Canadian Curling Association » Media Releases http://www.curling.ca Official website of the Canadian Curling Association Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:47:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v= Rocks & Rings program racking up big numbers http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/07/10/rocks-rings-program-racking-up-big-numbers/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/07/10/rocks-rings-program-racking-up-big-numbers/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:00:01 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=58501 [Read More…]]]> It was a record-breaking year for the highly popular Rocks & Rings indoor curling program.

A record number of participants were involved in the Rocks & Rings program in 2013-14. (Photo, courtesy Rocks & Rings)

A record number of participants were involved in the Rocks & Rings program in 2013-14. (Photos, courtesy Rocks & Rings)

Rocks & Rings, which allows kids to be introduced to curling in a school setting using curling equipment adapted for gymnasium floors, visited 1,456 Canadian schools during the 2013-14 school year, involving 228,162 students, not to mention their family members, teachers and school staff.

Logo_May2014_RocksAndRings_RSP.eps“The Rocks & Rings program is an amazing way to expose curling to young people who might never otherwise have given our sport a try,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association, which is the exclusive national sport partner to Rocks & Rings, and provides funding to Rocks & Rings through the CCA’s For The Love of Curling philanthropic program. “Rocks & Rings instructors make the sport fun and non-intimidating, and the hope is that this approach will translate into more young people visiting a curling centre and trying it out on the ice.”

Since Rocks & Rings was created in 2009, the program has been in 4,633 Canadian schools with 689,548 participants, meaning the magical 1-million mark is firmly within reach. Support through donations to the For The Love of Curling program will play a significant role in pushing Rocks & Rings over the 1-million plateau.

Kids get exposed to curling in a fun setting in schools across Canada.

Kids get exposed to curling in a fun setting in schools across Canada.

“We’re ecstatic with how schools in Canada have embraced the Rocks & Rings program,” said Chad McMullan, the founder of the program and owner of Rock Solid Productions Inc. “The smiles on the kids’ faces shows us that the program is working, and if they’re enjoying playing curling on a gym floor, they’re going to like it on the ice as well. The best part is that the program is inclusive and available to all kids, regardless of skill level or background, and that’s a big factor in its success.”

“Working with donors, curlers and Rocks & Rings, we can help reach more schools and children across the country,” added Rachael Wilson, Director, Fund Development, for the CCA. “We want to work together to make sure curling stays in the hearts of Canadians for generations to come.”

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Former CCA president Dr. Maurice Campbell passes away http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/07/09/former-cca-president-dr-maurice-campbell-passes-away/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/07/09/former-cca-president-dr-maurice-campbell-passes-away/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:00:34 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=58471 [Read More…]]]> Former Canadian Curling Association president Dr. Maurice Campbell has passed away at the age of 94 in Trois-Rivières, Que.

Former Canadian Curling Association president Dr. Maurice Campbell.

Former Canadian Curling Association president Dr. Maurice Campbell.

Dr. Campbell, a member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame as well as the Governor General’s Curling Club, served as CCA president for the 1970-71 curling season. In addition to his work as a builder of the sport of curling, he was an active participant, and threw lead rocks for the Quebec team skipped by Bob Lahaie at the 1958 Macdonald Brier in Victoria.

Dr. Campbell also was active in the Canadian Branch of the Royal Caledonian Club, and led the Canadian contingent on its 1970 Strathcona Cup tour of Scotland.

His efforts behind the scenes on behalf of curling in his home province of Quebec (including being instrumental in the establishment of the Quebec Curling Federation in the mid-1970s) were saluted in 2007 when he received the  Prix Hommage Spécial (Special Homage Award) from Curling Quebec.

To read his obituary, click here.

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Rivals on the ice but friends off the ice http://www.curling.ca/2015brier-en/2014/07/04/rivals-on-the-ice-but-friends-off-the-ice/ http://www.curling.ca/2015brier-en/2014/07/04/rivals-on-the-ice-but-friends-off-the-ice/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 16:00:40 +0000 Nolan Thiessen http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/07/04/rivals-on-the-ice-but-friends-off-the-ice/ April 7, 1997: The Hartford Whalers vs the Buffalo Sabres. Wayne Primeau runs over goalie Sean Burke, and the two start to mix it up, goalie vs player.

Nolan Thiessen, left, and Kevin Koe won a Canadian championship together last March, but this coming season they'll be on different teams, both hoping for a second straight win at the Tim Hortons Brier. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

Nolan Thiessen, left, and Kevin Koe won a Canadian championship together last March, but this coming season they’ll be on different teams, both hoping for a second straight win at the Tim Hortons Brier. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

As Canadians we naturally know what happens next, as we are well-versed in the basic code of conduct in hockey circles — someone from Hartford is coming to aid their goalie. True to form, the Whalers players are on the scene in a hurry and first player to arrive is Wayne’s older (and much bigger) brother Keith Primeau. After pulling each other out of the scrum the two of them decide to start throwing punches like they are playing street hockey in their parents’ driveway and Keith settles the score for his goalie by beating up his little brother.

Seems like a strange analogy, but that is the mentality that highly competitive curlers have to use when we go out and compete during the season. The guy advancing in the playoffs across from you may be one of your best friends but he is still trying to take something that you want (a Grand Slam title, a Purple Heart or even a Tim Hortons Brier title) and you need to do what you can to win.

Back in my days of junior curling, I know that I had an unwarranted sports hatred of the teams that I played against. I did not like them and assumed that they did not like me. It was a lethal combination of minimal travel to compete against the best teams and a healthy dose of little brother mentality with my team being from small-town Brandon vs. big-city Winnipeg curlers, and we generated a good bit of anger against any of our opponents in juniors. This anger was completely irrational but it was used as motivation each and every game that we played.

That is not the case in 2014, especially in the elite tour events. I think of the 12 events that we played in last season (not including the World Championship, in which only one Canadian team participates) Kevin Martin’s team was in nine of the same events, Glenn Howard, Mike McEwen and Jeff Stoughton in eight, Brad Jacobs in six … you get the point. We see and play against these teams almost every weekend that we get out on the road. We get to know each other, we stay in the same hotels, we eat at the same restaurants and we take the same flights. We are around each other constantly and get to be good friends with most of the guys on tour.

One of the most frequent questions that I get asked is, “Do you hate anyone on tour?” or “Are there any teams that you hate?” and normally my answer is “No, not really!” I am not naïve and assume that every guy I play against likes me, but I consider most of these guys friends. We are peers and all respect each other and their ability on the ice, but when it is time to compete and the stakes are at their highest, we all put that aside and try to bash each other into submission.

One great example of this was last year at the Alberta men’s provincials. We won the semifinal and proceeded to head back to the hotel to get our gear and check out before the final. As we were checking out so was Kevin Martin’s entire team — our competition for the Purple Heart. We got in our cars and drove to the rink and parked at the same time and walked into the rink together. Now, Ben Hebert and Marc Kennedy, then the lead and second for Team Martin, were in my wedding party; I consider them among my best friends. The three of us along with our third Pat Simmons were walking into the rink and joking about how this was the third provincial final in four years against each other and a rematch of the 2013 epic battle that we had. We never allow each other the easy road to the title. But as we were about to head to our dressing-rooms, Ben looked at me and said, “Well, talk to you in two weeks!” And with that we were off. We would continue to be friends but not for the rest of that day — we were enemies and we both wanted the same thing with the other guy standing in the way. We were both there for that trip to the Tim Hortons Brier and luckily we were the victors that day. A week and a half later I broke the tension with a text to Ben about our kids, and life went on.

People watch on TV and see guys get heated out there, like Richard Hart and Ben at the 2009 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings and they assume that there is carry-over effect and those teams or players get a good hatred on forever. That is not the case at all; probably every time they have seen each other on tour since then, Ben and Rich will have talked and joked around. No hard feelings; just trying to win.

I can already envision what next year is going to look like for our team with John Morris at the helm any time we line up against Kevin Koe’s new squad. It will make for great fodder and talk on TV when we lock up, and the fans will be excited to see how it all shakes out, assuming there will be tension. People will want to see us chirp each other and maybe even start the first-ever on-ice line brawl (now, THAT is an interesting blog idea: the tale of the tape between our teams!) but in reality what will be unfolding is two world-class teams that are great friends off the ice and want to beat each other on the ice.

Friends in the Brier patch, not friends on the pebbled ice. May the best team win.

(Nolan Thiessen is a two-time Canadian champion who plays lead for Team John Morris, who will be competing in the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling, presented by Meridian Manufacturing, Dec. 3-7 in Camrose, Alta.; the 2015 World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by SecurTek, Jan. 8-11 in Calgary; and the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by SecurTek, Feb. 28-March 8 in Calgary).

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Bowman wins CCA Award of Achievement http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/06/27/bowman-wins-cca-award-of-achievement/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/06/27/bowman-wins-cca-award-of-achievement/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 16:00:34 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=58386 [Read More…]]]> Longtime curling volunteer Jack Bowman has been named winner of the 2014 Canadian Curling Association Award of Achievement, it was announced today.

Jack Bowman has been named winner of the 2014 CCA Award of Achievement.

Jack Bowman has been named winner of the 2014 CCA Award of Achievement.

The Victoria resident, who chaired the CCA’s Board of Governors for the 2010-11 curling season, capping his five-year stint with the board, will be formally presented with his award at the CCA Hall of Fame & Awards Gala on Aug. 26 in Niagara Falls, Ont., during the inaugural CCA Summit.

“I never got involved with the sport of curling for awards or recognition; I did it because I love the game and the people in it,” said Bowman, a member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame. “This is truly a wonderful and gratifying honour, especially considering the amazing people who’ve won it before me, and their contributions to curling.”

The CCA Award of Achievement, an annual award, recognize individuals who have contributed significantly to curling in one of four areas — builder, technical development (instructor, coach, official, ice technician), marketing and media.

“It’s people like Jack who make the sport of curling thrive in our country,” said Hugh Avery, Chair of the CCA Board of Governors. “His efforts at the local, provincial and national levels have made our sport better, and he’s done the majority of his work behind the scenes, with little or no recognition. Jack is a worthy winner of the Award of Achievement.”

Bowman’s involvement in curling volunteerism began in the mid-1980s in Toronto, as he served a term as president of the Weston Golf and Country Club. Upon moving to Victoria in 1996, Bowman quickly got involved with the Victoria Curling Centre, serving as president for two terms while also serving as the club and zone rep for the Pacific Coast Curling Association for five years. Later, he served as executive-director of the PCCA, and was awarded a life membership in 2004, which was recognized by Curl BC a year later as the three curling associations in that province merged into one.

Bowman continues to be active behind the scenes; he has presented CCA Business of Curling seminars since 1998 to curlers and clubs in the four western provinces as well as Northern Ontario, and more recently, he has worked with curling facilities in B.C. to help them apply for B.C. Community Gaming Grants — work that produced $540,000 being awarded to 27 B.C. curling centres during the 2012-13 season.

Former winners:

•    Pat Bibby, SK (2013)
•    Linda Corcoran, ON (2012)
•    Bill Tschirhart, BC (2012)
•    Ron Meyers, SK (2008)
•    Arnold Asham, MB (2007)
•    Marilyn Barraclough, AB (2007)
•    Al Kersey, BC (2006)
•    Elmer Schmidt, SK (2004)
•    Hans Wuthrich, MB (2003)
•    Gene Friesen, SK (2002)
•    Linda Moore, BC (2000)
•    Bill Robertson, BC (1999)
•    Wayne Kiel, SK (1999)
•    André Ferland, QC (1998)
•    Arleen Day, SK (1997)
•    Vic Rauter, ON (1997)
•    Robin Wilson, BC (1996)
•    Marcel DeWitte, ON (1995)
•    Shorty Jenkins, ON (1995)
•    Tom Coulterman, ON (1994)
•    Doug Maxwell, ON (1994)
•    Paul Sauvé, ON (1993)
•    Ralph Bagley, MB (1993)
•    Ian Maclaine, (1992)
•    Keith Reilly, ON (1992)
•    Brian Cassidy, NB (1992)
•    Tom and Anne Fisher, QC (1992)
•    Bob Picken, MB (1991)
•    Pat Fownes, NB (1991)

Tickets for the CCA Hall of Fame & Awards Gala are available at www.curling.ca/summit2014/registration-form/. As well, information on the CCA Summit, in addition to the inaugural CCA Swing & Sweep Golf Tournament, can be found at www.curling.ca/summit2014/.

