The final day of competition for the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship got started a little earlier then had all week with 4 teams representing their provincial commands having to return to the Golden Ears Curling Club in Maple Ridge, BC for a possible 2 more games. With the team from the Nutana Branch 362 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan taking first place honours after their 5-2 record and on top of the standings it left New Brunswick, BC/Yukon, PEI and Quebec to decide who will be awarded 2nd place. All four teams finished the round robin portion with 4-3 records and were required to playoff to decide 2nd place. As a result of the team draw to the button competition held during the championship practice sessions the Moncton Branch team would curl against the team from Sherbrook and in the other tie breaker would be the team representing the Charlottetown legion branch against the Salmon Arm branch team.
With hammer New Brunswick we’re able to get their 2 points up the on board easily in the first end, Quebec replied with their own easy two points in the 2nd. Both teams had to work a little harder to earn their points from the 3rd end on, as New Brunswick had was forced to take one in the 3rd, but were able to steal one in the fourth. After a Quebec single New Brunswick got their 2 to give them a bit of a cushion and 6-3 lead after 6. Quebec made it close again in getting 2 points of their own in the 7th. After a blanked 8th end the Moncton team restored their 3 point advantage in the 9th and went on to steal a point in 10 to secure the win and the chance to play the winner of the BC/Yukon and PEI.
Before the start of the first tie breaker games the team representing the BC/Yukon command had to dip deep down to the bottom of the spare pool as their 3rd had to head home earlier in the morning. Now with a slightly different team line up then they had for the first 7 round robin games, it would take a bit of time for the Salmon Arm team to adjust while playing against PEI. Both teams were able to get their singles up on the score board quickly in the first and 2nd end. With hammer PEI scored 2 points in the 3rd end, BC scored 2 in the 4th then stole one point in the 5th. The Charlottetown branch team duplicated BC’s efforts in the 6th and 7th ends and took a 2 point lead into the 8th end. BC was forced to take a single in the 8th end, and then they stole a point in 9 to tie the game up. When it was time for PEI skip, Charlie Wilkinson to throw his last stone he didn’t have many options. BC with their last stone had just placed a guard in the top of the 8 ft guarding a rock in the left side of the 4 foot and touching a piece of the button. BC was also had a 3rd counting stone on the tee line in the left side of the 8ft. Not able to throw a double and be shot rock or wanting to try a tough triple. Wilkinson decided to draw through a small opening to get to the button. With great sweeping the PEI front end was able to get the rock within an inch of where they needed to get, it was a great shot with an unfortunate outcome. The steal of one allowed BC to move onto the 2nd time breaker game against New Brunswick.
After a short break and a fresh scrap of the ice, BC/Yukon and the New Brunswick teams returned to the ice to decide 2nd place for the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship. Still not having their regular 3rd with them, the BC team was stuck with the same spare they had for their morning tie breaker game. As the games played earlier in the day the first two ends were put on the board quickly with BC and New Brunswick exchanging singles. In the 3rd end the Moncton team had a couple of untimely picks go against them and they gave a steal of one to BC. The 4th end was blanked then BC stole a point in 5th and 6th ends. New Brunswick worked hard to get their two points in the 7th end to get within one point of the team from Salmon Arm. The BC team scored 3 points in 8 to take a 7-3 lead. With lots of rocks in play BC was able to get a rock covered to give New Brunswick skip Barry Lewis a tough raise takeout. The shot didn’t come up as planned and BC stole another single point. That was enough for New Brunswick and the BC team won 8-3. The BC/Yukon Provincial Command represented by the Salmon Arm branch 62 team of skip Gord Duplisse, 3rd Randy Jenkins, 2nd Eric Breitkruez, lead John Danks and 5th (spare) Fred Fox are the 2nd place finishers at the 2009 Legion Dominion Curling Championship.
After a wonderful 6 days of camaraderie, good competition and a heck of a lot of fun, the 2009 Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championships have now come to a close. With teams from across the country starting to leave Maple Ridge early Friday morning and late into the evening all those involved from the teams, to the volunteers of Maple Ridge Legion branch 88, will be left with fond memories.
With the competition side of the Championship finishing up earlier Thursday afternoon with the 2nd place finisher being decided, the Awards Banquet Thursday evening was the last official function left to take place. It was a nice evening thanks too Kristina’s Kitchen and their terrific meal, great decorations for the tables, good speeches and appreciated thank you’s. All of this was topped off with the award presentations to the team from Saskatchewan as the 2009 Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Champions and to BC/Yukon, the 2nd place finishers.
The teams went upstairs to the Branch lounge and participated in the Karaoke taking place. It was a nice finish to a great week, with lots of heartfelt goodbyes and hopes to see each other again in the future.
