Nugget Column #23 – Tuesday February 28th, 2017
With the Tournament of Hearts wrapped up and the Brier only three days away, we are officially in the thick of playdown season.
Locally, the North Bay Granite Club is hosting Canadian Forces and NDA High School Curling playdowns this week; while three of our members pack their bags for Sturgeon Falls on Friday where the Northern Ontario Mixed Doubles Provincial will unfold.
North Bay’s Serge Palin, Chris Chartrand, Eric Emanuele, Pierre Grignon, and Darren Reck are favoured to win this year’s Canadian Forces Ontario Region Curling Championships as they are the defending champions and hope to secure a third title in five years for 22 Wing North Bay.
The local squad opened strong with a win Sunday night against CFB Borden and kept the momentum rolling Monday afternoon with a win over CFB Kingston. They will meet CFB Trenton Monday evening, and CFB Petawawa Tuesday morning before taking a bye in the afternoon and playing a semi-final game in the evening. The championship final will go Wednesday March 1st at 12pm (noon); spectators are welcome.
Nipissing District Athletics Curling was to wrap up last week but due to bus cancellations the tournament to qualify two boys teams and two girls team to NOSSA in Sudbury this Thursday will finish today.
In boys’ action, the defending Widdifield Wildcats skipped by Chris Bowman have qualified for the final undefeated; giving them two lives in the championship game at 6:30pm. The Franco-Cité Patriotes take on the Algonquin Barons in the back door quarterfinal game with the winner taking on the West Ferris Trojans in the semi-finals, and that winner required to defeat Widdifield twice for the NDA banner.
In girls’ action Ecole Secondaire Catholique Elisabeth-Bruyère (of Mattawa) awaits the winner between Franco-Cité (Sturgeon Falls) and Widdifield. The Mattawa girls must lose twice to forfeit the NDA banner.
This week will conclude with the increasingly popular Mixed Doubles playdowns being held at the Sturgeon Falls Curling Club. Mixed Doubles is a newer curling format between teams of two players that will make its debut at the Olympic Games in 2018.
The team of Bobby Ray and JoAnne Come will be the only pair representing North Bay while Granite Club curler Mackenzie Daley is teaming up with Sturgeon Falls’ Eric Gelinas – a former member winning North Bay a provincial banner in 2014 with then partner Courtney Chenier.
Both teams are seeded in the top four out of ten participating rinks; which include former North Bay curler Pat Gelinas, Canadian Junior silver medalist Nick Bissonnette, and Skip of the Northern Ontario Men’s semi-finalist team – Chris Glibota, to name a few.
The winning team in Sturgeon Falls will advance to the Canadian Mixed Curling Trials in Saskatoon, SK April 5th – 9th, 2017. Looking for something to do this weekend? Take a drive to sunny Sturgeon Falls to show your support; or keep clicking refresh at curlnoca.ca/scoreboard.
Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club