Semis set at Seniors!

Nova Scotia’s Paul Flemming earned a semifinal berth with an 8-4 win over Saskatchewan’s Bruce Korte on Friday evening at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships (Photo, Curling Canada/ Wayne Emde)

Playoff picture established at 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships

Six days of hotly contested action have rendered down to the semifinals at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships, hosted at the Vernon Curling Club, in British Columbia. 

And with it, four women’s and four men’s teams, respectively, remain in contention for a chance to represent Canda at the 2024 World Senior Curling Championships from April 20-27, 2024, in Östersund, Sweden. 

On the men’s side, Nova Scotia’s Paul Flemming (8-2; Halifax), a venerable veteran of Canada’s national curling scene, found himself atop the heap at the conclusion of Championship Pool play despite a rocky Friday evening which saw his Bluenoser rink take four in the first end, before surrendering four straight singles versus Saskatchewan’s Bruce Korte (8-2; Saskatoon). 

“We cracked a four in the first and then started leaking a little bit of oil,” said Flemming. “You know how that can go. A four is nice, but when you get it early like that, you can tend to play a little conservative and they turned up the heat. Next thing you know, it’s a tie game.” 

It would measure up to be a test for the Nova Scotia men;s squadron, but Flemming would ultimately rebound with three points in the sixth and a steal in the seventh, qualifying in the men’s Championship Pool top slot with an 8-4 win. 

Said victory sets the table for an all-maritime semifinal, pitting Nova Scotia against New Brunswick’s Mike Kennedy (7-3; Moncton). 

“We’ll have a nice cold beer or two and have a good sleep,” Flemming said. “We’ll be ready with our A game tomorrow.” 

On the other side of the men’s draw, Manitoba’s Dave Boehmer (8-2; Petersfield) will take on Saskatchewan’s Bruce Korte in the opposite semifinal. 

In women’s play, host team British Columbia, skipped by Diane Gushulak (7-3; New Westminster), iced a 6-4 win over Québec’s Chantal Osborne (5-5; Thurso) to secure the fourth and final semifinal berth on Friday evening.  

British Columbia’s Diane Gushulak holds the broom at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships. She and her B.C., rink will face Saskatchewan’s Nancy Martin in a semifinal on Saturday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Wayne Emde)

It was a tightly contested women’s field all week long, but Gushulak maintained composure, garnering the playoff berth.  

“As long as you keep doing your process and keep to task, that’s all you can do.” said Gushulak about her team’s success.  

Despite being the home team, Gushulak is treating the upcoming semifinal match versus Saskatchewan’s Nancy Martin (9-1; Martensville) like any other game. 

“I don’t find it does at all,” said Gushulak about any inherited pressure from being the host team. “I think, if anything, it feels comfortable because we know the ice makers, we know the facility, we know the ice, we know the rocks. It feels good.” 

Gushulak, by her own admission, has some unfinished business at this Everest Senior curling championship after dropping the 2021 Everest senior women’s final to five-time champion Sherry Anderson, while playing second for British Columbia skip Mary-Anne Arsenault. 

“That would be really nice to have another shot at that final game,” said Gushulak. “That was two years ago in Sault. Ste. Marie.” 

Experience favours Gushulak, who has the winning recipe ready for dispatch. 

“Just need execution,” Gushulak said.  “Keep calm and collected and more execution.” 

Ontario’s Susan Froud (7-3; Alliston) will take on Alberta’s Anita Ford-Johnson (7-3; Calgary) in the opposing women’s semifinal. 

The semifinal winners advance to their respective gold-medal final, while the losers will play for bronze. The men’s medal games will be at 12:30 p.m., (all times Pacific) and the women’s medal games commence at 3:30 p.m. 

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+