Before the last round robin games of the Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship all that was certain was that once the draw was finished we would know who would be crowned Champions. With the BC/Yukon Command losing earlier in the day to Manitoba and Saskatchewan Command winning, there would only 2 teams left with a chance to win the Championship, both having 4-2 records. Not even the Amazing Kreskin could have predicted that the top 2 teams would meet in the final draw too determine the 2009 Champion.
Saskatchewan had hammer in the first end and easily took their 2 points. BC was forced to take one point, but stole their 2nd point in the 3rd end. The Nutana Branch curlers took a point in the 4th, with BC replying with one of their own after a blanked end. Saskatchewan had a chance for 4 in the 7th, but the last rock was a bit light, settling for 3 points, the game was opened up with what looked like a pretty comfortable lead. BC got one in 8 and didn’t give up with some good play to steal one in the 9th and now only one behind. The 10th end saw a nice tick shot by Saskatchewan and then some good peals. With not much protection for the BC skip Gord Duplisse to draw behind, his draw attempt behind 12 foot guard was wide open and left a routine hit for Andrew Hay for the win and another Legion Dominion Curling Championship for his team of 3rd Rick Middleton, 2nd Les Kun and lead Darren Clancy.
There were other games taking place with some importance in draw 7. The Legion Dominion Curling Championship requires 2nd place to be decided through tie breaker games. Going into draw 7, it was quaranteed that at least 3 teams would be in a tie breaker situation, with the possibility of 4. The loser of the BC/Saskatchewan game would be one of the teams at a 4-3 record. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia/Nunuvut both with the same 3-3 records were playing each other as were Manitoba/NW Ont and Quebec curling against each other and also at 3-3 records. The winners of these games would be involved with the tie breakers games for 2nd place. The 4th possible team would be PEI if they could beat their opponent Newfoundland/Labrador.
After everything went through the wash and the last rocks were thrown in draw 7, it was determined that New Brunswick, PEI, BC and Quebec would be playing in tie breakers for 2nd place starting Thursday morning.
There was probably a few that didn’t want to get up this morning to curl after a great time at Legion Branch 88 to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. After a great performance by a young Irish Dancing group, then some dancing to the music of Runaway Juke Box, Dennis Byrne, skip from the Newfoundland team led a big group sing along with most of the curlers and friends from the various provinces. It was nice touch to what has been a wonderful week.
Quebec again having a bit of struggle against Saskatchewan gave up a total of 5 steal points and put themselves behind 7-1 after 7 ends and decided that was enough and shook hands. The win for Saskatchewan put them in the position of playing in a game for the Championship, but they had to see what would happen in the BC game.
BC/Yukon was playing against the team representing Manitoba/NW Ontario. Manitoba coming off a nice St. Patrick’s Day with their first 2 wins of the Championship. It was close; with Manitoba have a two point lead after 6 ends. BC took their one point in the 7th then stole one in the 8th to tie the game. Thanks to a hit and roll out of play by the BC skip, Manitoba was able to blank the 9th end. Lots of rocks in play with Manitoba having a rock buried. BC wasn’t able to get into a better position, so the Pilot Mound Branch team defeated BC and set up the matchup between BC and Saskatchewan in the last round robin game to be one that will determine the 2009 Legion Dominion Champion.
Prince Edward Island needing to beat Nova Scotia to keep them in the hunt stole their way to a a big win and a tie with 4 others in the standings. The game was tied at 2 after 5 ends then the boys from branch 1 in Charlottetown stole 3 in the 6th end and another 3 in the 7th to win the game.
Still looking for their first win Newfoundland was playing the team from Moncton. With a win the Newfoundlanders could create a log jam in the standings. With New Brunswick leading by one after the 3rd end, the 4th end was blanked and then The Stephenville branch team scored 3 points in the 5th, 7th and 9th ends to go and defeat New Brunswick and get a win.
Draw 5 of the Legion Dominion Curling Championship didn’t make things any clearer in determining the favourite for the championship. After the final draw on St Paddy’s day saw BC again in first place by themselves with 4 others tied for 2nd. Manitoba needing the win to stay close to the hunt we’re facing Newfoundland who we’re still looking for their first win of the Championship. It was again looking good for Newfoundland leading 4 -1 after 5 ends. But like the morning draw things quickly changed in the 6th and 7th ends with Manitoba scoring 2, then stealing a single in 7, Newfoundland scored their one in the 8th before giving up one in the 9th and a steal of one in the 10th to surrender the win to the Buffalo province.
Nova Scotia & Nunuvut blanked the first 2 ends of their game against Saskatchewan. The game was a big one for both teams, with the team from River Hebert needing win to stay tied for first and the Saskatoon boys needing the win to stay in the hunt. Saskatchewan had the game in control scoring 3 & 4 point ends before the 7th, with Nova Scotia only scoring 1 and 2 point ends to counter. Saskatchewan finished the game with 2 in 8 and only allowed 1 point against in 9 to get an early finish.
