan will finish seventh and eighth overall.
The seeding pools closed out their play this afternoon as well with P.E.I.’s Rod MacDonald finishing tied for first with Northern Ontario’s Al Hackner and Northwest Territories’ Glen Hudy each at 4-5. The records between the three teams was 1-1, therefore the tie for ranking was decided by the draw shot distance for games in the seeding pool. P.E.I. finished ninth overall, Northern Ontario 10th and N.W.T. 11th. In this draw, P.E.I. defeated Yukon’s Walter Wallingham 5-2, Hackner beat Glen Goss of N.L. 7-3 and Hudy’s Yellowknife team beat Nunavut’s Ed Sattelberger 5-2. N.L. finishes 12th, Nunavut 13th and the Yukon 14th for next year’s seeding.
In one last game for the women’s seeding pool, P.E.I.’s Shirley Berry won 13-1 over Nunavut’s Robin Manoll. The five team seeding pool finished with Ontario’s Kathy Brown (4-0) ranked ninth for 2016 followed by New Brunswick’s Shelly Graham (10th), N.W.T.’s Debbie Moss (11th), P.E.I.’s Shirley Berry (12th) and Nunavut’s Robin Manoll (13th). Yukon will be seeded 14th for 2016 since they did not play this year.
STANDINGS – Championship Pool – MEN
Alberta (Hansen) 5-1
Manitoba (Neufeld) 5-1
New Brunswick (Tallon) 5-2
Quebec (Butler) 4-3
Ontario (McCrady) 3-3
Nova Scotia (Sangster) 2-4
British Columbia (Craig) 1-6
Saskatchewan (Despins) 1-6
STANDINGS – Championship Pool – WOMEN
Saskatchewan (Inglis) 5-1
Nova Scotia (Jones) 4-2
Alberta (Loblaw) 4-2
British Columbia (Jenkins) 3-3
Northern Ontario (Taylor) 3-3
Quebec (Roy) 2-4
Manitoba (Link) 2-4
Newfoundland & Labrador (Philips) 1-5
FINAL STANDINGS – Seeding Pool – WOMEN
Ontario (Brown) 4-0
New Brunswick (Graham) 3-1
Northwest Territories (Moss) 2-2
Prince Edward Island (Berry) 1-3
Nunavut (Ford) 0-4
FINAL STANDINGS- Seeding Pool – MEN
Prince Edward Island (MacDonald) 4-5
Northern Ontario (Hackner) 4-5
Northwest Territories (Hudy) 4-5
Newfoundland & Labrador (Goss) 3-6
Nunavut (Sattelberger) 2-7
Yukon (Wallingham) 1-8
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.