It’s a Manitoba-PEI Mixed final

Manitoba, skipped by Terry McNamee of Hamiota, has advanced to this afternoon’s final of the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship to face Prince Edward Island, after thumping Nova Scotia, 8-3 in Saturday morning’s semi-final. After winning a second tiebreaker Friday evening over Ontario to claim third place, the ‘Bison’ kept it going this morning, blowing open a tight game with a three-spot in the seventh end to take a 6-3 lead over Paul Flemming’s Halifax squad. Single steals in the eighth and ninth ends then cemented the victory for the host province.  Shooting percentages told part of the tale, as a red-hot McNamee fired 81% to Flemming’s 67%. Now, the ‘Tobans’ face off against Prince Edward Island, skipped by Robert Campbell of Charlottetown, who finished the round robin in first place with a 10-1 mark to advance directly to the 1:30 pm CT/2:30 pm ET final. Interestingly, the ‘Islanders’ only loss of the week came at the hands of Manitoba, 8-5 in Draw 5 on Monday morning. Campbell has won the Mixed once before – in 1989 in Brandon – coincidentally the last time it was held in Manitoba. McNamee, whose team completed the round robin tied for third with Ontario and New Brunswick, all with 7-4 records, has twice finished third at The Mixed…in 2004 and at the 2007 edition. Prince Edward Island has two Mixed titles since the championship began in 1964 in Toronto – by Peter Gallant in 1987 and Campbell in 1989. Manitoba has won the championship eight times, one behind leader Alberta, with Winnipeg’s Sean Grassie the last to do so at the 2009 Mixed in Iqaluit.