The team from the Salmon Arm Branch responded after the morning loss with a better game in the afternoon against New Brunswick. It was close game after the 4th end with BC only having a one point lead going to 5. BC then stole 2 in 5 and one point in 6. Moncton settled for one in 7 and then forced BC to take one 8 and then stole 2 more in the 9th. Final score 8-2 in favour of BC.
The Legion Dominion Curling Champions from a couple of years ago, Quebec were in need of a win to keep them with the teams at the top of the standings. But with some inconsistent play in the first 5 draws, is making it tough. Playing PE in draw 5 they gave up steals of one point in ends 1, 2 & 3, then a steal of 2 in the 4th and another steal for 4 points. Now in a whole, 9 points down they scored 2 the 6th and decided that was enough. So at the end of the day, BC was on top of the standings with a 4-1 record, and 4 teams tied at 3-2 in second place.
Playing lights out for the first half of their morning game on St. Patrick’s Day the team representing BC/Yukon Command at the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship had 7-4 lead after 6 ends against the Team from Nova Scotia/Nunuvut. But the luck of the Irish soon wore off with Nova Scotia scoring 2 in the 7th with hammer then stealing 2 in 8 and 9 before running the BC’ers out of rocks in the 10th end.
PEI was playing against their neighbours, New Brunswick on sheet 2 and with 6 leads changes during the game, it was a good one. The Moncton team had a slim 1 point lead after 5 ends. PEI blanked the 6th before scoring a point in the 7th to retake the lead. New Brunswick responded with 2 of their own in 8 and then stole a point in 8. PEI did a great job to tie the game up in ten, sending them into an extra. New Brunswick prevailed with a point in 11.
The Newfoundlanders felt a bit of the Irish spirit in the first end of their game against Quebec, scoring 3. But that was as far as it went on the scoring side of things. Quebec responded with 2 in the 2nd end, then stole singles in 2, 4, & 5, then stole 2 in the 6th. The Stephenville team salvaged one in 7, Quebec scored themselves a point in 8, which encouraged an early exit from the ice.
Two other provincial neighbours met each other in draw 4. Manitoba had hammer in the first end and we’re forced to score one, but were able to get their 2nd point with a steal of against Saskatchewan in two. The Nutana Branch boys then duplicated what their long time rivals did by scoring one with hammer in 3 then stole a point in the 4th. The 5th end was blanked then Saskatchewan stole another in 6, before the squad from Pilot Mound scored 2 points in 7. Saskatchewan scored repeated the 3 & 4th ends in 8 & 9, before allowing Manitoba to score 2 points for the win in the 10th.
Only one team remains undefeated after the 3 rd draw of the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championships. Two of the 3 undefeated teams faced off against each other in the last draw Monday afternoon. The host Provincial Legion Command, BC/Yukon had a tight battle with the team from Quebec. The team from Branch 62 in Salmon Arm, BC scored one in the 3rd end after Quebec scored 1 in the 1st end with hammer and then stole one in the 2nd. The 4th & 5th were blanked then the teams alternated taking 2’s in the next 3 ends with BC with a slim one point lead playing the 9th. Quebec worked hard to get their one point to tie and start play in the 10th without the hammer. This Marathon game was extended even longer with a long 10th end. BC with hammer, ended up with some of their own stones as tight guards, but what seemed beneficial to the BC team. With a few half shots amongst the last 4 rocks of the end, didn’t put much pressure on the either team and allowed BC skip, Gord Duplise to throw a pretty routine hit to remove a counted Quebec rock for 3 and the win.
Saskatchewan, the other undefeated team going into draw three couldn’t get anything going for them early into their game against New Brunswick. A few misses, half shots and a couple of ticks on guards on skips rock put the Green Machine down 7-3 after 7 ends. They scrambled to get there one in the 8th and pulled out of the hat a steal of 3 to tie the game after 9. The team from branch 6 in Moncton regained some of their earlier form and made it tough for Saskatchewan to get a rock into a possible steal position and scored 3 in 10 for the win.
Two teams still looking for their first win of the National Legion event met each other in draw 3 on sheet 5. A close game for the 5 ends seemed to have a lot of rocks in play in most ends. The Branch 1 team from Charlottetown, PEI had a small lead of two points over the friendly Manitoba team after 5 ends but put the game away with a score of 2 in the 6th and a steal of 2 in the 7th to send everyone upstairs early so they could watch that long BC/Quebec game.