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Boucherville to host second straight Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/06/25/boucherville-to-host-second-straight-canadian-wheelchair-curling-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/06/25/boucherville-to-host-second-straight-canadian-wheelchair-curling-championship/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 16:00:47 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=58346 [Read More…]]]> Boucherville, Que., will play host to the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship for the second straight year, it was announced today by the Canadian Curling Association.

Canada's top wheelchair curlers will once again gather in Boucherville, Que., for the 2015 Canadian Championship. (Photo, Morgan Daw)

Canada’s top wheelchair curlers will once again gather in Boucherville, Que., for the 2015 Canadian Championship. (Photo, Morgan Daw)

The 12th wheelchair nationals will be staged April 27 to May 3, 2015, at Club de curling Boucherville in Boucherville, Que.

The 2015 Canadian Wheelchair Championship will again be organized and operated by Défi sportif AlterGo, a Quebec-based organization focused on raising awareness of sports for athletes with a disability.

“We’re excited to be able to get behind the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship for the second straight year,” said Maxime Gagnon, the director for Défi sportif AlterGo. “The 2014 event in Boucherville was a resounding success according from the standpoint of the participants, the spectators and the organizers, and we’re hoping to make it even better in 2015.”

At the 2014 nationals, Manitoba won its second Canadian championship when Dennis Thiessen and his team from the Assiniboine Curling Club (third Mark Wherrett, second Melissa Lecuyer, lead Jamie Anseeuw and coach Tom Wherrett) beat defending champion Benoit Lessard of Quebec 8-5 in the gold-medal game. It capped an amazing season for Thiessen, who also won gold playing for Team Canada at the 2014 Winter Paraympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship began in 2004 and has previously been won by Team Canada (skip Chris Daw) in 2004, 2005 and 2006; by British Columbia in 2007 (skip Darryl Neighbour), 2008 and 2009 (skip Jim Armstrong) and 2010 (skip Gary Cormack); by Manitoba (skip Chris Sobkowicz) in 2011; and by Saskatchewan (skip Darwin Bender) in 2012.

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Field set for 2014 Canada Cup of Curling http://www.curling.ca/2014canadacup-en/2014/06/18/field-set-for-2014-canada-cup-of-curling/ http://www.curling.ca/2014canadacup-en/2014/06/18/field-set-for-2014-canada-cup-of-curling/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 16:00:06 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/06/18/field-set-for-2014-canada-cup-of-curling/ [Read More…]]]> The first steps toward the 2018 Winter Olympics will be taken in early December at Encana Arena in Camrose, Alta., and a who’s-who of Canadian curling will be on hand.

Olympic champs Brad Jacobs, left, and Jennifer Jones are headed to Camrose for the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling, presented by Meridian. (Photos, CCA/Michael Burns)

Olympic champs Brad Jacobs, left, and Jennifer Jones are headed to Camrose for the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling, presented by Meridian Manufacturing. (Photos, CCA/Michael Burns)

The 2014 Canada Cup of Curling, presented by Meridian Manufacturing, scheduled for Dec. 3-7, will not only feature both defending Olympic gold-medal teams (Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg), it will feature the reigning champions of the Tim Hortons Brier (the former Kevin Koe team of Calgary, now skipped by John Morris) and Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Rachel Homan of Ottawa), in addition to giving curling fans a peek at some intriguing new lineups that are starting down the road to the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

A total of 14 teams (seven men’s, seven women’s) will be in Camrose, playing for their share of the $140,000 purse ($14,000 to each winning team, $9,000 to second place, $5,000 to third, and $2,000 for each round-robin win), in addition to the berths in the 2015 World Financial Group Continental Cup (Jan. 8-11 in Calgary), the 2015 Canada Cup of Curling (Dec. 2-6, location TBD) and the 2017 Road to the Roar Pre-Trials (dates and location TBD).

The Olympic, Brier and Scotties champs will face stiff tests in Camrose. On the men’s side, Jacobs and Morris will be challenged by new teams skipped by Koe and four-time world champ Glenn Howard. Koe’s new team from Calgary features third Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert, both of whom won gold with Kevin Martin in 2010 in Vancouver, and second Brent Laing, who won two world titles playing with Howard. Howard, meanwhile, shuffled his Penetanguishene, Ont., lineup in the off-season with the departures of Laing and third Wayne Middaugh (retirement). His new lineup features the return of Richard Hart to vice-skip (the two combined to win the 2007 world title) and Jon Mead at second; Mead was a member of the Jeff Stoughton team that won the most recent Canada Cup men’s title in 2012 in Moose Jaw, Sask.

The men’s field is rounded out by Jim Cotter of Vernon, B.C. (the runner-up team, with Morris skipping, at the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier), 2006 Olympic gold-medallist Brad Gushue of St. John’s (with former third Mark Nichols returning to the lineup) and Mike McEwen of Winnipeg.

The women’s field will feature six of the teams that were in the final stage of qualifying for the 2014 Winter Olympics, including Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings champ Jones and runner-up Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, Ont.

As well, Scotties runner-up Val Sweeting of Edmonton (with seven-time New Brunswick women’s champ Andrea Crawford moving in at third) is entered, as is 2012 Scotties champ Heather Nedohin (with new third Amy Nixon) of Sherwood Park, Alta.

The women’s field is rounded out by three-time Canada Cup champ Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon, and 2014 Ontario women’s champion Allison Flaxey of Listowel.

The teams will play a single round-robin draw, with the top three teams advancing to the playoffs. The first-place team in the round-robin will advance directly to the championship final, while the second- and third-place teams will meet in the semifinal.

Click here for the complete list of teams, and click here to purchase tickets for the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling.

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Sochi gold-medallists to participate in Swing & Sweep Golf Tournament http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/05/28/sochi-gold-medallists-to-participate-in-swing-sweep-golf-tournament/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/05/28/sochi-gold-medallists-to-participate-in-swing-sweep-golf-tournament/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 15:00:52 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=58085 [Read More…]]]> Four members of Canada’s gold-medal winning Olympic curling teams will be participating in the inaugural Swing & Sweep Golf Tournament, it was announced today by the Canadian Curling Association.

Some of Canada's gold-medal winning curlers from the Sochi Olympics will be participating in the first Swing & Sweep charity golf tournament in Niagara Falls, Ont. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

Some of Canada’s gold-medal winning curlers from the Sochi Olympics will be participating in the first Swing & Sweep charity golf tournament in Niagara Falls, Ont. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

Men’s gold-medallists skip Brad Jacobs and third Ryan Fry, and women’s gold-medallists third Kaitlyn Lawes and second Jill Officer will tee off in the tournament, which will raise funds directed to the For The Love of Curling scholarships and youth curling development programs.

The tournament is scheduled for Aug. 27, 2014, at the Thundering Waters Golf Club in Niagara Falls, Ont., and will be one of the highlighted events during the CCA’s first Curling Summit.

“We’re ecstatic that our Olympians will be participating in the tournament in the wake of their successes in Sochi,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the CCA. “Canada’s young curlers look up to them, of course, and that fits in perfectly with the fundraising ambitions of the tournament.”

Registrations for the tournament are now being accepted at www.curling.ca/summit2014/cca-golf-day/, with a cost of $144 per player and $576 for a foursome. The fees include a barbecue lunch, an 18-hole round (shotgun start) and an evening banquet, which also will feature a silent and live auction.

As well, VIP foursomes are also available, allowing participants to golf with a celebrity chosen by random draw, at a cost of $1,500 per foursome.

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CCA announces 2014 Hall of Fame class http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/05/26/cca-announces-2014-hall-of-fame-class/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/05/26/cca-announces-2014-hall-of-fame-class/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 17:00:56 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=58070 [Read More…]]]> One of the best players in curling history, and one of the game’s most prominent behind-the-scenes supporters comprise this year’s list of inductees to the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

Kevin Martin, left, and George Cooke are being inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

Kevin Martin, left, and George Cooke are being inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

Kevin Martin, a three-time Olympian who won gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and silver in 2002 at Salt Lake City, will be joined by former Dominion Insurance Chief Executive Officer George Cooke when the Class of 2014 is formally inducted at the CCA Hall of Fame and Awards Gala on Aug. 26 in Niagara Falls Ont.

“The contributions of both Kevin and George to the sport of curling over the years go well beyond what people saw on television or read in the newspapers,” said Hugh Avery, Chair of the CCA Board of Governors. “Both played major roles in bringing curling to the forefront of the Canadian sports scene, and they are worthy inductees to the CCA Hall of Fame.”

Kevin Martin won gold as Team Canada's skip at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

Kevin Martin won gold as Team Canada’s skip at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

Martin, who announced his retirement from competitive curling in April, also won four Brier titles — tied with Ernie Richardson and Randy Ferbey for the most as a skip — in addition to capturing a record 12 Alberta men’s championships.

In his four trips to the World Men’s Curling Championship, he won gold in 2008 at Grand Forks, N.D., and silver in 1991 at Winnipeg and 2009 at Moncton, N.B.

His 1991 Brier victory also earned him his first of three trips to the Winter Olympics, as he skipped Team Canada at the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France, where curling was a demonstration sport.

Additionally, Martin won a record 18 events on the World Curling Tour Grand Slam series, including his career-capping victory last month at the Players’ Championship in Summerside, P.E.I.

“It really is a thrill to be named to the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame and be mentioned with some of my curling heroes,” said Martin, who also won the 1985 Canadian junior men’s championship. “The sport of curling has taken me around the world and I’ve met some truly wonderful people and had some amazing experiences, while also being blessed with gifted teammates over the years who helped me achieve this. Being named to the Hall of Fame is a great way to cap a career, and I’m grateful for the honour.”

 

Cooke’s passion for curling, meanwhile, goes far beyond his longtime participation at the club level. As the CEO of The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company (now known as Travelers Canada), he was the driving force behind the creation in 2009 of the highly successful Dominion Curling Club Championship (now the Travelers Curling Club Championship), aimed at giving club-level curlers a chance to compete for a national title. In fact, as a member of the reigning club men’s champions at his home club — the Donalda Club in Toronto — he will compete in the Travelers Curling Club Championship playdowns this fall.

In addition to being a longtime player, George Cooke has been a passionate backer of the sport of curling. (Photo, courtesy George Cooke)

In addition to being a longtime player, George Cooke has been a passionate backer of the sport of curling. (Photo, courtesy George Cooke)

As well, The Dominion was active in other areas of curling, including youth camps, partnerships with the CCA’s Member Associations and sponsorships of high-performance curling teams. Cooke is an active member of the Donalda Club, where he coaches for Crestwood Preparatory College (he will be coaching his daughter’s competitive junior team this coming season), and also is vice-president of the Toronto Curling Association.

“Curling has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and it’s an absolute thrill and privilege to be joining the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame,” said Cooke, a life member of the Ontario Curling Association. “It’s especially gratifying because so much of the work we tried to do is aimed at the club-level curlers, who are the lifeblood of the sport, as well as curling development programs.”

The CCA Hall of Fame and Awards Gala will be staged during the inaugural Canadian Curling Association Summit, beginning Aug. 24 in Niagara Falls.

“Curling’s history is such an integral part of our sport, and it’s wonderful that we can honour people such as Kevin and George in the Hall of Fame,” said Shirley Osborne, Chair of the CCA Hall of Fame Committee. “As usual, there was no shortage of worthy candidates, and that’s a pleasant dilemma to have.”

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First CCA curling summit set for August at Niagara Falls http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/05/21/first-cca-curling-summit-set-for-august-at-niagara-falls/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/05/21/first-cca-curling-summit-set-for-august-at-niagara-falls/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 15:00:42 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=58048 [Read More…]]]> Canada’s best and brightest curling minds will gather in Niagara Falls, Ont., in August for the first Canadian Curling Association Summit.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 2.12.58 PM copy

The four-day Summit, scheduled for Aug. 24-27, will feature a blend of workshops, panel discussions and keynote addresses from a cross-section of the Canadian sports industry, all with the purpose of building the sport of curling to even greater heights in our country. There also will be a trade show for curling vendors.

