Well now, wasn’t that a weekend of curling! Besides the Scotties finals, men’s teams from Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba, all had their provincial finals and everyone could watch the games on either regular television or being streamed. But if you thought you might want to watch Glen Howard try for his umpteenth Ontario championship, you had to fork out some cash because it was pay-per-view. Wonder how that turned out. There were so many games being shown that you couldn’t watch them all. It was fun trying, though.
So, what did everyone think of the new format for the Scotties? On the plus side, it gave every province and territory a shot at the big prize - being a Canadian champion. On the negative side, who wants to watch games that have huge differences in scores where both teams just wish the game was over?
According to the daily news magazine put out at the Hearts, the curlers themselves did not like this format either. The better teams may never meet because they are in different pools. Funny thing was that this year, the A pool had all four finalists in it - teams Wild Card, Manitoba, Northern Ontario and Nova Scotia.
There was somewhat of a local flavour to these games, however. The skip of Team Nunavut, Amie Shackleton, was recruited from the St Marys Curling Club and while they never won a game, she would have been thrilled by her experience on the big stage.
Making the cut into the championship pool was the B.C. team of the Nanaimo Curling Centre. Three of the four curlers were sisters with the surname of Van Osch. Their father lived in Kintail until moving to B.C. about 30 years ago, and they are cousins of Ripley curler, Donna (Van Osch) McBride.
The first half of the season has finished for two of the mixed draws. The Monday night draw was a tight one with three teams tied for first place going into the final night. When all was said and done, Gene Gillespie and his team of Tim Church, Frank Paquet and Brenda Gillespie, took the honours. The Thursday night early teams had a mini-playoff to determine the winners of that draw and it was the foursome of Les Shane, Beth Mimnagh, and Jenny and Dan Showalter, that won the prize.
At the Hanover ladies bonspiel, finishing with a one-and-one record, was the team of Shelley Henderson, Sharon Cross, Gail Wright and Linda Humphrey.
The Grey Bruce Senior Men’s bonspiel circuit saw two teams travelling to Walkerton Jan. 24 to compete. Early draw team was Gene Gillespie, Mark Luckhardt, Richard Emmerton and Glyn Pinkney, which finished at one-and-one as did the late draw team of Peter Kirkpatrick, Art Doughty, Bob Harvey and Bob Urie. The Kirkpatrick team finished in third place.
The mixed bonspiel, which will be held Feb. 24, still has some openings so if you are interested, the sign-up sheet is posted at the club.
The Olympics start this week and curling is one of the first events so get ready to cheer our Canadian curlers on to gold. Go Canada!