Ontario’s McCrady undefeated at Seniors

Jeff McCrady’s Ottawa CC foursome edged 2014 World Senior champion Wayne Tallon of New Brunswick to remain undefeated at the 2015 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championship at the Thistle CC in Edmonton. Both McCrady and Tallon skip their teams but throw third stones leaving last stone duties to Brian Lewis and Mike Kennedy respectively.  In a well played game, Ontario stole a single in the 4th end assuming control leading 3-1. New Brunswick would eventually tie the game in the 7th end at four points each setting the stage for the final end.  With his first stone, Kennedy’s attempt to draw around a guard to the button area was long, stopping in the back of the four foot.  McCrady decided to follow him down but Lewis was long as well, wicking off shot stone settling beside it for second shot. Kennedy, however, could not take advantage of the great opportunity being long again drawing to the pair in the back four foot.  Ontario sweepers nervously watched Lewis’ final stone glide down the ice a little wide and a little heavy but it came up to shot stone, rolling off just a touch but enough for the Ontario win.  Ontario’s record of 5-0 and first place in Pool B will be on the line tonight when they meet Manitoba’s Randy Neufeld (4-1).  New Brunswick drops to 3-2 and will need a win tonight against BC to guarantee them to move to the championship pool. Likewise, a BC win will do that for them. Manitoba’s Neufeld defeated BC’s Wes Craig with a steal of 1 in the 7th end to go up 4-2. They then ran the Victoria team out of stones in the last end for that final score. PEI’s Rod MacDonald  is still alive needing a victory tonight against NL. His record would be 3-3, the same as the loser of the NB vs. BC tilt.  The tie-breaker will be the result of the round robin game between the two.  BC has the edge against PEI but MacDonald would have the edge against NB.

(Photo Annie Teveniuk and Lisa Miller)

In Pool A action, in arguably the best game of the week for shot-making, Quebec’s Ted Butler calmly drew the button for a thrilling 8-7 win over Saskatchewan’s Glen Despins. The Callie CC group seemingly had control of the match following a steal of two in the 5th end for a 5-2 lead.  Butler responded with two in the 6th and then stole three in the 7th to be two up coming home.  With Québec shot stone buried in the back four foot, Despins played a delicate hackweight come-around to tap it back for a game tying deuce. In the extra end, Butler’s first stone corner froze on a Saskatchewan stone which was frozen on a Québec stone. Despins only shot was to hit one of his long guards onto one of his short guards into the three stones in the button area hoping to stay shot stone.  Of course he made it perfectly forcing Butler to draw the button again!  The final score was 8-7. Three teams are now on top of Pool A at 4-1: Quebec, Alberta’s Glen Hansen who defeated NWT’s Glen Hudy 8-3 despite giving up a four ender, and Nova Scotia’s Wayne Sangster who had the afternoon bye.  All three teams will advance to the championship pool including Saskatchewan regardless of what happens tonight. Northern Ontario’s Al Hackner and Newfoundland & Labrador’s Glenn Goss won their first games over Yukon’s Walter Wallingham 6-3 and Nunavut’s Ed Sattelberger 7-5 respectively. Pool play will end tonight and the championship round and seeding pools will begin tomorrow, March 25th. Fourteen men’s teams and 13 women’s teams (Yukon did not enter a team) are competing at this Canadian Seniors. Unlike the previous three years, when a pre-qualifying event was held to determine which two teams of gender advanced to the main draw, this year’s renewal sees all the teams seeded into two pools per gender to first play a round robin within their pool while also playing 8 end games as opposed to the 10 ends of the past. In men’s, the top four in each pool advance to the Championship Round for games against the teams from the opposite pool, while the bottom three in each go to the Seeding Pool. In women’s, the top four in each pool advance to the Championship Round for games against the teams from the opposite pool, while the bottom three in Pool A join the bottom two in Pool B for a round robin within the Seeding Pool. At the conclusion of the Championship Round on Friday, the semifinals will be held Saturday morning, March 28 at 9:30 a.m. MT, pairing 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3. The winners then advance to their respective gold-medal finals at 2:30 p.m. while the losers meet in bronze-medal games at the same time. The winners of the 2015 Canadian Seniors will represent Canada at the 2016 World Senior Curling Championships, at a site and date to be announced by the World Curling Federation. Last year’s Canadian champions, skipped by Alan O’Leary of Nova Scotia and Lois Fowler of Manitoba, will be competing in this year’s World Seniors, April 18-25 at Sochi, Russia. Since the World Seniors began in 2002, Canada has won nine men’s and nine women’s titles. Draw results for the 2015 Canadian Seniors will be instantly available at www.curling.ca. For event information, visit Curling Canada’s Scoreboard HERE. Everest_Seniors2015_noURL_This is the first year of a three-year agreement by Everest, the first nationwide funeral planning and concierge service, to be the title sponsor of the Canadian Seniors.