The playoff match-ups are set at the 2019 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in Boucherville, Que., after the final round robin draw wrapped up on Monday evening at the Club de curling de Boucherville. After four days of pool play, the six teams moving forward to the playoffs have been determined.
Taking top spot in Pool A and a bye to the semifinals is the team from Ontario represented by skip Jim Armstrong (third Collinda Joseph, second Jon Thurston, and lead Reid Mulligan).
“This is our first year together,” said Armstrong. “We’re still trying to figure each other out, but we’ve had a great year. And we’ll just keep working on improving.”
Armstrong and his team from the City View Curling Club finished the round robin with a 5-1 record and clinched top spot with a 10-4 win over Newfoundland and Labrador in the final game of the round robin.
The second playoff spot goes to Northern Ontario’s Doug Dean team from the Fort William Curling Club in Thunder Bay after they picked up a huge afternoon win to securing their playoff spot with a 4-2 record.
“To make it to the final six after our very shaky start goes to show you how dedicated and strong this team is,” said Dean after a 6-3 win over Saskatchewan’s Marie Wright, the 2018 champion. “To regroup from that 0-2 deficit and come back and win four straight and get in into the playoffs is huge. Tonight, we’ll be winding down. I’m pretty wound up right now, so we’ll plan to regroup, have a team meeting and talk about the day and moving forward.”
The third playoff spot goes to Wright and her team from the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre, who finished with a 4-2 record.
In Pool B, the top spot and bye to the semifinal goes to Alberta’s Jack Smart and his foursome of Martin Purvis, Bruno Yizek and Anne Hibberd out of the Calgary Curling Club who finish the round ribbon with a 5-1 record. Manitoba’s Dennis Thiessen finishes in second spot with a 4-2 record, while Ontario’s Chris Rees from the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club in Toronto finishes with a 4-2 record, securing the third playoff spot.
So the playoff match-ups are set: Ontario 1 (Armstrong) and Alberta (Smart) both earn the bye to the semifinals. In the crossover games between Pool A and Pool B teams, Saskatchewan (Wright) team will meet Manitoba (Thiessen), while Ontario 2 (Rees) will play Northern Ontario (Dean). The winners of the crossover games will advance to the semifinals where the top seeds await.
Crossover games are scheduled for Tuesday, April 30 at 10 a.m., with the winners advancing to the semifinals Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. The afternoon draw at 2:30 p.m. will feature the remaining eight teams, who are out of playoff contention and will now play in a round robin to determine ranking for next year’s national championship.
The gold- and bronze-medal games will take place Wednesday, May 1, at noon.