Some of the keynote speakers for the Summit include TSN President Stewart Johnston as well as Brent Barootes, the president and CEO of the Partnership Group, a national sponsorship-consulting firm.

As well, the Summit will be capped with the inaugural Swing and Sweep Golf Tournament at Thundering Waters Golf Club, a day that will include an evening dinner, silent and live auction — all to raise funds for junior curling and club development in Canada. Some of our Olympic curlers will be taking part, in addition to other celebrities. Look for announcements on notable participants in the next few weeks.

“We’re very excited about our first Summit and the opportunity to get people talking about curling and how to make it even better,” said Canadian Curling Association Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “All aspects of the sport are going to be discussed, from the grassroots to high performance, and the more voices, the more ideas, the better. As well, the golf tournament and other elements related to the For the Love of Curling charity planned during the summit will not only be a great social event, it will help support our junior curlers and curling facilities across Canada.”

The Summit also will feature the induction of the Class of 2014 into the Canadian Curling Association Hall of Fame during the Hall of Fame and Awards Gala on Aug. 26.

You can find more information on the Summit at www.curling.ca/summit2014/.

Following the Summit, the CCA will hold its 2014 Annual General Meeting on Aug. 28 in Niagara Falls.

Registration for the 2014 Summit is now open at www.curling.ca/summit2014/registration-form/, with pricing details at www.curling.ca/summit2014/pricing/, including prices for the Summit, the Swing and Sweep Golf Tournament and the CCA Hall of Fame induction banquet.

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http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/05/21/first-cca-curling-summit-set-for-august-at-niagara-falls/feed/ 0 <_edit_lock>1400617317:19<_edit_last>19<_expiration-date-status>savedhttp://www.curling.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Screen-Shot-2014-05-20-at-2.12.58-PM.png
Manitoba wins Canadian Wheelchair Championship http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/04/manitoba-wins-canadian-wheelchair-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/04/manitoba-wins-canadian-wheelchair-championship/#comments Sun, 04 May 2014 22:07:24 +0000 Jean Mills http://www.curling.ca/?p=57873 Manitoba’s Dennis Thiessen and his Assiniboine Curling Club team are the 2014 Canadian wheelchair curling champions after stealing four ends on the way to an 8-5 victory over the defending champion, Quebec’s Benoit Lessard, on Sunday afternoon in Boucherville, Que.

2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Champions, Manitoba: Dennis Thiessen, Mark Wherret, coach Tom Wherrett, Jamie Anseeuw, Melissa Lecuyer (Photo Morgan Daw)

2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Champions, Manitoba: Dennis Thiessen, Mark Wherrett, coach Tom Wherrett, Jamie Anseeuw, Melissa Lecuyer (Photo Morgan Daw)

“What an unbelievable feeling,” said Thiessen who was backed by third Mark Wherrett, second Melissa Lecuyer, lead Jamie Anseeuw and coach Tom Wherrett. “We just kept the pressure on and took advantage of a few misses. It feels great. I’m so proud of my team.”

The game started aggressively, with lots of rocks in play and both skips showing confidence in calling the difficult shots. Manitoba led 7-2 after five ends and appeared to be in control of the game, but Quebec fought back in the sixth. Lessard, made a delicate takeout to score three and climb back to within two points.

But it wasn’t enough. In the eighth, with two Manitoba rocks in the rings, Lessard’s first rock wrecked on a guard, ending Quebec’s hopes for a repeat title and giving Thiessen his second Canadian championship since 2011.

Lessard and his team of vice Carl Marquis, second Sébastien Boisvert, lead Johanne Daly and coach Germain Tremblay finished with an 8-1 record at the top of the standings after the round robin, but Thiessen made it to the finals the hard way.
After finishing in a four-way tie for third, he won a tie-breaker over Saskatchewan’s Darwin Bender on Friday night, then defeated Alberta’s Jack Smart in the Page 3-4 playoff. In the semifinal against Ontario’s Mike Munro on Sunday morning, Manitoba took control with a steal of four in the fifth end and ran Ontario out of rocks for the 8-3 victory and a date with Quebec in the championship final.

“It feels like a golden year,” said Thiessen, who can add the Canadian championship to his 2014 Paralympic title. “I came here with no expectations, but we played our best and look where we are.”

Draw results and other event information are available at www.curling.ca and www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en.

Since the inaugural Canadian championship in 2004, British Columbia has four titles – in 2007 (skip Darryl Neighbour), 2008 and 2009 (skip Jim Armstrong) and 2010 (skip Gary Cormack). Team Canada (skip Chris Dawe) has three victories (2004-2006) while Manitoba (2011) , Saskatchewan (2012) and Quebec (2013) have each won once.

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http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/04/manitoba-wins-canadian-wheelchair-championship/feed/ 0 <_thumbnail_id>57891Manitoba win 2014 Championshiphttp://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/files/2014/05/CWCC-MB-trophy-cropped.jpg
Quebec through to the final http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/03/quebec-through-to-the-final/ http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/03/quebec-through-to-the-final/#comments Sun, 04 May 2014 00:53:10 +0000 Jean Mills http://www.curling.ca/?p=57853 Defending champion Benoit Lessard will lead his Quebec team into the finals of the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship after defeating Ontario’s Mike Munro in the Page 1-2 playoff on Saturday afternoon at the Club de curling Boucherville.

Lessard and his team of Carl Marquis, Sébastien Boisvert, Johanne Daly and coach Germain Tremblay scored a single in the first end and stole the next two ends to lead 5-0 at the fourth-end break. Leading 6-2 in the eighth, Quebec hit out for the win.

Ontario – Munro, Mark Ideson, Katie Palalunga, Christine Lavallee, Tony Reynen and coach Chris Bowden from the Ilderton Curling Club – will now take on Manitoba’s Dennis Thiessen in the semifinal on Sunday morning, with the winner moving on to the final against Quebec.

Team Quebec watches as Team Ontario makes their shot during action at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship (Photo Morgan Daw)

Team Quebec watches as Team Ontario makes their shot during action at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship (Photo Morgan Daw)

Thiessen and his team of Mark Wherrett, Melissa Lecuyer, Jamie Anseeuw and coach Tom Wherrett won the Page 3-4 playoff in a nailbiter against Alberta’s Jack Smart. After stealing three points in the seventh to tie the score at 7-7, Smart’s final draw slid through the rings, leaving Thiessen lying one for the 8-7 win.

The semifinal between Ontario and Manitoba begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, with the winner moving on to play Quebec in the championship final Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

Live streaming of the event is available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wcblog2

Draw results and other event information is available at www.curling.ca and www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en.

Since the inaugural Canadian championship in 2004, British Columbia has four titles – in 2007 (skip Darryl Neighbour), 2008 and 2009 (skip Jim Armstrong) and 2010 (skip Gary Cormack). Team Canada (skip Chris Dawe) has three victories (2004-2006) while Manitoba (2011) , Saskatchewan (2012) and Quebec (2013) have each won once.

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http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/03/quebec-through-to-the-final/feed/ 0 <_thumbnail_id>57860http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/files/2014/05/CWCC-Page1-2-Lessard-Boisvert-cropped.jpgQuebec through to final<_edit_lock>1399237292:21
Playoff teams set at Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/02/playoff-teams-set-at-canadian-wheelchair-curling-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/02/playoff-teams-set-at-canadian-wheelchair-curling-championship/#comments Sat, 03 May 2014 03:06:31 +0000 Jean Mills http://www.curling.ca/?p=57825 The playoff teams are set after a dramatic finish to Day 5 at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Boucherville, Que.

Ontario's Mike Munro delivers his rock during Draw 9 action at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Boucherville, Que. (Photo Morgan Daw)

Ontario’s Mike Munro delivers his rock during Draw 9 action at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Boucherville, Que. (Photo Morgan Daw)

In a head-to-head battle between the two leaders in the final round robin draw, Quebec’s Benoit Lessard came from behind to defeat Ontario’s Mike Munro 6-5 and claim first place and last-rock advantage in the Page 1-2 playoff game.

Lessard trailed 5-1 after five ends but climbed back with a score of three in the sixth and singles in the final two ends to steal the win. The victory means Quebec finishes in first place with an 8-1 record just ahead of Ontario, who finishes at 7-2. The leaders will meet again in the Page 1-2 game Saturday at 2 p.m. (ET).

Tie-breakers were needed to determine the final two playoff teams after B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta all finished the round robin with matching 5-4 records.

In the first tie-breaker, Manitoba’s Dennis Thiessen stole three ends against Saskatchewan’s Darwin Bender to go ahead 6-2 after six ends. Despite giving up a steal of two points in the final end, Manitoba came out on top of a 6-5 score and will move on to the Page 3-4 playoff.

Tie-breaker number two between B.C.’s Darryl Neighbour and Alberta’s Jack Smart was a thriller that featured Alberta stealing the last two ends to tie the game at 9-9, and then stealing another point in the extra end to win 10-9 and move on to the playoffs.

This means Manitoba finishes in third place and Alberta fourth, by virtue of their record against each other in the round robin, and they will meet in the Page 3-4 playoff on Saturday at 6 p.m. (ET)

The semifinal will be played on Sunday at 10 a.m., and the championship final takes place Sunday at 2:30 p.m., all times ET.

Live streaming of the event is available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wcblog2

Draw results and other event information is available at www.curling.ca and www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en.

Since the inaugural Canadian championship in 2004, British Columbia has four titles – in 2007 (skip Darryl Neighbour), 2008 and 2009 (skip Jim Armstrong) and 2010 (skip Gary Cormack). Team Canada (skip Chris Dawe) has three victories (2004-2006) while Manitoba (2011) , Saskatchewan (2012) and Quebec (2013) have each won once.

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Quebec and Ontario tied at the top http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/01/quebec-and-ontario-tied-at-the-top/ http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/01/quebec-and-ontario-tied-at-the-top/#comments Thu, 01 May 2014 22:58:34 +0000 Jean Mills http://www.curling.ca/?p=57753 With seven draws completed in the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship, the defending champions from Quebec look determined to defend their 2013 title after scoring two big wins on Thursday at the Club de curling Boucherville.

Magog’s Benoit Lessard, with his team of Carl Marquis, Sébastien Boisvert, Johanne Daly and coach Germain Tremblay defeated Saskatchewan’s Darwin Bender 8-2 on Thursday morning, and went on to steal a lopsided 11-3 win over B.C.’s Darryl Neighbour in Draw 7.

Team Quebec skip Benoit Lessard prepares to deliver his rock at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Championship in Boucherville, Que. (Photo Morgan Daw)

Team Quebec skip Benoit Lessard prepares to deliver his rock at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Championship in Boucherville, Que. (Photo Morgan Daw)

With the two wins, Quebec now shares first place with Ontario’s Mike Munro, both teams with 6-1 records. Munro and his team from the Ilderton Curling Club, lost their first game of the round robin on Monday morning, a 12-3 rout by Dennis Thiessen of Manitoba. But Ontario bounced back against Nova Scotia’s George Horning in the afternoon draw, scoring five points in the seventh end on the way to a 9-5 win.

Sitting close behind the two leaders are B.C., Alberta and Manitoba, all with 4-3 records. B.C. defeated Nova Scotia 11-6 in the morning draw, but came up short against Quebec in the afternoon.

Similarly, Alberta’s Jack Smart started the day with a 9-6 victory over Newfoundland and Labrador in the first game of the day, but lost to Northern Ontario’s Gino Sonego 6-4 in Draw 7.

Thursday was a big day for Thiessen and his Winnipeg team of Mark Wherrett, Melissa Lecuyer, Jamie Anseeuw and coach Tom Wherrett, who climbed closer to the leaders with two decisive wins. After downing Ontario 12-3 in the morning, Thiessen stole five points on the way to a 12-4 win over Newfoundland and Labrador’s Joanne MacDonald.

New Brunswick's Michael Fitzgerald holds the broom in the team's first win at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Championship (Photo Morgan Daw)

New Brunswick’s Michael Fitzgerald holds the broom in the team’s first win at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Championship (Photo Morgan Daw)

On Thursday morning, New Brunswick’s Michael Fitzgerald and his team from the Thistle Saint Andrews Curling Club in Saint John stole two points in an extra end to defeat Northern Ontario’s Gino Sonego, 8-6, and earn their first win of the competition. In a close afternoon game with Saskatchewan’s Darwin Bender, Fitzgerald scored one in the eighth to force an extra end, but Bender finished with a clutch draw for the 8-7 win.

