Quebec’s win streak stopped at seven

British Columbia handed Quebec their first loss at the mixed championships on Wednesday. Alberta started the game with the hammer and managed to score two points in the second after successfully blanking the first end. They would go on to steal a single point in the third before Eve Belisle managed to get on the scoreboard, picking up three in the forth. The game turned defensive at that point, as B.C. blanked the fifth, then was held to a single point in the sixth. Quebec managed to tie the game at four with a single of their own in the eight end. B.C. skip Brad Kuhn was able to blank the ninth and he followed up with a single to stop Quebec’s undefeated streak at seven. Quebec would go on to post a 9 – 6 victory over Alberta, ending the day with an overall record of 8 – 1, locking down first place overall in the round robin.

The final day of the round robin is going to be interesting to say the least. Manitoba and New Brunswick are tied for second place with a record of 6 – 3. Five teams share third, including defending champs Ontario, along with Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan and Newfoundland at 5 – 4. Northern Ontario sits alone at 4 – 5, P.O. stands at 3 – 6 with Nova Scotia at 2 – 7 and the Northwest Territories / Yukon at 0 – 9. This is the first time that this NWT rink has played together as a team and its been said that they are enjoying the entire experience.

It is North America vs Europe

Team North America gets set to take on Team Europe in the forth installment of the Continental Cup in Chilliwack, British Columbia. The event gets underway Thursday November 23rd and runs through until Sunday the 26th. Representing Team North America will be the Canadian rinks of Jean Michel Menard, Brad Gushue, Shannon Kliebrink, Kelly Scott and the American squads of Pete Fenson and Debbie McCormack in what can only be called an All-Star team.

Not to be outdone, the European team will be represented by Finland’s Marku Uusipaavalniemi, Norway’s Pal Trulsen, Scotland’s David Murdoch, Germany’s Andrea Schopp, Switzerland’s Miriam Ott and the most dominant women’s team in the world, led by Sweden’s Annette Norberg and her golden girls.

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Team Sweden’s Anna Svard

The competition is points based, not unlike golf’s Ryder Cup, with 400 total points available from the four different events. The four events are mixed (36 pts), singles (32 pts), team competion (72 pts) and the skins format (260 pts). For anyone unfamiliar with the skins format in curling, you must score two or more points with the hammer, and without last rock you must hold the opposition to one point or better yet, steal one or more to win a skin. For more details on each event and the scoring system for each event, please see the Continental Cup website.
Team North America will be looking to keep the title and improve their record to 3 – 1 in Continental Cup but Team Europe has the talent and the experience to even the series at two a-piece.

Tickets are still available for the event and can be purchased through ticketmaster, and Curltv will be broacasting live from the event.


Canadian mixed championships under way in Waterloo

Play is under way at the mixed curling championships in Waterloo, Ontario with Alberta and Quebec leading the pack, winning their first two games. Quebec, led by Skip Eve Belisle, vice Mark McCory, second Martine Comeau and lead Christian Bouchard upset defending champions Ontario 7 – 4 in draw 1. Also in draw 1, Alberta beat New Brunswick 9 – 7, P.E.I. beat NWT / Yukon 8 – 5 and Saskatchewan outscored Nova Scotia 10 – 3. Draw 2 saw Alberta beat P.E.I. by a score of 9 – 5, with key steals of 1 in the ninth and three more in the tenth. B.C. won their opener by defeating Manitoba 8 – 6, starting the game without the hammer, and a stealing single point in each of the first three ends. Northern Ontario beat Newfoundland and Labrador by a score of 7 – 3 and New Brunswick scored 11 points in 6 ends on route to a 11 – 2 victory over the Northwest Territories / Yukon rink.

Canadian Mixed Curling Championships kicks off Saturday

The championship curling season starts to get in full gear this week as the 44th annual Canadian mixed curling championships get started Saturday at Kitchener’s Westmount Golf & Country Club.

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The defending champion is Ontario‘s John Epping from the Oakville Curling Club who will try and re-capture the title he claimed last year in Whitehorse. Epping and his team of Julie Reddick, Scott Foster and Leigh Armstrong had a great run last year en route to victory winning 10 straight games ater dropping their first 3. On tuesday of this week members of Oakville CC hosted great reception to send them off..and wish them luck against a tough field.Â

As earlier reported there will be TV coverage of the final on Rogers Ontario.

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No golden touch for Gushue at Tim Hortons Invitational at Brantford

[photopress:527310_thumbnail_gushue_brad.jpg,full,alignleft]Brad Gushue and his rink from Newfoundland were no doubt the favourites heading into yesterday’s World Curling Tour stop in Brantford, Ontario. But surprise, surprise, Montreal’s Dwayne Fowler had the hot hand and took the title with a 9-4 win.

