Brier Bound: Ontario Update
Glenn Howard won twelve straight games in capturing his fourteenth Ontario men’s curling championship in Stratford on the afternoon of Sunday, February 12. He and his Coldwater & District Curling Club team of Wayne Middaugh, Brent Laing and Craig Savill earned the trip to Saskatoon’s Brier with a successful last end, last rock, tap back for a 5-4 victory over Peter Corner’s Brampton Curling Club squad.After finishing the eleven-team round-robin portion of the event with an unblemished record, Howard was given a scare in the 1 vs 2 Page playoff against his old friend and former teammate, Corner. Trailing 6-5 after nine ends, the Coldwater rink was forced to steal singles in the tenth and eleventh ends for the 7-6 win. In the 3 vs 4 game, Mike Anderson and his Thornhill Golf And Country Club teammates Chris Van Huyse, Matt Mapletoft and Sean Harrison built up a 6-0 mid-game lead over Dayna Deruelle on the way to a 7-3 victory. Deruelle and his Brampton team mates Andrew McGaugh, Kevin Lagerquist and Evan DeViller had survived tie-breaker action after finishing even with Woodstock’s Wayne Tuck Jr. and Ottawa Rideau’s Bryan Cochrane. They had all finished the round-robin with records of 5-5, one win behind Anderson and three behind Corner. In the Corner-Anderson semi-final on Sunday morning, Corner and his team of Graeme McCarrel, Joe Frans and Darryl Prebble gave up a first-end steal of 2 before roaring back with a three-count in the second and a steal of 2 in the third on the way to an 8-5 victory. With the win, Corner, who won a world championship in 1993 as lead for the “Dream Team” of Russ and Glenn Howard and Wayne Middaugh, would face off for all the marbles against two of his former allies. Howard, the tree-time world champ, has now won the Ontario crown seven straight years, and counting. Savill and Laing have been in the fold over the duration of the streak, while Middaugh came on board as vice just this season.