With seven sessions completed in the round robin, Quebec and Ontario now sit at the top of the standings with 6-1 records, followed by Saskatchewan, Manitoba and B.C. at 4-3. Alberta and Northern Ontario are close at 3-4, and Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador (2-5) and New Brunswick (1-6) round out the field.

The final two draws of the round robin take place on Friday, with tie-breakers Friday evening and Saturday morning, if required.

Live streaming of the event is available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wcblog2

Draw results and other event information is available at www.curling.ca and www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en.

Since the inaugural Canadian championship in 2004, British Columbia has four titles – in 2007 (skip Darryl Neighbour), 2008 and 2009 (skip Jim Armstrong) and 2010 (skip Gary Cormack). Team Canada (skip Chris Dawe) has three victories (2004-2006) while Manitoba (2011) , Saskatchewan (2012) and Quebec (2013) have each won once.

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http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/05/01/quebec-and-ontario-tied-at-the-top/feed/ 0 <_thumbnail_id>57772http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/files/2014/05/CWCC-QC-Lessard-team-throw-cropped.jpgTied at the top
Leaders start to emerge in Wheelchair Championship http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/04/30/leaders-start-to-emerge-in-wheelchair-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/04/30/leaders-start-to-emerge-in-wheelchair-championship/#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 23:13:03 +0000 Jean Mills http://www.curling.ca/?p=57737 The standings are beginning to take shape at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Boucherville, Que., as undefeated Ontario continues to lead the pack after three days of competition, with Quebec and Saskatchewan close behind.

Ontario’s Mike Munro (5-0) continued his winning streak on Wednesday, defeating Alberta’s Jack Smart 10-3 to cap off a perfect day that began with an 8-4 win over Northern Ontario’s Gino Sonego (2-3) in the morning draw.

Close behind is Quebec’s Benoit Lessard (4-1), the defending champion from the home province, who won two games on Day 3 of the round robin to stay among the leaders.

Lessard had a battle against Sonego in Draw 5, with both teams stealing points in the early ends. Trailing by one in the eighth, Lessard made a perfect hit-and-stick to force the extra end, where he stole two more for the 7-5 win.

Saskatchewan’s Darwin Bender (3-2) scored a couple of three-enders to win 8-3 over Nova Scotia’s George Horning (2-3) and stay close to the leaders.

Manitoba's Dennis Thiessen and Alberta's Jack Smart compare notes during action at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Boucherville, Que. (Photo Morgan Daw)

Manitoba’s Dennis Thiessen and Alberta’s Jack Smart compare notes during action at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Boucherville, Que. (Photo Morgan Daw)

In other games on Wednesday afternoon at the Club de Curling Boucherville, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Joanne MacDonald (2-3) stole her way to an 8-4 win over Darryl Neighbour of B.C., and Manitoba’s Dennis Thiessen (2-3) trailed 6-2 after two ends, but battled back to steal two points in the final end for a 10-7 victory over New Brunswick’s Michael Fitzgerald (0-5).

Earlier in the day, MacDonald got her first win of the round robin, scoring five points in the seventh end to defeat Nova Scotia 10-3. Quebec stole one in the eighth end to squeak out an 8-7 win over New Brunswick, while Manitoba lost 6-3 to Saskatchewan, and Alberta defeated B.C. by a score of 10-6.

The round robin continues on Thursday with games at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (ET) at the Club de Curling Boucherville.

Live streaming of the event is available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wcblog2

Draw results and other event information is available at www.curling.ca and www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en.

Since the inaugural Canadian championship in 2004, British Columbia has four titles – in 2007 (skip Darryl Neighbour), 2008 and 2009 (skip Jim Armstrong) and 2010 (skip Gary Cormack). Team Canada (skip Chris Dawe) has three victories (2004-2006) while Manitoba (2011) , Saskatchewan (2012) and Quebec (2013) have each won once.

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Ontario and BC lead the way at wheelchair championship http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/04/29/ontario-and-bc-lead-the-way-at-wheelchair-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/04/29/ontario-and-bc-lead-the-way-at-wheelchair-championship/#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2014 22:05:14 +0000 Jean Mills http://www.curling.ca/?p=57693 With three draws complete in the round robin at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship, British Columbia and Ontario remain undefeated at the top of the standings, while defending champion Quebec suffered its first loss to slip to second place in the standings.

CWCC Day 2 ON ice resized

Ontario skip Mike Munro gets ready to call the shots during Draw 3 action of the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship at the Club de curling Boucherville (Photo Morgan Daw)

In the morning draw at the Club de curling Boucherville, Quebec’s Benoit Lessard and his team from the Magog Curling Club powered over Joanne MacDonald from St. John’s, N.L., 11-3, scoring four in the first end and stealing another three to take an insurmountable lead.

Dennis Thiessen and his Winnipeg team followed the same route, racking up nine points in the first four ends before Alberta’s Jack Smart was able to get on the board in a 9-2 Manitoba win.

In other games on Monday morning, Saskatchewan’s Darwin Bender lost a close 7-6 contest to Ontario’s Mike Munro; British Columbia’s Darryl Neighbour defeated New Brunswick’s Michael Fitzgerald 9-5, and Nova Scotia’s George Horning stole a point in the final end to defeat Northern Ontario’s Gino Sonego 8-7.

On Monday afternoon, British Columbia scored five points in the third end to take control over Saskatchewan, going on to win 8-3.

Quebec dropped its first game, struggling against a determined Alberta team that stole four consecutive ends to earn a 7-1 win.

And in other Draw 3 action, Nova Scotia squeaked past New Brunswick, 9-8; Ontario overpowered Newfoundland and Labrador, 9-3; and Manitoba dropped a 5-4 decision to Northern Ontario.

The round robin continues on Wednesday with games at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Club de Curling Boucherville.

Live streaming of the event is available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wcblog2

Draw results and other event information is available at www.curling.ca and www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en.

Since the inaugural Canadian championship in 2004, British Columbia has four titles – in 2007 (skip Darryl Neighbour), 2008 and 2009 (skip Jim Armstrong) and 2010 (skip Gary Cormack). Team Canada (skip Chris Dawe) has three victories (2004-2006) while Manitoba (2011) , Saskatchewan (2012) and Quebec (2013) have each won once.

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Former CLCA president Sharon Renner passes away http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/29/former-clca-president-sharon-renner-passes-away/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/29/former-clca-president-sharon-renner-passes-away/#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2014 14:14:42 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57667 [Read More…]]]> A former president of the Canadian Ladies Curling Association, and a member of two curling Halls of Fame, has passed away.

107687

Sharon Renner

Sharon Renner (Knox) died last week at the age of 73 after a battle with cancer.

Renner served as president of the Canadian Ladies Curling Association for the 1983-84 season, a term that included her hometown of Charlottetown playing host to the 1984 Scott Tournament of Hearts.

She was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Prince Edward Island Curling Hall of Fame in 2009.

In addition to her tireless work for the sport of curling, Renner was highly active in the sports of golf and lawn bowling, and also served as president of the Canadian Seniors Games Association, in addition to being the founding president of the P.E.I. 55+ Games Society.

Click here to read the obituary and leave condolences.

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Quebec steals a win to open Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/04/28/quebec-steals-a-win-to-open-canadian-wheelchair-curling-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/04/28/quebec-steals-a-win-to-open-canadian-wheelchair-curling-championship/#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2014 01:45:50 +0000 Jean Mills http://www.curling.ca/?p=57658 The first day of competition at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship is complete in Boucherville, Que., with last year’s champion – Benoit Lessard of Quebec – coming from behind to steal a 6-5 win over Nova Scotia’s George Horning.

Lessard of Magog, Que., along with teammates Carl Marquis, Sébastien Boisvert, Johanne Daly and coach Germain Tremblay, got off to slow start against Horning and his team from the Lakeshore Curling Club in Sackville, N.S., (vice Laughie Rutt, second Steve Parfitt, lead Paige Fougere, alternate Steve Auld and coach Stew Slauenwhite).

Horning stole two points early and led 5-3 after seven ends, but the game turned around in the eighth. With three Quebec counters in the rings, Horning missed his final draw, allowing Lessard to steal three for the 6-5 win.

Quebec's Carl Marquis in action at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Boucherville, Quebec (Photo Morgan Daw)

Quebec’s Carl Marquis in action at the 2014 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Boucherville, Quebec (Photo Morgan Daw)

In other Draw 1 action, Saskatchewan’s Darwin Bender stole two ends to defeat Alberta’s Jack Smart, 7-3; Ontario’s Mike Munro stole five points in the last two ends for a 9-5 win over New Brunswick’s Michael Fitzgerald; Northern Ontario’s Gino Sonego defeated Newfoundland and Labrador’s Joanne MacDonald, 9-5; and Manitoba’s Dennis Thiessen, gold medallist at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, scored three points in the sixth end, but it wasn’t enough to catch British Columbia’s Darryl Neighbour, who scored two in the eighth for the 9-6 win.

Action at the Club de curling Boucherville continues on Tuesday, starting at 10 a.m. ET.

Live streaming of the event is available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wcblog2

Draw results and other event information is available at www.curling.ca and www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en.

Since the inaugural Canadian championship in 2004, British Columbia has four titles – in 2007 (skip Darryl Neighbour), 2008 and 2009 (skip Jim Armstrong) and 2010 (skip Gary Cormack). Team Canada (skip Chris Dawe) has three victories (2004-2006) while Manitoba (2011) , Saskatchewan (2012) and Quebec (2013) have each won once.

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Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship starts Monday in Boucherville, Que. http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/04/25/canadian-wheelchair-curling-championship-starts-monday-in-boucherville-que/ http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en/2014/04/25/canadian-wheelchair-curling-championship-starts-monday-in-boucherville-que/#comments Fri, 25 Apr 2014 16:00:17 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/25/canadian-wheelchair-curling-championship-starts-monday-in-boucherville-que/ [Read More…]]]> The 11th Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship begins Monday at the Club de curling de Boucherville.

Quebec’s Sebastien Boivert, and Johanne Daly provide backing for skip Benoît Lessard as he prepares to throw his rock in the final of the 2013 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Ottawa (Photo Morgan Daw)

Quebec’s Sebastien Boivert, and Johanne Daly provide backing for skip Benoît Lessard as he prepares to throw his rock in the final of the 2013 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Ottawa (Photo Morgan Daw)

Ten teams will compete in a round robin from April 28-May 2, leading to the Page playoffs (1 vs 2, winner to final, loser to semifinal; 3 vs 4, winner to semifinal, loser eliminated) on Saturday, May 3, with the semifinal (10 a.m. EDT) and final (2:30 p.m. EDT) scheduled for Sunday, May 4.

The roster includes a number of Canadian and world champions. The 2013 national champion, Quebec, skipped by Benoît Lessard of Magog, has returned to defend its title, along with teammates Carl Marquis, Sébastien Boisvert, Johanne Daly and coach Germain Tremblay. Last year, Lessard defeated British Columbia’s Gary Cormack, 10-2 in the final held at the RA Centre in Ottawa.

British Columbia will be directed by Richmond’s two-time Canadian and World Wheelchair champion and 2010 Paralympic gold medallist Darryl Neighbour, while his third, Frank LaBounty, is a three-time national champion. Second Vince Miele and alternate Gary Cormack are two-time Canadian champions.

Saskatchewan’s Darwin Bender of Regina and his Callie Curling Club team of Gil Dash, Marie Wright and Larry Schrader won the 2012 Canadian title in Thunder Bay, Ont. The team coach is Lorraine Arguin, who recently skipped Saskatchewan to a runner-up finish at the Canadian Seniors in Yellowknife, N.W.T., losing the final to Manitoba’s Lois Fowler.

Manitoba skip Dennis Thiessen of Winnipeg and second Melissa Lecuyer teamed to win the 2011 Canadian title in Edmonton. Thiessen also played for Canada (skip Jim Armstrong) when winning gold medals at the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship and 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Team Alberta, representing the Calgary Curling Club, has returned intact as well, except that Jack Smart and Bruno Yizek have switched positions, with Smart now skipping and Yizek at third. Yizek was the alternate for Canada (skip Jim Armstrong) when winning gold medals at both the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver and the 2011 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Prague.

