Thursday was moving day at the 2016 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Regina, as the standings changed dramatically during the fourth day of round robin play and two teams secured their spot in the playoffs.
The afternoon draw saw the leaders – Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario – go head to head, with Northern Ontario’s Doug Dean coming out on top of a 6-5 battle to claim sole possession of first place with a 6-1 record, leaving Saskatchewan’s Darwin Bender right behind at 5-2.
With the win, Dean and his team of third Gino Sonego, second Chris Provenzano, lead Lola Graham and alternate Rick Bell are through to the playoffs, no matter their results in Friday’s final draw.
On Thursday evening, Saskatchewan also earned a berth in the playoffs, stealing three ends on the way to a 12-2 win over Quebec, while Northern Ontario defeated Ontario’s Collinda Joseph to further secure their position at the top of the standings.
With one draw left in the round robin, Alberta (Jack Smart) and Nova Scotia (Trendal Hubley-Bolivar) sit behind the leaders with a 5-3 record. B.C. (Frank Labounty), Manitoba (Dennis Thiessen) and Quebec (Sébastien Boisvert) are right behind at 4-4.
Friday could be a busy day, with the final round robin game at 10 a.m. MDT to determine who is through to playoffs – or who needs to play in a tiebreaker.
If tiebreakers are needed, they’ll take place on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. MDT, with the Page 3 vs 4 playoff game at 7 p.m. MDT.
Ten teams, representing nine provinces plus Northern Ontario, play a round robin from Monday to Friday, April 8, followed by the Page playoff games — 1 vs. 2 on Friday at 7 p.m. (all times MDT) and 3 vs. 4 on Saturday at 10 a.m. The semifinal (loser of 1-2 vs. winner of 3-4) goes Saturday, April 9, at 3 p.m.
On Sunday, April 10, the bronze-medal game (loser of 3-4 vs. loser of semifinal) will be played at 11 a.m. while the championship gold-medal final (winner of 1-2 vs. semifinal winner) is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Live-streamed broadcasts of the 2016 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship will be available at www.wcblog2.com/.