Six in a row!
Ontario’s Susan Froud stacks sixth straight wins in defeating host B.C., at 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships
Skip Susan Froud is championing an impressive win streak on behalf of her Ontario squad at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships, hosted at the Vernon Curling Club, in B.C.
Froud, along with vice-skip Kerry Lackie, second Kristin Turcotte, lead Julie McMullin, and coach Al Corbeil, who hail from the Alliston Curling Club, nailed down their sixth consecutive win on Thursday afternoon, defeating host British Columbia’s Diane Gushulak (5-2; New Westminster) by a 5-4 score.
It’s turning out to be quite a hot streak after Ontario dropped its opener 6-4 to Price Edward Island’s Shelly Bradley last Sunday, but Ontario’s 6-1 record now has it firmly at the top of the Championship Pool picture in women’s play.
That same win streak could have just as easily been ended by British Columbia as Ontario slipped behind the pace early in Thursday’s match. British Columbia had all kinds of pressure on the Ontario skip in the first end, facing a steal of two, before Froud pulled off an incredible runback-triple for a blank end in the first.
The shot for the blank was an escape act that Houdini himself would be envious of and could stand as the shot of the week at this year’s Everest seniors.
“I was looking at two for sure,” said Froud of the shot that saved Ontario from a precarious first end. “It was just patience. We had a try at it the first time, and the second time (Gushulak) slipped a little deep. If she left it higher, it was going to be a lot tougher.”
Team Ontario knew the angles had lined up perfectly for the blank, and it was a shot called and made.
“A runback triple to leave the skip? Sure, I’ll do that anytime,” joked vice-skip Kerry Lackie after the win. “Those kinds of shots are really in Susan’s wheelhouse. That’s in her toolkit so I feel very confident in her throwing those. I really don’t want to leave her a lot of them though.”
Breathing a sigh of relief, Ontario would roll its momentum through to the second end and score three points with the hammer. It proved to be the biggest blow of the spirited contest, which saw British Columbia drum out plenty of opportunities to score in the later ends, testing Ontario’s mettle.
“It was a little back and forth,” Froud said. “We just stayed patient. Didn’t really want to give up two in the sixth but she made some really nice shots. Got out of it in seven again. I was a bit of an escape artist that game.”
And though the thought of scoreboard watching may start to creep into Froud’s mind with Championship Pool play set to conclude Friday evening, Ontario still has three challenging games remaining against Alberta’s Atina Ford-Johnson (5-2; Calgary), the Northwest Territories’ Sharon Cormier (4-3; Yellowknife) and Saskatchewan’s Nancy Martin (6-1; Martensville).
“We just wanted to play well,” said Froud about her team’s expectations entering this week. “There are lots of good teams here, but we have a good team also. So, we just wanted to have a good week, and we think we can do it.”
Capable as Team Ontario is, it would elect for routine shots rather than miracle performances in the future.
“One shot at a time, one game at a time, and hopefully no triples for a blank in the first end” said Froud.
In women’s Championship Pool standings, Ontario shares the provisional top spot with Saskatchewan at 6-1, while British Columbia, Alberta and Québec’s Chantal Osborne (5-2; Thurso) are in a logjam rounding out the top five with equal records.
On the men’s side, Saskatchewan’s Bruce Korte (7-0; Saskatoon) leads the field with a still perfect record. Nova Scotia’s Paul Flemming (6-1; Halifax) is alone in second while Québec’s François Roberge (5-2; Saint-Romuald), Manitoba’s Dave Boehmer (5-2; Petersfield) and British Columbia’s Wes Craig (5-2; Duncan) jockey for 3rd through 5th on the standings board.
Championship Pool action resumes Thursday from the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships at 8:30 p.m., (all times Pacific).