Completing the field are New Brunswick (skip Michael Fitzgerald of Saint John), Newfoundland/Labrador (Joanne MacDonald of St. John’s), Northern Ontario (Gino Sonego of Thunder Bay), Nova Scotia (George Horning of Lower Sackville) and Ontario (Mike Munro of Ilderton).

Horning played lead for Manitoba’s Chris Sobkowicz when winning the 2011 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship.

Ontario third Mark Ideson won gold as the alternate for Canada (skip Jim Armstrong) at both the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship and 2014 Paralympic Games.

New Brunswick coach Jane Arseneau was the 2011 Canadian and 2012 World Seniors champion while playing lead for Heidi Hanlon.

Since the inaugural Canadian championship in 2004, British Columbia has four titles – in 2007 (skip Darryl Neighbour), 2008 and 2009 (skip Jim Armstrong) and 2010 (skip Gary Cormack). Team Canada (skip Chris Dawe) has three victories (2004-2006) while Manitoba (2011) , Saskatchewan (2012) and Quebec (2013) have each won once.

For media accreditation and inquiries during the event, contact Danny Lamoureux (danny@curling.ca or 613-878-3682). Draw results and other event information will be available at www.curling.ca and http://www.curling.ca/2014wheelchair-en.

Team practices will take place on Sunday, April 27, from 2-5 p.m. and Monday, April 28, from 9 a.m.-noon. The Opening Ceremony will be at 5 p.m. on Monday, followed by the first draw at 6 p.m. From Tuesday through Friday, there are two draws daily, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. All games, including playoffs, are eight ends, unless an extra end is required.

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Team Canada men name John Morris skip for 2014-15 season http://www.curling.ca/2015brier-en/2014/04/22/team-canada-men-name-john-morris-skip-for-2014-15-season/ http://www.curling.ca/2015brier-en/2014/04/22/team-canada-men-name-john-morris-skip-for-2014-15-season/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:10:18 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/22/team-canada-men-name-john-morris-skip-for-2014-15-season/ [Read More…]]]> A familiar face will take the reigns of the reigning Canadian men’s curling champions, it was announced today.

John Morris will be the skip of Team Canada at the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by SecurTek, the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling and the 2015 WFG Continental Cup. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

John Morris will be the skip of Team Canada at the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by SecurTek, the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling and the 2015 WFG Continental Cup. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

Former Olympic gold-medallist, world men’s champion and two-time world junior men’s champion John Morris will replace Kevin Koe at skip, calling the shots for the remainder of the team that won the Tim Hortons Brier, presented by SecurTek, in March in Kamloops, B.C.

Morris will join forces with third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen as Team Canada makes its debut at the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by SecurTek, Feb. 28-March 8 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. Morris was skipping the B.C. team (third Jim Cotter, second Tyrel Griffith, lead Rick Sawatsky) that Koe’s Alberta team defeated in the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier final.

The team will also compete at the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling, Dec. 3-7 in Camrose, Alta., and the 2015 World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by SecurTek, in Calgary — which, with the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier, comprise the Alberta Triple Crown.

The 2014 Tim Hortons Brier champs, from left, third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft and lead Pat Simmons, will have a new skip calling the shots next season. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

The 2014 Tim Hortons Brier champs, from left, third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen, will have a new skip calling the shots next season. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

Koe left the team earlier this month to form a new team with third Marc Kennedy, second Brent Laing and lead Ben Hebert.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring aboard a player of John’s calibre,” said Simmons. “Of course, we’ve always had a great deal of respect for John as a player and a rival, and we’re excited about what we can do together on the ice next season.”

Morris said he will play a limited schedule during the 2014-15 season due to work commitments, with only a few World Curling Tour bonspiels planned outside of the Alberta Triple Crown events.

“My plan was to take the 2014-15 season off as I move ahead in my career as a firefighter,” said Morris, a resident of Chestermere, Alta., just outside of Calgary. “But to be able to play for Team Canada, and considering the Alberta events are so close to home, it was hard to pass up on this offer. I talked it over with Jim, Tyrel and Rick and they were very understanding. I can’t thank them enough for the season we had, and I wish them nothing but the very best going forward.”

Rycroft will only be playing in the Alberta Triple Crown events, so the team also announced today that former world champion Scott Bailey will take his place at second for World Curling Tour events.

Tickets for the 2014-15 Alberta Triple Crown are available at www.curling.ca/tickets/

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/fr

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Canadian teams set for World Mixed Doubles, Seniors in Scotland http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/21/canadian-teams-set-for-world-mixed-doubles-seniors-in-scotland/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/21/canadian-teams-set-for-world-mixed-doubles-seniors-in-scotland/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:00:46 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57404 [Read More…]]]> Three more medal opportunities will be on the line when Canadian teams open play on Wednesday at the 2014 World Senior Men’s, Senior Women’s and Mixed Doubles Championships at the Dumfries Ice Bowl in Dumfries, Scotland.

Colleen Pinkney's team from Truro, N.S. ((third Wendy Currie, second Shelley MacNutt, lead Susan Creelman) will be looking for Canada's 10th world senior women's curling championship. (Photo, Canadian Curling Association)

Colleen Pinkney’s team from Truro, N.S. (third Wendy Currie, second Shelley MacNutt, lead Susan Creelman) will be looking for Canada’s 10th World Senior Women’s Curling Championship. (Photo, Canadian Curling Association)

The Canadian entries will be looking to defend the gold medals our country won at the 2013 World Senior Men’s and Women’s Championships in Fredericton, N.B., while our mixed doubles entry will be looking for just our second medal in the seven-year history of the event.

In senior women’s play, Colleen Pinkney’s team from Truro, N.S., (third Wendy Currie, second Shelley MacNutt, lead Susan Creelman, alternate Judy Burgess, coach Bill Tschirhart) will be pursuing Canada’s seventh consecutive gold medal, and her second — Pinkney, Currie and Creelman (Karen Hennigar played second) went unbeaten to win gold in 2010 at Chelyabinsk, Russia. Canada has won nine times since the World Seniors were introduced in 2002.

Wayne Tallon's Fredericton, N.B., team (third Mike Kennedy, second Mike Flannery, lead Wade Blanchard) is looking to keep aliove Canada's perfect record of reaching the gold-medal game at the World Senior Men's Championship. (Photo, CCA)

Wayne Tallon’s Fredericton, N.B., team (third Mike Kennedy, second Mike Flannery, lead Wade Blanchard) is looking to keep aliove Canada’s perfect record of reaching the gold-medal game at the World Senior Men’s Championship. (Photo, Canadian Curling Association)

On the men’s side, the Wayne Tallon team from Fredericton (third Mike Kennedy, second Mike Flannery, lead Wade Blanchard, alternate Charles Kingston, coach Bill Tschirhart) will be looking to make it back-to-back gold for Canada, as well as claim Canada’s ninth world senior men’s title.

At the 2013 event in Fredericton (which was chaired by Tallon), Rob Armitage of Red Deer, Alta., won the men’s gold medal while Cathy King of Edmonton captured the women’s gold. Both of the Canadian teams at the 2014 World Seniors qualified for the trip to Scotland by winning their respective titles at the 2013 Canadian Senior Men’s and Curling Championships in Summerside, P.E.I.

Meanwhile, the husband and wife pairing of Wayne Tuck and Kim Tuck of Ilderton, Ont., will wear Canadian colours in the World Mixed Doubles Championship. The Tucks, who will have Jim Waite with them as team coach, prevailed at the 2014 Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials last month in Ottawa, and will be looking for Canada’s first gold medal at the event, which started in 2008. Only one Canadian team —  Sean Grassie and Allison Nimik — has reached the podium at the World Mixed Doubles as they won bronze in 2009 at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

Wayne Tuck, left, and wife Kim Tuck will take aim at Canada's second medal at the World Mixed Doubles Championship. (Photo, Canadian Curling Association)

Wayne Tuck, left, and wife Kim Tuck will take aim at Canada’s second medal at the World Mixed Doubles Championship. (Photo, Canadian Curling Association)

Selected games from the World Mixed Doubles Championship will be streamed live online, including Canada’s opening game against Sweden’s Camilla Johansson and Per Noreen, Thursday at 7 a.m. Eastern. Go to the event website, wmdcc2014.curlingevents.com/, to see the games and broadcast schedule.

The round-robin draws for the World Seniors and Mixed Doubles will run through to April 29 before the playoffs get underway. There are 25 senior men’s teams, split into three pools (one nine-team pool, two eight-team pools); 15 senior women’s teams, split into two pools (one eight-team pool, one seven-team pool); and 34 mixed doubles teams split into four pools (two nine-team pools, two eight-team pools).

On April 30, the senior men’s and women’s gold-medal and bronze-medal games are scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Eastern, with the mixed doubles gold-medal and bronze-medal games at 10:30 a.m. Eastern.

Since the World Mixed Doubles Championship made its debut in 2008 in Vierumäki, Finland, Swiss teams have won four of the six gold medals. Last year in Fredericton, though, Hungary made history with its first international curling victory when the duo of Zsolt Kiss and Dorottya Palancsa beat Sweden in the final. Kiss and Palancsa are back to defend their title in Dumfries. The Canadian entry of Robert Desjardins and Isabelle Néron finished 10th with a 4-4 record.

At the World Seniors, Canadian teams have enjoyed great success since the first edition in 2002 at Bismarck, N.D.

On the men’s side, Canadian teams have been in all 12 gold-medal games, winning eight of them: Tom Reed in 2003 at Winnipeg; Bas Buckle in 2004 at Gävle, Sweden, and again a year later at Howwood; Les Rogers in 2006 at Copenhagen, Denmark; Pat Ryan in 2008 at Vierumäki; Eugene Hritzuk in 2009 at Dunedin, New Zealand; Mark Johnson in 2011 at St. Paul, Minn.; and Armitage last year.

Canadian senior women’s teams have collected nine gold medals — Anne Dunn in 2002 at Bismarck and 2004 at Gävle; Nancy Kerr in 2003 at Winnipeg; Diane Foster in 2008 at Vierumäki; Pat Sanders in 2009 at Dunedin; Pinkney in  2010 at Chelyabinsk, Russia; Christine Jurgenson in 2011 at St. Paul; Heidi Hanlon in 2012 at Tårnby, Denmark; and King last year.

For live scores and standings from the World Mixed Doubles Championship, go to: www.wmdcc2014.curlingevents.com/.

For live scores and standings from the World Seniors Championship, go to: wscc2014.curlingevents.com/.

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Stremlaw elected as Chair of Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/14/stremlaw-elected-as-chair-of-canadian-sport-tourism-alliance/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/14/stremlaw-elected-as-chair-of-canadian-sport-tourism-alliance/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:54:16 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57341 [Read More…]]]> Curling’s voice on the Canadian sports scene got a little bit louder with the election of Canadian Curling Association Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw as the Chair of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.

(Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

(Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

The CTSA was formed to market Canada as a destination for international sports events, and the Canadian Curling Association has played a leading role over the years in hosting world curling championships.

“Sport tourism is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry,” said Stremlaw. “We look forward to working with all stakeholders to continue to build the sport tourism industry in communities across Canada.”

The election took place during the 2014 Sports Events Congress in Edmonton, which featured a number of keynote addresses from prominent sports figures, including 2010 men’s curling Olympic gold-medallist Kevin Martin. Additionally, delegates took part in a mini-bonspiel at the Saville Centre.

Stremlaw’s term as Chair will last 12 months, and will be up for renewal annually. He will take the organization into 2015, during which Canada will play host to the Pan American and Parapan American Games in Toronto, in addition to the 2015 WFG Continental Cup of Curling in January in Calgary and the 2015 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in April in Halifax.

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Canadian curling makes history with World rankings sweep http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/08/canadian-curling-makes-history-with-world-rankings-sweep/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/08/canadian-curling-makes-history-with-world-rankings-sweep/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:02:07 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57285 [Read More…]]]> For the first time ever, one country’s curling program sits on top of the World Curling Federation’s rankings in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair disciplines.

