Host Ontario climbs to top in Mixed

Ontario, skipped by Mark Bice of Sarnia, assumed command at the 2010 Canadian Mixed, after Monday night action at the Burlington Golf and Country Club. Ontario moved to 4-1 in the 12-team round robin, one game ahead of Northern Ontario, skipped by Jordan Chandler of Sudbury, who is at 3-1. Ontario won both its games on Monday, but the key encounter came in the evening draw against co-leader Prince Edward Island, skipped by Kyle Stevenson of Charlottetown.  Aided by single steals in the fourth and seventh ends, Ontario prevailed 7-4, after it had defeated Yukon/Northwest Territories, 8-6 in the afternoon session. Meanwhile, Northern Ontario kept pace with victories over Prince Edward Island, 11-4 and Yukon/Northwest Territories, 6-1,  while climbing into second place. Two teams are at 3-2:  Prince Edward Island, after suffering two losses on Monday and New Brunswick, skipped by Mary Jane McGuire of Fredericton, who had to settle for a split, edging pre-event favourite Nova Scotia, skipped by Mark Dacey of Halifax, 4-3, in the morning, before bowing to Alberta (Karen Powell of Sexsmith), 7-3 in the afternoon. Alberta is currently in a four-way tie for third at 2-2, along with Manitoba (Dave Boehmer of Selkirk), Nova Scotia and British Columbia (Jason Montgomery of Duncan). Both McGuire and Powell are seeking to become just the second female skip to win the Mixed, after Calgary’s Shannon Kleibrink made history by winning the national championship in 2004 in Schumacher, Ontario. Twelve teams, representing the 10 provinces, plus Northern Ontario and Yukon/Northwest Territories, are contesting the 47th edition of The Mixed, from November 14-21.    After the round robin, which concludes Friday morning, the first place team advances directly to Saturday’s final, while the second and third place teams meet in a semi-final. Ontario has won the Canadian Mixed twice since the championship began in 1964 in Toronto – in 1986 by skip Dave Van Dine in Kamloops and by skip John Epping at the 2006 edition in Whitehorse. Alberta leads all provinces with nine wins, while defending champion Manitoba and Saskatchewan are next with eight victories each. Round robin play continues through Thursday, with draws at 9:00 am, 1:30 pm and 6:00 pm ET, with a final draw at 9:00 am on Friday, prior to the playoffs.