From today’s article in the Hamilton Spectator:

“The toughest part of the spiel is getting to the finals,” said Fowler, before taking to the rink for yesterday’s final, which he won 9-4.

“The pressure is off because you’re getting to the money. That’s not pressure. It’s fun.”

Fowler walked away with the $10,000 cash prize.

“There’s such a fine line between winning and losing at this level. If you believe you are good enough, the rest is between the ears.”

What will be more interesting to see is Gushue (and Marc Nicholl’s) performance in the first season post-Torino. For what is essentially still a very young rink, expectations will be very high for this team that has been sitting on top of the curling world for nearly 9 months. It should prove interesting to see if they keep their lofty perch atop the competitive Canadian curling ranks or not. Anything less than a successful run at this year’s Brier would certainly be a disappointment.

TCA Energizer Men’s Bonspiel – Toronto, ON

One of Canada’s longest running curling tournaments.

From the Toronto Curling Association’s website:

The TCA Energizer Men’s bonspiel is one of the world’s oldest continuous curling event. The winners of the first Championship was the Rennie Rink, from the Caledonia Curling club, in 1896.
Prior to 1896, there was a city competition, but the format was different. At that time, 16 players threw 16 rocks, and there was no championship. The game was played by eight man teams throwing one rock each. As time went on the game changed and by the mid 1800’s, the most popular format of play was the Single Rink.

A championship was proposed in 1895 and the first Single Rink Championship of Toronto was held in January of 1896. They played twenty-two ends on natural ice with straw brooms. The good news was you couldn’t sweep a rock until it reached the middle line.

Hiram Walker sponsored the event in those early years before passing the torch to the Canada Life Assurance Company in 1906. Every January for the next eighty years, curlers assembled in clubs across the city to compete for the right to call themselves “Canada Life Champions.”

From 1994 -1997, the Investors Group sponsored the event, and in 1998 a determined group of curlers from the Weston Golf & Country Club kept the tradition alive. Brick Brewing stepped in as sponsor from 1999-2001. In 2002 Johnson Controls assumed sponsorship of this great event, under the banner of TCA Energizer Men’s Bonspiel.

Canadian Mixed Championships final to receive limited television coverage

Looks as though the Canadian Mixed Championships will receive some television coverage afterall. According to Sweep! magazine, the CCA has decided to allow Rogers Television to broadcast the event final after all. The bad news, the broadcast which is scheduled to air Saturday November 18th at 8:00 PM EST, will only be available to Ontario Rogers subscribers. One can only hope that there is still enough time and sufficient interest for other cable outfits across the country to get on board.More info on the venue Westmount Golf & CC.

Lazy Handles

With several clubs closing there doors for good recently, it is nice to see that interest is on the rise at the Carol Curling Club, in Labrador City, NFLD and Labrador according to The Aurora.

Tuesday Takeout

Kerry Burtnyk’s win streak has come to an end as he failled to qualify at the Meyers Norris Penny Prairie Classic over the weekend. The win and top prize of $15,000 this week, went to Glenn Howard and his rink of Richard Hart, Brent Laing and Craig Savill. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for the semi-final game of Howard vs Ferby with super spare Russ Howard taking the place of David Nedohin!

Team Performance Brush, skipped by Pierre Charrette won the Coupe Saguenay in Chicoutimi, Quebec by beating Francois Gagne 8 – 5 in the final after having dispatched Jean Michel Menard in the semis. Clearly the target is still hanging on the backs of the defending national champions as they chase their first cashspiel win of the season.

Guelph Curling Club‘s Greg Balsdon went undefeated to win the Bacardi Cashspiel in Brampton, Ontario with an 8 – 2 victory over Pat Ferris. Janet McGhee won the ladies event with her 8 – 7 win over the Jo-Ann Rizzo’s revamped lineup.

Jennifer Jones took the Colonial Square Ladies Curling Classic beating Karen Purdy 7 – 4 in the final. The Jones overcame losses in the A and B events before qualifying from the C event. Her first game in the playoffs was against the sentimental favorite Jan Bekter in a close game by a score of 7 – 6.

Lazy Handles
Attention Detroit area curlers… The Detroit Curling Club in Ferndale is looking for you! Please see this article in HometownLife.

A new way to stay cool. The Glenboro Curling Club in Glenboro, Manitoba has installed a new geothermal heating system, for the specifics see this article from CBC Sports.

Guy Hemmings will be making stops in the Rainy River district of Northern Ontario for the purpose of getting the local youth involved in the game of curling. Read more about it in the Fort Francis Times

It seems American Olympians Picabo Street and Dan Jansen will be joining Debbie McCormick and Pete Fenson respectively, in a battle of the sexes at the Korbel Elite Challenge, taking place in Whistler, British Columbia and will be televised on NBC during American Thanksgiving Weekend.

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