Nugget Column #24 – Tuesday March 7th, 2017
Several curlers have received the great pleasure of sporting their provincial colours and representing their cohort at a national championship; fewer have earned the opportunity to do so on more than one occasion, while North Bay’s Kate Sherry is now suiting up for the fourth time in her budding career as she will represent Northern Ontario at the inaugural Canadian Under 18 Curling Championships to be held in Moncton, New Brunswick April 18th – 22nd, 2017.
Last week Sherry and her Sudbury-based team skipped by Kira Brunton travelled to Longlac for the provincial championship where they opened with four consecutive round robin wins. The defending champions then dropped their final three games in uncharacteristic fashion, forcing them to play Team Beaudry of Thunder Bay in a tiebreaker game that they’d go on to win 6-2.
In semi-final play, Team Brunton sought revenge on Team Romyn of Sioux Lookout with a 5-2 victory advancing them to the championship game.
The final was a back-and-forth affair where, tied after three ends, Brunton stole a single in the fourth and a pair in the fifth to go up a coveted three points. Team Croisier of the Idylwyde Golf and Country Club were then forced to one point in the sixth end, but stole singles in the remaining two ends to tie up the game before the extent of regulation play. In the extra end, Sherry held the broom for Kira Brunton’s last rock, which being swept perfectly by Sydnie Stinson and Jessica Leonard landed precisely on the button for the win.
Congratulations to Kate, her teammates, coach Steve Acorn, the parents, and other supporters who have contributed to this accomplishment. North Bay, and surely Northern Ontario, is cheering for you.
The fourth ever Northern Ontario Mixed Doubles Provincial Curling Championship took place this past weekend at the Sturgeon Falls Curling Club where the hometown husband and wife team of Dean and Karen Pigeau struck gold, but not before getting their money’s worth of ice time.
In a similar fashion to the team who won southern Ontario’s mixed doubles crowns a week earlier, Team Pigeau qualified out of the “C” side of a triple knockout tournament and played ten games en route to capturing the title, the jackets, the banner, the hearts, and a trip to Saskatoon for the first Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championships (previously the Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling “Trials”).
Team Pigeau lost their only two games to the top two seeded entries (both defending champions) before going on a 6-game tear that include wins over past and present Granite Club members Pat Gelinas, Bobby Ray, Joanne Come, Eric Gelinas, and Mackenzie Daley.
Daley, Ray, and Come will have another chance at becoming Northern Ontario champions when they travel to Sault Ste. Marie March 23rd to 26th for the provincial mixed curling championships. They are teaming up with four-time mixed champion skip Mike Assad and are considered strong favourites to achieve at least a playoff position.
Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club