Nugget Column #19 – Tuesday February 2nd, 2016
Twenty-four teams rallied for the North Bay Granite Club’s 37th annual Masters Bonspiel organized on by our devoted Senior Men’s curlers January 25th – 27th.
Chairman, David Doyle, reported that guests from out of town were extremely pleased with the hospitality they received in North Bay and the quality of the ice that our Ice Technician, Bruno Bin, provided to the event.
Bin is currently enrolled in a mentorship program and is working to attain higher levels of certification as an Ice Technician. Part of his professional development included installing the ice in Stratford for the 2016 Canadian Junior Curling Championships. Our local “Ice Man” will also take the lead at the Traveler’s Northern Ontario Men’s Curling Championship coming to the North Bay Granite Club next week.
Masters playoff action on Wednesday saw Sudbury’s Chucker Ross, Dick Anderson, Craig Partington and Mike Kendall pull off a victory in the “A” division final against Eugene Menard, Garry Lavigne, Ray Williams and Joe Montreuil from New Liskeard.
While the name “Chucker Ross” may not resonate with much of our readership, in Sudbury Ross is renowned as a builder of curling having co-created the Rainbow Bonspiel which attracts elementary school teams from all over Sudbury, Manitoulin Island and Espanola. Ross is also a two-time Northern Ontario champion skip, the first having come in 1974 when he made an appearance at the MacDonald Brier in London, ON. and then a second as a Senior Men’s championship skip in 1987.
Kaz Lutecki and Max Valyear of North Bay picked up the “B” division title accompanied by teammates Roger Goulet and Tom McWhirter of Cochrane. They defeated Huntsville’s Carl Seymour.
In the “C” division North Bay’s John Burns, Reid Milne, Guy Fournier and Jim McDougal outshot the Robert McIlvenna rink from Sudbury.
We had fun following our competitive curlers this past week with Widdifield Secondary School student Kate Sherry competing at her first Canadian Junior Curling Championship as Second thrower for Team Northern Ontario.
Team Megan Smith from the Sudbury Club finished with a 2-4 and joined other curlers who did not advance to the Championship Pool in a round Mixed Doubles. Kate Sherry lost out in the round of sixteen with her partner Ryan McNeil Lamswood of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In the junior men’s tournament, Northern Ontario’s Team Horgan dropped only one game on route to the national championship final aired on TSN Sunday. Unfortunately, they came up against a near-perfect Matt Dunstone whose team from Manitoba performed at 96%.
We look forward to hosting the newly crowned Canadian Junior Silver Medalists at the Traveler’s Northern Ontario Men’s Curling Championships next week at the Granite Club.
North Bay will be sending a rink to the 2016 NOCA Senior Men’s Provincial in Iroquois Falls February 17th – 21st. Congratulations to Mark Brown, Brad Beaver, Luc Gelinas and David Lawes who grabbed one of three berths available at the Region 5 playdown hosted in North Bay this past weekend. The other two spots were awarded to Team Gordon and Team Munro, both former provincial champions from Sudbury.
Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club