Back-to-back Champs!

(Photo, Curling Canada/Mike Stobbs)

Team Saskatchewan wins 2024 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship

For the second year in a row, Saskatchewan has won the 2024 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship. 

Playing in front of a packed hometown crowd at the Moose Jaw Curling Centre, Team Saskatchewan #1 of Gil Dash, Marie Wright, Moose Gibson, Sheryl Pederson and coach Lorraine Arguin defeated Team Newfoundland and Labrador, skipped by Douglas Dean, 7-6 in a thrilling extra-end final. 

“The team played great today. They played great all week,” said Dash, who also won a silver medal this year as second on Team Canada at the 2024 World Wheelchair Curling Championship. “Each game out here this week wasn’t easy and that’s how this sport is. It was a pretty level playing field across the provinces. You gotta just keep fighting and have resilience and get through it.” 

(Photo, Curling Canada/Mike Stobbs)

Team Saskatchewan #1 started the game with hammer and scored one in the opening end and added a stolen point in the second.  

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Dean made no mistake in his draw for a point against one Saskatchewan counter in the third end. Dash had an open draw for three points in the fourth end, but his rock came up light and only scored two to take a 4-1 lead at the halfway point. 

Saskatchewan stole another point in the fifth before Newfoundland and Labrador began its comeback, answering with a deuce in the sixth end to cut the hosts’ lead to two. Dash was heavy on his draw in the seventh end but scored a single to lead by three heading into the final end. A stunning score of three by Team Newfoundland and Labrador sent the game into an extra end, but Team Saskatchewan #1 responded under pressure to nail down the gold-medal triumph. 

Dean and his teammates Felix Green, Katie Hubbard, Cecilia Carroll, and coach Gary Ryan won silver medals for their efforts.  

For Saskatchewan’s Dash, Wright, and Arguin, this is a historic fifth gold medal, giving them the record for the most wins at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship. This is Gibson’s fourth national wheelchair curling title and Pederson’s first.  

(Photo, Curling Canada/Mike Stobbs)

“It’s really cool to get that fifth one in from of your home crowd,” said Wright, who lives in Moose Jaw. “I have seven grandchildren here today so it’s really fun to see that. Today we did it for our coach, Lorraine. She’s the best coach in the world. She’s retiring after this year and we’re going to miss her a lot. We did it for her.” 

Arguin started coaching the team in 2008 and has been with Dash and Wright for each of their championships. 

“She’s the reason that we’re here and the reason why we have five gold medals,” said Dash. “She’s a big reason there’s wheelchair curling in Saskatchewan and I want to say hats off to her.” 

Earlier in the day, Team Newfoundland and Labrador defeated Team British Columbia, skipped by Gerry Austgarden, 8-4 in the semifinal. It was a close, low-scoring affair until Team Newfoundland and Labrador cracked the game open by scoring a five-ender in the seventh end. 

Team British Columbia’s bronze medal-winning team includes Austgarden, Ina Forrest, Rick Robinson, Glen McDonald, and coach Sharon Morrison. Austgarden is one of three players in this year’s field who competed in the inaugural Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship in 2004. Forrest, a long-time member of Canada’s National Team Program, recently won a silver medal with Saskatchewan #1’s Dash as part of Team Canada at the 2024 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Gangneung, South Korea. 

This was the second year in a row that the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship was held at the Moose Jaw Curling Centre, a fully accessible facility. The 2025 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship will take place April 25 to May 4 in a location yet to be announced.