Canadian fans had plenty to cheer about during the 2013-14 curling season. (Photo, Canadian Curling Association/Michael Burns)

Canadian fans had plenty to cheer about during the 2013-14 curling season. (Photo, Canadian Curling Association/Michael Burns)

Canada finished the 2013-14 season in top spot in all three sets of rankings, thanks to a season that already has produced historic results internationally.

The rankings, released today by the WCF, see Canada maintaining its 2012-13 top ranking in men’s and wheelchair curling, while the combination of Jennifer Jones’s gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi and Rachel Homan’s silver medal at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Booster Juice, pushed Canada ahead of Sweden in the women’s rankings for the first time since since the conclusion of the 2008-09 season. Kevin Koe’s fourth-place finish at the World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada, kept Canada at No. 1 in the men’s rankings, while Jim Armstrong’s victory at the Sochi Paralympics maintained our top ranking in wheelchair curling.

Canadian teams have finished in the top six of every international event this season, a feat matched by no other country. There are three more world titles still be to be decided — the world mixed doubles, the world senior men’s and world senior women’s. Those events will be contested later this month in Dumfries, Scotland, with Canada the defending champion in both senior events.

“This is a testament to the work that not only is being done on the ice and during off-ice training by our athletes, but also by the amazing support staff behind the scenes that make it possible for our curlers to perform at a high level internationally,” said Canadian Curling Association Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “It’s been an amazing season, but we know that we can’t sit back and relax. The key now is to work even harder to make sure we stay on top of the rankings, and we know the rest of the world will be working just as hard.”

For the full list of rankings, go to: www.worldcurling.org/rankings-men-and-women

Ranking points are earned for placements at the Pacific-Asia, European and World Championships and also at the Olympic Winter Games.

Points are calculated on a percentage-scaled basis for placement at events dating back as far as six curling seasons.

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Team Canada finishes fourth at 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/06/team-canada-finishes-fourth-at-2014-world-mens-curling-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/06/team-canada-finishes-fourth-at-2014-world-mens-curling-championship/#comments Sun, 06 Apr 2014 06:15:47 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57253 [Read More…]]]> BEIJING — Team Canada has fallen short in its bid for a medal at the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada.

Team Canada skip Kevin Koe instructs his sweepers during the bronze-medal game. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Team Canada skip Kevin Koe instructs his sweepers during the bronze-medal game. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Kevin Koe’s Canadian team from Calgary — third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen, alternate Jamie King, team coach John Dunn, national coach Rick Lang — bowed 7-5 to Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz on Sunday at Capital Gymnasium in the bronze-medal game.

The Swiss stole single points in the first two ends, and padded their lead with deuces in the sixth and ninth ends en route to the victory.

“We definitely didn’t want to lose that game,” said Thiessen. “But after yesterday, it was tough to get fired up. But no excuses. They played better than us.”

Team Canada sweepers Nolan Thiessen, left, and Carter Rycroft work on a rock during the bronze-medal game. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Richard Gray)

Team Canada sweepers Nolan Thiessen, left, and Carter Rycroft work on a rock during the bronze-medal game. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Richard Gray)

Team Canada had two chances on Saturday to reach Sunday’s gold-medal game, but fell short to Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud in the Page playoff 1-2 game, and then to Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson in the semifinal. Norway will play Sweden for the gold medal at 3 a.m. Eastern on TSN.

“I thought we played well in the one-two game and the semi,” sad Koe. “We were very close. But in games like that where the other teams are playing well, you have to make the last shot of the end sometimes and we let our chances slip away.”

That, suggested Lang, is the nature of the World Men’s Championship, and added there’s no reason to push any panic buttons, considering Canada has finished in the top six at every international curling event this season — a feat no other country can claim. That total includes two Olympic gold medals (skips Brad Jacobs and Jennifer Jones), a Paralympic gold (Jim Armstrong), gold at the World Junior Women’s (Kelsey Rocque), a World Women’s silver medal (Rachel Homan) and a men’s Winter Universiade bronze medal (Brendan Bottcher).

Team Switzerland celebrates its bronze medal on Sunday. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Team Switzerland celebrates its bronze medal on Sunday. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

“Twenty-four hours ago, we were within a shot or two of being in the final here,” said Lang. “And then we have a bad 24 hours and that chat starts. But we had a great team here. They didn’t play like themselves the last couple days, but they were worthy Brier champions. We sent a great team here. They just didn’t have a good day, and that can happen to anybody. The level of competition here is strong and getting stronger. We just have to answer the bell, that’s all.”

“For sure, it’s tough,” added Koe. “The world championship isn’t the way it used to be; I think most people who play in them will tell you every game is tough. There are a lot of good teams, they’re out playing the Slams. They get up to play their best game against Canada, no matter who it is, and they usually do play their best.”

Koe said he was proud of the way the team performed in Beijing.

“That’s the way we’ve always done things,” he said. “Some people might not like our style or our game. But we fight. It’s not always the prettiest, but we get things done. I’m proud of the guys. We had a great run. World championship, two Brier titles, a Brier final — obviously this was very disappointing, but it’s been a great team.”

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on Twitter, @CCAcurling.

For live scoring, standings and team lineups from the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, go to: wmcc2014.curlingevents.com/

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/fr

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Canada to play for bronze medal at World Men’s Championship http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/05/canada-to-play-for-bronze-medal-at-world-mens-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/05/canada-to-play-for-bronze-medal-at-world-mens-championship/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 11:52:43 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57240 [Read More…]]]> BEIJING — Team Canada will take aim at extending its medal streak at the World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada, to 13 years on Sunday (late Saturday in Canada) in the bronze-medal game at Capital Gymnasium.

Team Canada ponders its situation during Saturday's semifinal loss to Sweden.  (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Team Canada ponders its situation during Saturday’s semifinal loss to Sweden. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Kevin Koe’s Canadian team from Calgary — third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen, alternate Jamie King, team coach John Dunn and national coach Rick Lang — bowed 10-8 to Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson in the semifinal on Saturday.

As a result, the Canadians will take on Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz for the bronze medal Saturday at 10 p.m. Eastern (live, TSN/RDS2).

“It was a bad day,” said Koe, whose team was a 3-2 loser to Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud earlier Saturday in the Page playoff 1-2 game. “We played pretty decent for the most part, I thought we were throwing them good. But big misses at the wrong time, and those will obviously kill you in the big games.”

Team Canada skip Kevin Koe watches a shot as Swedish skip Oskar Eriksson looks on.  (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Team Canada skip Kevin Koe watches a shot as Swedish skip Oskar Eriksson looks on. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

The Canadians couldn’t have asked for a better start against Sweden, cracking a deuce in the first end.

But the young Swedes — who claimed gold at the Winter Universiade in December in Trentino, Italy, in addition to the 2011 World Junior Championship — bounced back in impressive fashion as Eriksson hit for a go-ahead four in the second end after Koe’s attempt to freeze buried to a Swedish rock at the back of the button came up short of the rings.

“Just one bad miss — that’s all it took,” said Koe. “If I made my last one, we probably only give up one or two. Just a bad miss at the wrong time.”

The teams would trade singles the next two ends, but in the fifth, Canada had a shot at a tying pair, with Koe needing to hit a Swedish rock in the top 12-foot and then roll into the paint. But the rock did not roll far enough and the Canadians settled for a single.

The Swedes, let off the hook, responded with a textbook sixth and for all intents and purposes put the game away with Eriksson hitting for three when Koe’s last-rock freeze attempt was heavy and bumped into the open.

Canada would take two in the seventh and steal one more in the eighth but would get no closer.

“I’m a little devastated right now,” said Rycroft. “I don’t know what it was, if it was a lack of confidence on our part or still not trusting the ice. But we missed way too many shots on the wrong side. Good curlers missing easy shots is not going to win you many games.”

In the 55 previous editions of the World Men’s Championship, Canada has been on the podium 49 times, including 34 gold, nine silver and six bronze.

“We’ll show up and try our hardest to win,” said Koe. “I mean, it’ll be hard, we’re disappointed — we came here thinking we’d be in that gold-medal game. But we’ll be here in the morning and we’ll be trying to win a medal.”

Swedish skip Oskar Eriksson celebrates his semifinal win.  (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Swedish skip Oskar Eriksson celebrates his semifinal win. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Sweden will play Norway for the gold medal on Sunday (4 a.m. Eastern, live on TSN; tape-delay at noon on RDS2). Sweden’s Niklas Edin won the gold medal at the 2013 Ford World Championship in Victoria, B.C., while the last Norwegian victory was authored by Eigel Ramsfjell in 1988 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“It feels so good – it’s such an awesome feeling, I can’t describe it,” said Eriksson. “We just need to play like we played today and the last five or six games. I think they’re a bit afraid of us. I think we’ve done really, really well so far to get to the final in our first World Championship. If we can defend the title it would mean everything to us.”

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on Twitter, @CCAcurling.

For live scoring, standings and team lineups from the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, go to: wmcc2014.curlingevents.com/

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/fr

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Canada falls short to Norway in Page 1-2 playoff http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/05/canada-falls-short-to-norway-in-page-1-2-playoff/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/05/canada-falls-short-to-norway-in-page-1-2-playoff/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 06:58:53 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57230 [Read More…]]]> BEIJING — Going the long road to a gold-medal game is nothing new to Kevin Koe.

Team Canada ponders its options during Saturday's Page playoff game. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Team Canada ponders its options during Saturday’s Page playoff game. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

So while losing the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada, Page playoff 1-2 game 3-2 to Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud on Saturday at Capital Gymnasium was disappointing, considering it earned Ulsrud and Co. a day of rest before Sunday’s gold-medal game (3 a.m. Eastern, live on TSN/tape delayed, noon, RDS2), it’s hardly unfamiliar territory for Koe’s Calgary team.

“There’s not much of a message to the team,” said Koe, whose team will be back on the ice later today (4 a.m. Eastern, live on TSN; tape-delayed to 6:55 a.m., RDS2) in the semifinal against Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson. “Down to our last life again, and we seem to come up with our best games then. We just have to bounce back and come out and get off to a good start.”

Koe and Co. were forced to win semifinals in the Alberta championship as well the Tim Hortons Brier, presented by SecurTek, en route to Beijing.

Team Canada's Nolan Thiessen concentrates on his shot during Saturday's loss to Norway. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Team Canada’s Nolan Thiessen concentrates on his shot during Saturday’s loss to Norway. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

The Canadian team — rounded out by third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen, alternate Jamie King, team coach John Dunn and national coach Rick Lang — kept it tight for seven ends against Norway and was trailing 2-1.

But Canada went all out to score multiple points in the eighth and ninth ends, only to let valuable opportunities slip away both times.

In the eighth, Koe rolled out his shooter on an open hit attempt to sit three. That allowed Ulsrud the opportunity to make a tough double takeout through the tightest of ports, and forced Koe to blank the end.

In the ninth, Koe had another huge chance for two or three, but just missed his hit-and-roll with his first shot, and then was light on his draw to bite the button to score two.

“In eight and nine; nine, for sure, that was disappointing,” said Koe. “I threw my first one good; just screwed up the line call. Eight, I had a bit of a miss, but he came up with a really good shot. He made the ones when he needed to and we didn’t, so it’s disappointing.”

Canada will have little time to refocus for a Swedish team that beat Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz 5-2 in the Page playoff 3-4 game on Friday night. Sweden beat Canada 6-2 in round-robin play on Wednesday night.

Norway's Thomas Ulsrud, left, and Torger Nergård share a laugh on Saturday. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud, left, and Torger Nergård share a laugh on Saturday. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

“We let (Norway) off the hook, but that’s the game,” said Thiessen. “You have to stick the knife in when you get the chance, and we didn’t. We played a good game, but a fairly tight game so you’re going to have limited opportunities to really finish a guy off and we didn’t take those chances. Now, we just have to put this one behind us and go out and win the semifinal.”

