Although it was the first time Cornwall, Ont., hosted the event, the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic felt just like always, and saw a familiar champion crowned.
Brad Gushue and his St. John’s N.L. foursome of Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant, and Geoff Walker won their second Shorty championship, defeating Glenn Howard (Penetanguishene, Ont.) 5-4 in an extra-end final. Gushue took home $10,500 and 54.100 points on the Canadian Team Ranking System leaderboard, where he extended his first-place lead.
Gushue has won two of his first three events this year, and lost the final in the third. Howard, meanwhile, took home $7,500 and 42.507 CTRS points, which moves him into third place on the Canadian leaderboard. Howard’s new/old-look team replaced enough players that his points were discounted going into this season, and his plan in this young season is to build them back up as fast as possible.
The Cornwall event went off without a hitch, even though it was supposed to be held up the road in Brockville, Ont., until about three weeks ago. A compressor issue forced the bonspiel to move, and all accounts indicate that Cornwall’s curling population accepted the challenge and rose to the occasion, putting on a fantastic event. (You can listen to Glenn Howard talk about it here.
On the women’s side, Korea’s EunJung Kim took down Caledon, Ont.’s Alli Flaxey in the final, earning $6,500. Flaxey took home $4,600 and 26.464 points.
The bigger women’s event on the weekend was the HDF Insurance Shootout in Edmonton. Hometown favourite Val Sweeting won the 22-team event, beating Saskatoon’s Stefanie Lawton in the final. The win earned Sweeting and her team of Lori Olson-Johns, Dana Ferguson, and Rachelle Brown $6,000 and 39.745 CTRS points, which moves her into second on the rankings, behind Ottawa’s Rachel Homan.
Two more Edmonton teams cashed in with Chelsea Carey and Kelsey Rocque reaching the semifinals. Each of them took home $2,500 and 24.131 points.
Saskatoon’s Shaun Meachem won the men’s event, defeating Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher in the final. Meachem took home $6,000 and 31.583 CTRS points, while Bottcher had to settle for $4,000 and 24.815 points.