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Ontario’s Mazerolle starts strong at Travelers Curling Club Championship

Ontario’s Tina Mazerolle charged out of the gate at the 2015 Travelers Curling Club Championship, but it wasn’t without a challenge from Saskatchewan.

The host province’s women’s squad took a big four-ender in the first end for early control. But it was Saskatchewan skip Candace Newkirk who found her clutch game to chip away at the lead with steals in the fourth and fifth ends.

“It felt good and the ice was great,” Mazerolle said after the game. “It was a little shaky (after the first end) and they kept throwing great shots,” the Guelph skip added.

Team Ontario in action at the 2015 Travelers Curling Club Championship (Curling Canada/Claudette Bockstael Photo)

Team Ontario in action at the 2015 Travelers Curling Club Championship (Curling Canada/Claudette Bockstael Photo)

Facing two counters on her last, Mazerolle needed to make one go away and she did just that.

“We have some family and friends here and we really feel the support coming off after that,” said Mazerolle.

Tomorrow Ontario will face Team Quebec, idle in the opening draw, and Team Newfoundland and Labrador, who fell to Prince Edward Island on Monday night.

Saskatchewan drops to 0-1 with just one game tomorrow against Team Nunavut. The team out of the Qavik Curling Club in Rankin Inlet was shut out in their opener against Team Nova Scotia.

Elsewhere in women’s play, Manitoba downed Alberta 10-4, while New Brunswick opened with a 6-3 win over Yukon. Northern Ontario’s Kathie Jackson’s rink needed an extra end and a perfect draw on her last shot to steal the win from British Columbia. She did just that to cap off the women’s opening night.

Northwest Territories was also idle in Draw 1.

In men’s play Nova Scotia downed Saskatchewan 6-5 while their provincial neighbours Alberta were upset 9-7 by Yukon earlier on Monday. Northern Ontario, Newfoundland/Labrador and British Columbia were also winners. Ontario and Manitoba’s men’s rinks had the bye in the opening men’s draw.

Between men’s and women’s draws the event officially kicked off at the Ottawa Hunt Golf and Curling Club. Celebrated local curlers Craig Savill, Rick Bachand, Emma Miskew and Cheryl Kreviazuk tossed the ceremonial opening stone in front of many visiting fans and families of the 128 competing curlers.

(Curling Canada/Claudette Bockstael Photo)

(Curling Canada/Claudette Bockstael Photo)

The 14 men’s and 14 women’s teams are split into two seven-team round-robin pools. After a single round-robin, the top three teams in each pool will make the playoffs. The first-place teams will be seeded directly into the semifinals, Friday, Nov. 27, at 6:30 p.m. (all times Eastern). The second- and third-place teams will meet in crossover quarter-finals Friday at 1:30 p.m, with the winners moving into the semis.

The gold- and bronze-medal games are set for Saturday, Nov. 28, at 10 a.m.

Selected games from the 2015 Travelers Curling Club Championships will be live-streamed at www.curling.ca/2015travelers/

Scores and standings from the event will be available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/.

For draw times, team lineups and other event info, go to: www.curling.ca/2015travelers/