Ulsrud will be seeking his first world championship gold medal in 10 appearances at the event; his previous best finishes were bronze medals in 2009, 2008 and 2006, while the rest of his team (Ulsrud had personal commitments and couldn’t participate) finished second to Koe at the 2010 World Men’s Championship in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

“That’s probably one thing you shouldn’t think too much about,” said Ulsrud of the chance to win gold. “I’m just really happy we’re in the final. We’re a pretty easy-going team; we don’t get too tense, but obviously it would mean a hell of a lot to me. We were really disappointed after the Olympics (where his team finished fifth). We put in a lot of effort this year but a lot of other countries did as well and we ended up fifth, so this is kind of payback for Norway.”

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on Twitter, @CCAcurling.

For live scoring, standings and team lineups from the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, go to: wmcc2014.curlingevents.com/

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/fr

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Canada books spot in Page 1-2 playoff at World Men’s Championship http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/03/canada-books-spot-in-page-1-2-playoff-at-world-mens-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/03/canada-books-spot-in-page-1-2-playoff-at-world-mens-championship/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:42:46 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57212 [Read More…]]]> BEIJING — Team Canada is headed to the Page playoff 1-2 game at the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada.

Canadian sweepers Pat Simmons, left, and Carter Rycroft keep things clean. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Canadian sweepers Pat Simmons, left, and Carter Rycroft keep things clean. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

A 7-5 win over Scotland’s Ewan MacDonald on Thursday afternoon at Capital Gymnasium finished off an 8-3 run through the 12-team round-robin standings. That result, combined with China’s Rui Liu beating Japan’s Yusuke Morozumi 6-4, landed the Canadian team — third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen, alternate Jamie King, team coach John Dunn and national coach Rick Lang round out the lineup — in Saturday’s Page 1-2 game against Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud (11 p.m. Friday Eastern, TSN/RDS2).

“We woke up today just worried about making sure that we made the playoffs,” said Koe, who won the 2010 World Championship in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. “We lose that game and we could be in a tiebreaker or something. The big thing was just to win and get in the playoffs, and if we were in the 3-4 game, that was fine with us — we’ve done it before. But to get in the 1-2 game, with an extra life? That’s a bonus, for sure.”

Norway, seeking its country’s first World Men’s gold medal since 1998, finished first in the round robin with a 10-1 record thanks to a 7-6 extra-end victory over Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz.

Canada and Scotland kept things tight for five ends before Canada broke through in the sixth. A wonderful freeze from Simmons set the table for a draw for a pair from Koe to put Canada up 4-2.

The Scots rebounded with two of their own in the seventh. Then Koe replied with a wonderful two shots in the eighth — a pair of outturn draws that curled over six feet to manufacture a deuce out of thin air.

Canadian skip Kevin Koe watches his shot. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Canadian skip Kevin Koe watches his shot. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

“That’s a spot that we had played a lot the whole game and had a really good idea of line and weight,” said Simmons. “We got a little break when Ewen missed his, so we had the same shot for the deuce, which was great.”

Koe finished off the victory with a runback double takeout in the 10th end to hand the Scots their seventh loss in 10 games here.

“It seems like all of our games, either we’ve won easy or lost easy,” said Koe. “So it’s good for us to have a battle, tied up or close the whole way through, and to pull it out with a shot in the 10th feels good.”

Japan is assured of a tiebreaker berth at 7-4, while China, Switzerland and Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson all head into the late draw with 6-4 records in the battle for spots in the Page 3-4 game Friday at 7 a.m. Eastern.

The winner of the 3-4 game will play the loser of the 1-2 game in the semifinal Saturday at 4 a.m. Eastern. The gold-medal game is set for Sunday at 3 a.m. Eastern.

“I like where we are, considering how hard we’ve had to battle,” said Koe. “We haven’t always been at our best; if we can find our ‘A’ game in the playoffs, I like our chances. And even if we keep playing the way we are, we’re kind of used to it. I’m looking forward (to Saturday). They’re a great team and obviously they’ve had a great week. I don’t think the first time we played them (Norway prevailed 9-5 on Tuesday) that the score was indicative of the way the game was played; just a couple of missed line calls and it could have been anybody’s game. But I like our chances.”

Canada has picked up medals in 12 straight World Men’s Championships and has reached the gold-medal game for nine straight years.

“Right now we’ve got two chances to go to the final,” said Ulsrud. “I’ve never been world champion, so that’s my dream.”

In the other game Thursday afternoon, Jíri Snítil of the Czech Republic (5-5) shaded Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne (2-9) 8-7.

Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson (6-4), Germany’s Johnny Jahr (4-6), Pete Fenson of the U.S. (3-7) and Russia’s Evgeny Arkhipov (2-8) all had byes in the afternoon draw.

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on Twitter, @CCAcurling.

For live scoring, standings and team lineups from the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, go to: wmcc2014.curlingevents.com/

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/fr

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Canada knocks off Germany at World Men’s Championship http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/03/canada-knocks-off-germany-at-world-mens-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/03/canada-knocks-off-germany-at-world-mens-championship/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 04:27:58 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57204 [Read More…]]]> BEIJING — Team Canada is a step closer to the playoffs at the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada.

Kevin Koe's Canadian posted a huge win over Germany on Thursday morning. (Photo, World Curling Federation/Richard Gray)

Kevin Koe’s Canadian posted a huge win over Germany on Thursday morning. (Photo, World Curling Federation/Richard Gray)

Kevin Koe’s Canadian team from the Glencoe Club in Calgary took an early 9-1 lead through four ends and sailed home with an 11-5 win over Germany’s Johnny Jahr on Thursday morning at Capital Gymnasium to improve its record to 7-3, good enough to assure at least a tiebreaker berth on the final day of round-robin play.

The Canadians — the team is rounded out by third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen, alternate Jamie King, team coach John Dunn and national coach Rick Lang — will complete round-robin play on Thursday at 2 a.m. Eastern (live on TSN/tape delay at 7 a.m. on RDS2) against Scotland’s Ewan MacDonald (3-6).

A win in that game would nail down, at worst, a berth in the Page 3-4 game (TSN/RDS2, schedule TBD). A victory, combined with Japan’s Yusuke Morozumi (7-3) losing to China’s Rui Liu (5-4), would put Canada in the Page playoff 1-2 game (TSN/RDS2, schedule TBD) against Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud.

“It’s good news,” said Koe. “We’ve come through the three-four game a few times with this team (including the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier and the 2014 Alberta men’s championship). We just have to get in there. And once we get in there, that’s usually when our best games show up. We’re pretty much down to our last life here, so we have to come out against a good Scotland team that’s probably going to be playing pretty loose, and take care of business.”

Team Canada sweepers Nolan Thiessen, left, and Pat Simmons go to work on Carter Rycroft's rock. Kevin Koe's Canadian posted a huge win over Germany on Thursday morning. (Photo, World Curling Federation/Richard Gray)

Team Canada sweepers Nolan Thiessen, left, and Pat Simmons go to work on Carter Rycroft’s rock. Kevin Koe’s Canadian posted a huge win over Germany on Thursday morning. (Photo, World Curling Federation/Richard Gray)

Against Germany, Canada took control early on. Koe was forced to take a single in the first, looking at two German counters, but in the second, Canada turned up the heat. Koe made a precision come-around tap to sit four and block off the path to the four-foot. German last-rock thrower Felix Schulze needed to make a hit-and-roll for a single. Instead, he wrecked on a guard to give Canada a stolen four-ender.

“That nice little hack-weight shot Kevin made in the second, that was good for his confidence,” noted Thiessen. “We’ve wrecked a few times on those, so to make one and really put the pressure on him to make a really good shot against four early in the game is good. You’ll get mistakes when that happens, and it got us a little bit of mojo and hopefully we can carry it over this afternoon.”

After Germany was forced to a single in the third, Canada, for all intents and purposes, put the victory away with Koe drawing for four in the fourth end.

The Germans would cut into the lead with three in the fifth and one more in the sixth, but following a seventh-end Canadian deuce, the Germans, 4-6 with the loss and out of playoff contention, offered handshakes.

“We just needed to feel a little bit better about things. But, honestly, last night we didn’t play that bad,” said Thiessen, referring to a loss on Wednesday night to Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson. “He made a couple beauties, and that’s the game, right? We couldn’t buy anything last night to finish off an end, so it was nice to get this one out of the way and guarantee at least something on the weekend.”

Norway locked up first place on Thursday morning with a 6-4 win over Pete Fenson of the United States (3-7), while the Swedes (6-4) did Canada a favour with an 11-4 win over Japan; a Japanese win would have all but locked up a spot in the one-two game.

In the other game, Russia’s Evgeny Arkhipov (2-8) took two in the 10th end for a 6-5 win over Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne (2-8).

Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz (6-3), China, Jíri Snítil of the Czech Republic (4-5) and Scotland all had byes in the morning draw.

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on Twitter, @CCAcurling.

For live scoring, standings and team lineups from the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, go to: wmcc2014.curlingevents.com/

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/fr

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Pressure on Canada after loss to Sweden at World Men’s Championship http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/02/pressure-on-canada-after-loss-to-sweden-at-world-mens-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/02/pressure-on-canada-after-loss-to-sweden-at-world-mens-championship/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:43:26 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57192 [Read More…]]]> BEIJING — Team Canada has some work to do on the closing day of round-robin play at the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada.

Team Canada skip Kevin Koe instructs his sweepers during Wednesday's loss to Sweden. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Team Canada skip Kevin Koe instructs his sweepers during Wednesday’s loss to Sweden. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

A 6-2 loss to Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson on Wednesday night at Capital Gymnasium left Kevin Koe’s Calgary team with a 6-3 record and needing some significant help on Thursday in order to nail down a spot in the Page playoff 1-2 game.

Canada is tied with Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz for third place in the 12-team round-robin standings, behind Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud (8-1 and guaranteed of a playoff spot) and Japan’s Yusuke Morozumi (7-2). So, to get to the 1-2 game, Canada needs to win its final two round-robin games on Thursday — against Germany’s Johnny Jahr (4-5) at 9 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday night and against Scotland’s Ewan MacDonald (3-6) at 2 a.m. Eastern Thursday (live on TSN; tape delay on RDS2 at 7 a.m.), and needs Japan to lose its final two games, against Sweden (5-4) and China’s Rui Liu (5-4).

“It’s disappointing; that was a big game for us and we couldn’t pull ’er out,” said Koe, who’s backed up by third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen, alternate Jamie King, team coach John Dunn and national coach Rick Lang. “That’s a tough one. Just one of those games where we would build a big end and he’d come up with a good shot and I couldn’t answer. I had a few chances; I missed a triple for three (in the sixth end) and kind of miscalled the line again. Just one of those games — off by a couple inches.”

Fans from Donnelly, Alta., cheer on Team Canada on Wednesday in Beijing. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Fans from Donnelly, Alta., cheer on Team Canada on Wednesday in Beijing. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

The Swedes scored nothing but singles, including steals in the second, fifth and sixth ends (the first thanks to a great double-takeout and roll; the latter on the Hail Mary triple attempt from Koe) en route to the victory, which kept their playoff hopes alive.

“It easily could have been the reverse score, really,” said Rycroft. “We felt we outplayed them; we had rocks in play and in good positions and it seemed like every time we turned around at the end, they had one or two in there. It was a frustrating freaking game, but you can’t take anything away from them; Oskar made some great shots to bail them out.”

“That win was huge,” noted Eriksson. “We lost to Switzerland this morning so we had to win this to stay in the race. Our goal is to get into the playoffs and finish off with a medal.”

The Canadians, suffice to say, have similar ambitions, and have displayed shark-like attack tendencies when put in this position in the past. Koe, it should be noted, became the first skip to ever win the Tim Hortons Brier coming out of the Page 3-4 game back in 2010 — a triumph that was followed by a gold medal at the 2010 World Men’s Championship in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

“Our backs are against the wall, and we just have to worry about making the playoffs,” said Koe. “I don’t know what all the scenarios are, but if we can get to 8-and-3, we know we’ll be in the playoffs. We’ve come through the long way in the playoffs a lot of times; just get us in there, give us a chance and we like our chances.”

Sweden's Markus Eriksson watches his shot on Wednesday. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Sweden’s Markus Eriksson watches his shot on Wednesday. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Norway nailed down its playoff spot with an 11-2 thrashing of Russia’s Evgeny Arkhipov (1-8), while the Japanese, whose previous best wins total at the World Men’s Championship was three, picked up a 10th-end deuce for an 8-7 win over Germany.

