If the shoe fits!

New Brunswick’s Marc LeCocq in action at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships form the Vernon Curling Club in British Columbia (Photo, Curling Canada/Wayne Emde)

New Brunswick’s Marc LeCocq unfazed while dealing with new curling shoes in opener at 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships

A sudden bout of bad luck didn’t keep New Brunswick’s Marc LeCocq from performing his best on opening day at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships. 

LeCocq, who throws third stones for Team New Brunswick alongside skip/lead Grant Odishaw, vice-skip/fourth Mike Kennedy and second Vance LeCocq of Curl Moncton, was the unfortunate victim of a theft before arriving at the Vernon Curling Club in British Columbia to vie for the 2023 senior crown. 

“We actually arrived on Tuesday and did a tour around B.C.,” said LeCocq about the situation that saw his shoes stolen. “I think we put a couple thousand kilometers on seeing as how we’ve never been here before. We did the Okanagan area.” 

The Okanagan, for those who aren’t in the know, is a prominent wine-making region of British Columbia and being fans of the beverage, the New Brunswick fellas fancied themselves a few bottles. 

New shoes didn’t stymie Marc LeCocq (right, delivering) as he’s flanked by vice-skip/fourth Mike Kennedy (left) and second Vance LeCocq (center) in New Brunswick’s 7-2 opening draw win over the Northwest Territories at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships (Photo, Curling Canada/Wayne Emde)

And while curling shoes aren’t exactly a hot item when it comes to thievery, good wine certainly is. 

“They jimmied the trunk and got in the car, and they got my baggage, some wine, a few other little items” LeCocq said. “I think they’d be disappointed once they got in the bag though. That curling gear was kind of old” 

Instead of letting the situation get the better of him, LeCocq strapped on a brand-new pair of shoes and cruised to a 7-2 win over the Northwest Territories’ Cory Vanthuyne (0-1; Yellowknife) on Sunday. 

Breaking in new curling shoes can be an arduous process, but the modest LeCocq has ample national level experience to help work the new leather in. He’s an eight-time Brier representative for New Brunswick and took home a bronze medal for the province in 2002. Sprinkle in four more New Brunswick senior men’s titles, leading to a Canadian senior men’s silver medal in 2018 and a bronze in 2017, alongside three provincial mixed titles, and you’ve got the blueprint of a quality shot maker; comfortable shoes or not. 

“It was a little rattling, yeah” said LeCocq about entering a Canadian championship without his regular shoes. “But I don’t have a great slide anyway so as long as it gets me to the hogline, I’ll be fine.” 

Skip Grant Odishaw echoed LeCocq’s cool headedness after the win. 

“He curled awesome,” said Odishaw. “It was good to see. But that’s Marc, he plays awesome all the time. With new shoes, they have to broken in and more importantly, they have to slide straight. I’ve never worn a pair of new shoes that slid straight the first time I’ve slid with them. So he got sandpaper and sandpapered them up a little bit, you sandpaper them the way you slide, and it seemed to work.” 

All in all, Odishaw is very happy with his rink’s performance on Sunday. 

“It was a great start,” said Odishaw. “We’re very happy with the start. Learning the ice and then playing half decent and getting the W, that’s the most important thing.” 

In other opening draw men’s action from the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Alex Smith (1-0; St. John’s) bested Nunavut’s Peter Mackey (0-1; Iqaluit) 7-1 while Nova Scotia’s Paul Flemming (1-0; Halifax) took out Ontario’s Bryan Cochrane (0-1; Russel) by a 7-2 score. 

On the women’s side, Northern Ontario’s Stacey Szajewski (1-0; Keewatin) defeated New Brunswick’s Shelly Graham (0-1; Fredericton) 9-6 while Nunavut’s Geneva Chislett (1-0; Iqaluit) won the battle of the north 8-7 over Yukon’s Lorna Spenner (0-1; Whitehorse). Nova Scotia’s Andrea Saulnier (1-0; Kentville) dealt Manitoba’s Joelle Brown (0-1; Winnipeg) a 6-3 vanquishing and Saskatchewan’s Nancy Martin (1-0; Martensville) made short work of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Pam Osborne (0-1; St. John’s), needing only six ends to secure a 13-2 win. 

Action from the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships resumes Sunday at 8:00 p.m. (all times Pacific).  

Live scoring updates for the 2023 Everest Canadian Seniors are available by CLICKING HERE. For event information, including team lineups and draw times, CLICK HERE

Live-streaming coverage of selected games at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Championships will be available on Curling Canada’s streaming platform, Curling Canada + as well as on TSN+.