Playoffs Set At Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship

The last day of the Round Robin at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship saw the end of Alberta’s undefeated record and the elimination of any tiebreaker games.
Team Nova Scotia

Photo by Bevan Sauks

During draw 8 yesterday, Nova Scotia ended Alberta’s undefeated streak, winning the game by a score of 6-3. The game got off to a rocky start when an on-ice helper accidentally removed a stone involved in a measure for two during the first end. As it was a Nova Scotia rock, the team had a choice of replaying the end or taking one. Nova Scotia elected to take the one. Nova Scotia skip Michael Fitzgerald confidently noted “It was very satisfying to beat Alberta. It was a good warm up for the 1-2 game!” Saskatchewan clinched a win against Quebec by stealing three in the seventh, leading to a final score of 7-4. Despite scoring a four-ender in the sixth, the Alberta Host team fell 8-6 to Manitoba. Ontario gave up four in the sixth and it was handshakes as British Columbia sailed to a 13-3 win. Northern Ontario beat Newfoundland 9-1 to round out draw 8.
Team BC

Photo by Kevin Malinoswki

The afternoon draw (9) set up an interesting tiebreaker scenario, and all eyes were on British Columbia. A win by the BC squad would eliminate the need for an early morning Saturday tiebreaker. Though Northern Ontario had a commanding lead through the first four, British Columbia came back strong after the break and took the game 7-6. No tiebreakers are needed; BC  finishes fourth with a record of 6-3. At the top of the standings through the afternoon, Nova Scotia continued their winning streak, downing Saskatchewan 6-4. When asked how his team played this week, Saskatchewan skip Darwin Bender compared their performance to a yoyo: “We played well, we went down, we played well, we went down.” Second Marie Wright agreed “The week didn’t go like we thought it would go. We know we can do better.” Nova Scotia finishes at the top of the leader board with a record of 8-1. Manitoba defeated Newfoundland 8-2, putting Manitoba into the playoffs in third spot with a record of 7-2. Newfoundland remained the only team without a win. Though close until the break, Ontario ended up beating Quebec 8-2. Both teams failed to make the playoffs. Ontario manager Janet Langevin commented “Team Ontario were just put together in January as a foursome. This national experience has been a good team builder and they can build on it next year.” The Quebec team agreed despite the loses, they had a great week on and off the ice, with lead Johanne Daly mentioning “Everything, bus, meals, two thumbs up for organization.”
Alberta skip Bruno Yizek

Photo by Bevan Sauks

The ‘Battle of Alberta’ took place on sheet B, though it turned out to be a one sided affair as Alberta decimated the Alberta Host team 10-0. Despite the loss this afternoon, Alberta Host team coach Cathy Craig stated “They host team has had a great week and they’re please with their results.” Alberta coach Andy Jones further complimented the Alberta Host team’s efforts by saying “I think the Host team has proven there’s more than one wheelchair team in Alberta!” Alberta finishes the event in second place with a record of 8-1, only losing to Nova Scotia. The Last Stone Draw Winner through the Round Robin was Chris Sobkowicz (Manitoba) at 3.3cm from the pin, followed closely by Frank Labounty (British Columbia) with 8.6cm. Playoffs are set: Nova Scotia will play Alberta in the 1 vs 2 game Saturday afternoon, and Manitoba will play British Columbia in the 3 vs 4 game Saturday evening. Follow all the action from Edmonton by also following the local organizing committee on Facebook and Twitter.