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Two Nova Scotia teams advance to Travelers gold medal games

Nova Scotia has never won a Travelers Curling Club Championship but on Saturday the province has a chance to capture two titles.

(Curling Canada/Jordan Pinder photo)

The province’s women’s and men’s rinks both advanced to the gold medal game at the Miramichi Curling Club. They’ll be facing tough competition from British Columbia on the men’s side and Alberta in the women’s division.

Sydney’s Kurt Roach knocked off the 2014 Travelers Champions in Kory Kohuch and his team from Saskatoon with an 8-4 win in seven ends on Friday evening. Lower Sackville’s Michelle Williams edged Ontario’s Stacy Hogan 6-2 in the women’s semifinal.

Williams, third Mary Porter, second Abby Miller and lead Kathleen Porter picked up big steals in the seventh and eighth ends en route to a 6-2 win in front of a supportive Maritime crowd.

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The men’s semifinal between the teams from the Sydney Curling Club and Nutana Curling Club was an aggressively called game by both skips with lots of rocks in play every end. Roach credited his teammates of third Mark MacNamara, second Travis Stone and lead Robin Nathanson with putting in the effort over the last season to reach this point.

“We’ve been working pretty hard for this the last few years playing in lots of games and tournaments,” Roach said after his team’s seventh win at this year’s national championship.

Roach hopes the impressive showing by the two Nova Scotia representatives will be a boost for his province. “I hope it gets more people interested in the Travelers level of curling and seeing what we can do.”

Standing in Roach’s way is an undefeated team from the west coast led by fourth rock thrower Cody Tanaka. The 24-year-old from Richmond, B.C., and his team of lead Mark Yodogawa, second Trevor Bakken and skip Vic Shimizu have been wowing the crowds in Miramichi all week with their ability to accurately throw the big weight.

A win for the Richmond Curling Club men’s foursome on Saturday would achieve back-to-back titles for British Columbia.

Alberta’s Morgan Muise and her team from Calgary dashed Northwest Territories’ quest for a first Canadian curling title thanks to a 7-3 win on Friday evening in the other women’s semifinal.

Muise and her foursome have unfinished business from two previous Travelers appearance, including a runner-up finish in 2016 in Kelowna.

Both gold medal games will be live streamed from the Miramichi Curling Club on Saturday at 9 a.m. Atlantic at www.curling.ca/2018Travelers

Northwest Territories will play Ontario in the women’s event bronze medal game and Ontario will take on Saskatchewan in the men’s bronze medal game also slated for 9 a.m. Atlantic.

Youth curling was also a big winner on Friday at the Travelers Championship with a new record in the event’s annual silent auction. Teams helped contribute prizes and the bidding raised just over $6,500 to support the Curling Canada Foundation. Fans still have until Saturday morning to donate in the name of their favourite team and help earn them ballots for an incredible prize. The team that raises the most money have the best odds of winning the grand prize: an all-expenses trip for four, including event passes, accommodation and flights, to the 2019 World Financial Group Continental Cup Jan. 17-20 in Las Vegas. You can find more information by CLICKING HERE.

Scores and standings from the event will be available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard.

For draw times, team lineups and other event info, go to: www.curling.ca/2018travelers/