In the other game, Pete Fenson of the U.S. (3-6) shaded Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne (2-7) 6-5.

Switzerland, China, Scotland and Jíri Snítil of the Czech Republic (4-5) had the byes in the evening draw.

The winner of the Page 1-2 game (schedule TBD) will go straight to Sunday’s gold-medal game (3 a.m. Eastern, TSN; tape delay at noon, RDS2) while the loser will drop to Saturday’s semifinal (4 a.m. Eastern TSN; tape delay at 6:55 a.m., RDS2) against the winner of the Page 3-4 game (schedule TBD).

Here is the remainder of Team Canada’s round-robin schedule, including broadcast plans (all times Eastern):

April 2 — vs. Germany (Johnny Jahr), 9 p.m.
April 3 — vs. Scotland (Ewan MacDonald), 2 a.m. (live TSN/ tape delay, 7 a.m. RDS2)

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on Twitter, @CCAcurling.

For live scoring, standings and team lineups from the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, go to: wmcc2014.curlingevents.com/

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/fr

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Canada bounces back with win over Swiss at World Men’s Championship http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/02/canada-bounces-back-with-win-over-swiss-at-world-mens-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/02/canada-bounces-back-with-win-over-swiss-at-world-mens-championship/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 04:40:01 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57181 [Read More…]]]> BEIJING — Team Canada got a better handle on the ice, and as a result has a better handle on its playoff chances at the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada.

Team Canada sweepers Nolan Thiessen, left, and Carter Rycroft were working hard on Wednesday. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Team Canada sweepers Nolan Thiessen, left, and Carter Rycroft were working hard on Wednesday. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

On Tuesday night, Kevin Koe’s Canadian team from Calgary admitted to some issues in reading the ice and sweeping calls during a loss to Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud.

Wednesday morning at Capital Gymnasium, there were no such problems, and it paid off with a well-executed 8-4 win over Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz that provided a significant boost to Canada’s bid to play in the Page playoff 1-2 game.

With the win, Team Canada — third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen, alternate Jamie King, team coach John Dunn and national coach Rick Lang round out the team — improved to 6-2, tied for second place in the 12-team round-robin standings with Japan’s Yusuke Morozumi, behind only Norway at 7-1.

Team Canada's Carter Rycroft, left, supervises the sweeping efforts of Nolan Thiessen, middle, and Pat Simmons. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Team Canada’s Carter Rycroft, left, supervises the sweeping efforts of Nolan Thiessen, middle, and Pat Simmons. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

The Swiss, meanwhile, dropped to 5-3.

“We talked about it last night, that we’re just calling the sweep a little late, and we picked it up better today,” said Koe, whose team is back on the ice in Beijing at 7 a.m. Eastern (TSN/RDS2) against Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson (4-3). “And it looked like they (Switzerland) weren’t quite trusting the amount of curl out there, and were missing the shots on the tight side.”

The Canadians never trailed the Swiss; single points in the first two ends got the ball rolling, and the victory was put away with back-to-back deuces in the sixth and seventh ends. The sixth-end pair was the result of a masterful hack-weight in-off to get to the button through a maze of Swiss stones, arguably Koe’s finest shot of the Worlds to date.

But he had company on Wednesday; Simmons had his best game of the event, shooting 88 per cent and executing a number of high-risk shots, including a wonderful runback double takeout in the fifth end when the Swiss were building a big end.

“Pat played real well; that runback double was huge, and he made some big shots to bail us out,” said Thiessen. “That’s kind of our deal — if somebody misses, there’s a guy there to bail you out, and he did that today.

“You know what? In eight years together I think we’ve only gone through a big event undefeated twice. We know what to do when our backs are to the wall, and we’re going to make everybody earn it.”

Switzerland last-rock thrower Benoit Schwarz delivers his rock. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Switzerland last-rock thrower Benoit Schwarz delivers his rock. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Coming back strongly against the Swiss helped erase any lingering disappointment from the loss to Norway, said Koe.

“Obviously, playing Norway, you can lose any time you play them, and we had to come back against a really good Switzerland team,” he said. “That sets us up better — if you’re beating the teams that are tied with you, that can’t hurt. And overall, to play well and get a win is great. We have a huge game tonight; if we can win that, it really puts us in a good spot.”

Norway was a 6-4 winner over Scotland’s Ewan MacDonald (2-6), while Japan held off Jirí Snítil of the Czech Republic (3-5) 7-5. In the other morning game, China’s Rui Liu (4-4) beat Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne (2-6) 6-4.

Sweden, Germany’s Johnny Jahr (4-3), Pete Fenson of the U.S. (2-5) and Russia’s Evgeny Arkhipov (1-6) had byes in the morning draw.

Here is the remainder of Team Canada’s round-robin schedule, including broadcast plans (all times Eastern):

April 2 — vs. Sweden (Oskar Eriksson), 7 a.m. (live, TSN/RDS2)
April 3 — vs. Germany (Johnny Jahr), 9 p.m.
April 3 — vs. Scotland (Ewan MacDonald), 2 a.m. (live TSN/ tape delay, 7 a.m. RDS2)

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on Twitter, @CCAcurling.

For live scoring, standings and team lineups from the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, go to: wmcc2014.curlingevents.com/

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/fr

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Team Canada falls short to Norway at World Men’s Championship http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/01/team-canada-falls-short-to-norway-at-world-mens-championship/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/01/team-canada-falls-short-to-norway-at-world-mens-championship/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 14:55:29 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57172 [Read More…]]]> BEIJING — Team Canada has some work to do to nail down a top-two finish in the round robin at the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada.

Norway's Christoffer Svae watches his shot as Canada's Carter Rycroft looks on. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Norway’s Christoffer Svae watches his shot as Canada’s Carter Rycroft looks on. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Kevin Koe’s Canadian team from Calgary had a chance to take over sole possession of first place in the 12-team round-robin standings on Tuesday night at Capital Gymnasium.

Instead, a 9-5 loss to Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud landed Canada in a three-way tie for second place at 5-2 with Japan’s Yusuke Morozumi (who beat Canada on Sunday) and Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz, behind the 6-1 Norwegians.

Team Canada has four round-robin games remaining in hopes of securing a top-two finish and a berth in the Page playoff 1-2 game, which gives participants two cracks at reaching Sunday’s gold-medal game.

“We have to do our job, obviously,” said Team Canada third Pat Simmons. “We have four tough games and we’re going to have to play well. Obviously, the goal is still to be in the one-two game. We’ll see what happens, but we have a lot of work to do before we can think about that.”

The Canadian team — rounded out by second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen, alternate Jamie King, team coach John Dunn and national coach Rick Lang — was in chase mode much of the evening against Norway. Ulsrud drew for three in the second, and then took a crushing stolen single in the third when Koe’s last-rock tap barely rubbed a guard after the sweepers had been briefly called off.

“For sure, that was big,” nodded Koe. “Threw it good, but we missed a few line calls today, which was disappointing. We’re throwing it good, and the ice is really good. It sucks to lose any time, but I like the way we’re coming around, and if the ice keeps getting better, I think we’ll be fine.”

The three-point lead would prove insurmountable. Canada drew to within a point but never pulled even — its best opportunity was in the seventh, but Koe’s last-rock draw attempt behind a centre guard caught some debris, and Ulsrud had an easier shot for a single. The win was put away in the ninth when Ulsrud made a double-takeout to score three.

Canadian skip Kevin Koe shouts instructions to sweepers. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

Canadian skip Kevin Koe shouts instructions to sweepers. (Photo, World Curling Federation / Céline Stucki)

“We were a bit lucky there early in the game,” conceded Ulsrud on the third-end steal. “That was the game for Norway right there, we took a 410 lead. They are a strong team and fought their way back and it was tight all the way until the ninth end there.”

Canada has a crucial game against the Swiss Wednesday morning (9 p.m. Tuesday night Eastern) before meeting Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson (4-3) on Wednesday night (7 a.m. Eastern, TSN/RDS2).

“To be 5-and-2? I would have liked to be a little better, but the way we were playing earlier in the week, that’s not a bad spot because we were struggling,” said Koe. “We have some tough games coming up, but if we can keep throwing it well, I think we’ll get better results. Some of the missed shots weren’t the result of the throws; it was more the line calling. We just have to pick that up a little better.”

In other Tuesday night games, Jíri Snítil of the Czech Republic (3-4) shaded Scotland’s Ewan MacDonald (2-5) 6-5; the Swiss knocked off China’s Rui Liu (3-4) 7-6; and Japan drilled Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne (2-5) 8-2.

Sweden, Germany’s Johnny Jahr (4-3), Pete Fenson of the U.S. (2-5) and Russia’s Evgeny Arkhipov (1-6) had byes in the evening draw.

Here is the remainder of Team Canada’s round-robin schedule, including broadcast plans (all times Eastern):
April 1 — vs. Switzerland (Peter de Cruz), 9 p.m.
April 2 — vs. Sweden (Oskar Eriksson), 7 a.m. (live, TSN/RDS2)
April 3 — vs. Germany (Johnny Jahr), 9 p.m.
April 3 — vs. Scotland (Ewan MacDonald), 2 a.m. (live TSN/ tape delay, 7 a.m. RDS2)

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on Twitter, @CCAcurling.

For live scoring, standings and team lineups from the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, go to: wmcc2014.curlingevents.com/

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/fr

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Ferbey to be inducted into Word Curling Hall of Fame http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/01/ferbey-to-be-inducted-into-word-curling-hall-of-fame/ http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/04/01/ferbey-to-be-inducted-into-word-curling-hall-of-fame/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Al Cameron http://www.curling.ca/?p=57156 [Read More…]]]> One of the most accomplished curlers in the history of the sport will enter the World Curling Hall of Fame, it was announced today.

Four-time world champion Randy Ferbey of Edmonton has been named to the World Curling Hall of Fame. (Photo, Canadian Curling Association/Michael Burns)

Four-time world champion Randy Ferbey of Edmonton has been named to the World Curling Hall of Fame. (Photo, Canadian Curling Association/Michael Burns)

Randy Ferbey of Edmonton, a four-time world and six-time Brier champion, was named to the Hall of Fame along with Switzerland’s Patrick Hürlimann, the 1998 Olympic gold-medallist, and Norway’s Eigel Ramsfjell, a three-time world champion.

Ferbey will be honoured during the 2015 Ford World Men’s Championship in Halifax.

“This came out of nowhere for me; I’m blown away, to be honest,” said Ferbey, 54. “I’m really appreciative to the Canadian Curling Association for their support, as well as to the World Curling Federation. I never played the game to earn accolades like this. I always considered it a team game, and I really want to share this with all the great teammates I had over the years. I could not have done it without them.”

Ferbey’s six Brier Canadian men’s championships — 1988 and 1989 as the third for Pat Ryan’s team, then 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005 throwing third rocks and skipping the legendary Ferbey Four with teammates David Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque — are a record, while he shares the record for most Brier wins as a skip (four) with Ernie Richardson and Kevin Martin.

Ferbey also won world championships in 1989, 2002, 2003 and 2005.

“Randy’s achievements on the ice over the years speak for themselves,” said CCA Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “Equally important, Randy was always accessible to our great curling fans, and made a lot of friends for the sport with his outgoing nature. The Canadian Curling Association is thrilled to see him recognized with induction into the World Curling Hall of Fame.”

It’s the third year the World Curling Federation has accepted nominations for induction into the Hall of Fame, which is described as “the highest ‘non-playing’ honour that the World Curling Federation can bestow on someone and recognizes outstanding contribution to the sport of curling whether through on ice exploits or off ice endeavours.”

Last year, Canada’s Ron Northcott and Don Duguid were the inductees.

Prior to 2012, the WCF awarded the World Curling Freytag Award, named after the late Elmer Freytag of the U.S. Curling Association, who was a founding member of the International Curling Federation (now the WCF).

Previous Canadian Freytag honourees were: Ray Kingsmith (2011), Sandra Schmirler (2009), Shirley Morash (2001), Ernie Richardson (2000), Colin Campbell (1990), Bob Picken (1987), Don McLeod (1985), Mabel Deware (1983), Doug Maxwell (1981) and Ken Watson (1978).

For more information on the World Curling Hall of Fame, go to: www.worldcurling.org/world-curling-hall-of-fame.

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