Alberta’s Wade White and Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson are bringing home gold medals after the finals of the 2017 Everest Canadian Seniors wrapped up in on the ice of Willie O’Ree Place in Fredericton, N.B., today.
Anderson, the 2016 Everest Senior Women’s silver medallist, stole three ends on the way to a 7-3 win over Ontario’s Jo-Ann Rizzo (third Kerry Lackie, second Kristin Turcotte and lead Julie McMullin from the Brantford Golf & Country Club) to capture the 2017 championship.
Anderson and her team from the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon – third Patty Hersikorn, second Brenda Goertzen and lead Anita Silvernagle – took a 4-1 lead after four ends and never looked back.
“Absolutely wonderful,” said Anderson about the feeling of becoming Canadian champion. “No other word describes it. I’ve been in a few different finals and I’ve lost quite a few, and it’s very heartbreaking. You don’t know how many chances you get in life, and in the curling world, so when you get the chance, you want to make the most of it, and we did that today.”
In the men’s final, Alberta’s White, with third Barry Chwedoruk, second Dan Holowaychuk and lead George White of the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton, had to battle back after trailing 4-1 at the break to Ontario’s Howard Rajala (third Rich Moffatt, second Chris Fulton and lead Paul Madden of the Rideau Curling Club in Ottawa).
The Albertans scored a big three in six to tie it up 4-4, and after trading deuces, went into the extra end without hammer. But they stole the winning point when Rajala’s final take-out missed the mark, giving Alberta the 7-6 win, and the gold medal.
“We played really well in the semifinal game, and then we had to battle a bit (in the final),” said White. “A couple of shots straightened out on us and the ice was a little bit different. Ontario was really playing well and we were looking at a lot of yellow rocks, but the team hung in there. We all hung in there.”
In the men’s bronze medal final, host-province favourite Terry Odishaw, with third Mike Kennedy, second Marc LeCocq and lead Grant Odishaw of Curl Moncton, won the bronze medal after defeating Quebec’s Robert Maclean, 6-5. Maclean, backed by his team of third Tom Wharry, second Éric Gravel and lead Dan Belliveau of combined Hudson Legion/Glenmore and Rosemere Curling Clubs, scored a deuce in seven to tie the game, but Odishaw only needed a single in the eighth finish it off.
In the women’s bronze medal game, British Columbia’s Lynne Noble (third Penny Shantz, second Colleen Robson and lead Kathy Branch with alternate Jackie Clement of the Qualicum & District Curling Club) stole the final two ends to take a 6-3 win over Alberta’s Cathy King (third Glenys Bakker, second Lesley McEwan and lead Shannon Nimmo of the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton) and capture the bronze.
Anderson and White will represent Canada in the 2018 World Seniors, at a site and date to be announced by the World Curling Federation.
“It’s going to feel great. I can’t believe it actually happened,” said White about the chance to represent Canada on the world stage next season.
The World Seniors officially began in 2002. Canada has won a leading nine men’s and 10 women’s titles. Since 2005, the winners of the Canadian Seniors have represented Canada in the following year’s World Seniors. Thus, last year’s winners — Ontario’s Bryan Cochrane and Nova Scotia’s Colleen Jones — will wear the Maple Leaf in the 2017 World Seniors, April 22-29 at Lethbridge, Alta.