Ontario still ahead at Mixed

Ontario, skipped by Mark Bice of Sarnia, continued to set the pace at the 2010 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, being held at the Burlington Golf and Country Club. The host province is now 8-1 through 13 draws, while being chased by Nova Scotia, which is next in line with a 6-2 mark. Bice won both his games on Wednesday, including the traditional north-south battle with Northern Ontario (Jason Chandler of Sudbury) in the morning, a game which went to an extra end before Ontario prevailed, 8-7.  In the nightcap, Ontario had no trouble with New Brunswick (Mary Jane McGuire of Fredericton), 7-2. However, pre-tournament favourite Nova Scotia, skipped by 2004 Brier winner and Ford Worlds bronze medallist Mark Dacey of Halifax, has stormed into contention, with two wins on Wednesday as well, disposing of Quebec (Simon Hébert of Baie-Comeau), 7-1 in the evening draw, after an afternoon 9-3 decision of Yukon/Northwest Territories (Wade Scoffin of Whitehorse). Ontario faces Nova Scotia Thursday evening in a match which could determine first place. Three teams are knotted at 5-3:  Alberta, skipped by Karen Powell of Sexsmith; British Columbia, with skip Jason Montgomery of Duncan and Manitoba’s Dave Boehmer of Selkirk. Ten provinces, plus Northern Ontario and Yukon/Northwest Territories, are contesting the 47th edition of The Mixed.   After the round robin concludes Friday morning, the first place team will advance directly to Saturday afternoon’s final, while the second and third place teams meet in a semi-final. Alberta leads all provinces with nine wins since the Canadian Mixed began in 1964 in Toronto, while defending champion Manitoba and Saskatchewan are next with eight victories each. Ontario has won the championship twice – in 1986 by skip Dave Van Dine in Kamloops and by skip John Epping at the 2006 edition in Whitehorse. Round robin play continues with draws at 9:00 am, 1:30 pm and 6:00 pm ET on Thursday, with a final draw at 9:00 am on Friday, prior to the playoffs. In addition to the Canadian title, two players from the winning team will also represent Canada at the 2010 World Mixed Doubles Championship, slated for April 16-24, 2010 in Chelyabinsk, Russia.