Gold for Team Saskatchewan!!

Canadian champions Team Saskatchewan! From left, Moose Gibson, Darwin Bender, coach Lorraine Arguin, Marie Wright and Gil Dash. (Photo, Curling Canada/Jean Doyon)

Hometown team captures Canadian wheelchair curling title

Team Saskatchewan captured the gold medal at the 2023 Canadian Wheelchair Championship, defeating team Northern Ontario in a 6-2 final on Friday.

Saskatchewan stole in four out of the eight ends, only letting Northern Ontario score singles in the fourth and seventh ends. Saskatchewan was up four points with the hammer coming home in the eighth end and ran Northern Ontario out of rocks. 

“It feels great to win the 2023 Canadian Wheelchair Championship!” said Saskatchewan skip Gil Dash. “It’s at home, in front of friends and family, in a great facility, with a huge number of volunteers who did an awesome job, officials, everything was good! It wasn’t easy! All these teams are very evenly matched with so many at the top and we pulled it off.”

This is the fourth national title for Team Saskatchewan, and fourth for Dash, Marie Wright and Darwin Bender, who were a part of Saskatchewan’s previous victories in 2012, 2016 and 2018. They now share the record with B.C.’s Frank LaBounty as four-time Canadian wheelchair champions.

“The keys to success this week were sticking to what we do, sticking to our game plan,” said Dash, whose team from the Moose Jaw Curling Centre was rounded out by Moose Gibson and coach Lorraine Arguin. “The first game we came out, we were a little bit nervous – home ice, in front of friends and family. Halfway through the week we picked it up, dropped the nerves, and we were on our way. We followed through with what our coach (Arguin) said. She’s been with us for years and we really appreciate all she does.” 

“It feels awesome! I wasn’t aware there was a record that we were close to, but it feels great to win it again!” added Bender. 

Earlier Friday morning in semifinal action, Saskatchewan defeated Alberta (skip Jack Smart, Calgary) in a 8-2. Alberta finished the championship with the bronze medal and a 5-3 record. 

Final standings at the event left British Columbia (Gerry Austgarden, Richmond, Kelowna & Vernon) and Team Ontario #1 (Jon Thurston, Schomberg) lost out of playoffs on their LSD record with a 5-3 record. Team Quebec (Benoit Lessard, Magog) rounded out the championship pool with a 4-4 record. 

In the seeding pool, Team Ontario #2 (Paul Grose, Ilderton) finished with a 5-3 record, tied with Team Saskatchewan #2 (Rod Pederson, Moose Jaw). Newfoundland and Labrador (Cecilia Carroll, St. John’s) won its last two games to finish with a 3-5 record. In a three-way tie were New Brunswick (Mike Fitzgerald, Saint John), Nova Scotia (Laughie Rutt, Lower Sackville), and Alberta #2 (Don Kuchelyma, Edmonton), all with a 1-7 record. 

Streaming of previous games from this event can be found at