Plus more Island reps at men’s and seniors’ provincials
MANITOULIN—Manitoulin Island will be very well represented at the Ontario Curling Association men’s and senior men’s provincial championships being held in the next few weeks.
Haweater Jordan Chandler’s Curl Sudbury rink qualified for the men’s provincial’s with their efforts at the Northern Ontario Curling Association Men’s East Qualifier held in Copper Cliff just prior to Christmas.
“We started out winning our first four games (in the six team event), so we didn’t have to play our last game to qualify for the provincials,” said Mr. Chandler on December 27. “With this team, except for one lineup change, we have been playing together as a group for six years.” His rink includes Sandy MacEwan, Luc Quimet and Lee Toner. “This is the same team we had last year when we played in the provincials in Little Current.” The provincials are taking place at the end of January in Nipigon with a bid to the Brier championships on the line.
The Chandler rink knocked off, in succession, Jeff Brown of North Bay Granite (8-4), Sudbury clubmate David Daoust (10-2), the Cooper Cliff Curling Club entry guided by Dustin Montpellier (8-6) and had to go an extra end to knock off super-busy Robbie Gordon of Curl Sudbury (6-5).
Team Chandler was not the only squad that did not need to complete their full five game round robin schedule to qualify for the next step. Despite their setback at the hands of the Chandler team, the Dustin Montpellier foursome that includes Jason Strelezki, Chris Gordon (also a Haweater) and his son Matt Gordon (who owns property on Manitoulin) also managed the trick positing a record of 3-1 by the time that the fifth draw arrived.
Chris Gordon is also a Haweater who now lives in Sudbury, curling out of Copper Cliff Curling Club. His son Matthew is lead on the rink skipped by Dustin Montpellier. This rink had victories over Cody Tetreault of Blind River (9-3), Robbie Gordon (8-7 also in extra ends) and Jeff Brown (7-5). Team Montpellier will be among the team of eight that is now vying to don the Northern Ontario colours at the Brier.
There was a showdown between the 2-2 entries skipped by Rob Gordon (who has family ties on Manitoulin) and Jeff Brown. Representing the Curl Sudbury venue and joined by Mr. Gordon’s son Shane, Mark Robinson and Frederic Diebel, Team Gordon looked to assert themselves early, scoring three in the first, only to see Brown rebound with a four-spot in the second end. The back and forth trend continued to the tenth end, when the Gordon rink preserved a 9-8 victory to qualify for the men’s provincials. Robbie Gordon has many relatives on the Island, and he had spent years of his youth living in Gore Bay as his parents once owned Gordon’s Lodge. He told the Recorder that this was a new team that he qualified with. “They all knew each other, but it really was a new team, I had never even seen Fred throw a rock before,” he said.
On the senior men’s side, at the recent Senior Men’s East Qualifier in Timmins, Steve Garrett, a long time seasonal resident of Manitoulin Island, and his rink qualified for the provincials. The Patrick Chartier quartet from the Idylwylde Curling Club (Rich Schmidt, Chris Jillings, and Mr. Garrett) took part in the recent 10 team gathering at the McIntyre Community Centre, with half of the field advancing through the Senior Men’s East Qualifier on to the NOCA championship in Port Arthur in mid-January.
The Garrett rink needed six games to earn their ticket to the provincials. After a 4-3 loss to Rob Thomas on Friday, the rink reeled off victories over Denis Lafreniere (9-1) Michel Mayer (7-2) and Roger Sauve (8-2) but were sent to the C draw when Thomas got the better of them for a second time (6-1).
In an all-Idylwylde matchup, Team Chartier stopped the foursome of Bruce Munro, Duncan Bell, Geoff Jeffery and Mark Brown by a final score of 6-5 to qualify for the provincials being held later this month in Thunder Bay.
Not finished yet, Robbie Gordon explained that the months of January-February are going to be very busy for him. At the Senior Men’s East Qualifier in Timmins, Mr. Gordon and his rink qualified for the NOCA Senior Men’s championship in Thunder Bay in mid-January. The Curl Sudbury rink is made up of Robbie Gordon, Ron Henderson, Dion Dumontelle and Doug Hong. They won their first three games, moving onto to the A division. This is the seventh year this rink has gone to the provincials, having won several times.