The Newfoundlanders were hoping to get their first win of the competition, when they met their close rivals from Nova Scotia. Again, a tough game for the boys from Stephenville, Nfld with them down by a score of 6-1 after 5 ends. The Nova Scotia team from branch 14 in River Hebert, NS scored 2 points in the 7th end, in between 2 points for Nfld, in each of the 6th and 8th ends. Nova Scotia had a good end in the 9th and forced Nfld to make the decision to end the game and shake hands.
The 2nd draw of the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship finished with 3 teams still without a loss and 3 without a win. Quebec got their second win in their 2nd extra end game. With a single in the first and steals of one in the 2nd and the 3rd end New Brunswick took an early lead into the 6th end after Quebec blanked the previous 2 ends before tying the game up with a big 3. New Brunswick replied with only one in the 7th. Quebec took their first lead of the game with a deuce in the 8th end. New Brunswick blanked the 9th then we’re forced to take only one point in the 10th to send the game into an extra end without hammer. Quebec as they did only a few hours earlier prevailed and got their 2nd win.
Nova Scotia/Nu and the Manitoba/NW Ont reps were in a tight game after 5 with Branch 62 from Pilot Mound, MB with a 1 point lead. They then stole 1 in 6, 2 in 7 for what seemed like a comfortable lead. Nova Scotia came storming back with 3 in 8, and stole a couple of ends themselves with singles in 9 and 10 for the win.
Throw in a blank in the 6th end and an exchange of singles after 7 ends BC/Yukon and PEI were tied at 3.Then BC opened the game up with a painful 4 points, followed by a steal of one to force a shake of hands.
Last year’s Champions from Saskatoon never looked worried in their win over Nfld. The Nutana Branch boys had a comfortable 5-2 lead after 6 ends. Both teams exchanged 2’s in 7 & 8 followed by a Nfld blank in 9. Saskatchewan than ran Nfld out of rocks to secure the 7-4 win.
The first draw of the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship is now complete. After a fun night at Maple Ridge Legion Branch 88 on Saturday night, starting with the welcoming reception and then dancing later upstairs in the lounge, the teams had to bounce back with a busy day on Sunday. The first draw Sunday night saw BC/Yukon playing against Newfoundland/Lab, Saskatchewan versus Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick facing the team from Pilot Mound, Manitoba representing Manitoba/NW Ontario and the Quebec team from Sherbrook, curling against Nova Scotia/Nunuvut.
The Manitoba team came just short of a nice come back against the team from Moncton, NB. Down 7-2 after 5 ends, they scored one in the 6th end then stole a point in the 7th & 8th ends. The 9th was blanked and then the Bison team came a point short to send the game into an extra end with a steal of one in the 10th, final score 7-6.
The BC team from Salmon Arm had their game in control throughout against Nfld/lab taking a 6-2 lead into 9th end. The Stephenville team scored 3 in the 9th to make it close, BC took care of things in the 10th with the final score 6-5 in favour of BC.
Saskatchewan played bandits in their game against the team from Charlottetown, PEI. Blanking the first 2 ends, the wheat province scored one with hammer then went on to steal single points in the next 3 ends. The 7th end was blanked, then PEI book ended a couple of 2’s between a single for Saskatchewan in the 8th and in 10th ends coming a point short to sending the game in to a extra end, final score 5-4.
Quebec and Nova Scotia had a back and forth battle with Nova Scotia needing 3 to win in the 10th. Skip, Scopie had a difficult split for his 3, and settled for 2 and the extra end. Quebec prevailed, not having to throw their last rock to win.
During the Practice sessions on Sunday afternoon, each member of the Participating teams in the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship threw a rock to the button. with sweeping. The rocks were measured and recorded as a team total. This accumulative distance will be used for seeding purposes in case of the need for tie breakers.
It took awhile for the teams to get accustomed to the very fast Golden Ears Ice and draw distances from the pin hole were pretty high. Only 3 teams had total distance from the centre of the button under 100 inches, with Nova Scotia/Nunuvut having the lowest total of 84 inches.
RANK TEAM/COMMAND DISTANCE
1st Nova Scotia/Nunuvut 84”
2nd New Brunswick 88”
3rd Saskatchewan 89.5”
4th Prince Edward Island 137.25”
5th British Columbia/Yukon 162.5”
6th Quebec 175”
7th Manitoba/NW Ont 192.5”
8th Newfoundland/Lab 196”
The time schedule for practice sessions being held on Sunday March 15th have changed slightly.
The Golden Ears Curling Club ice technician, Terry Gregory and his very capable assistant Don Huber (Don is a member of Legion Branch 88) have requested that the practice sessions on Sunday start ˝ hour later than originally scheduled. There is a league playing on Sunday morning and Terry would like a bit more time so he and Don can scrape and prepare the ice. They want to give the Legion Dominion curlers the best ice possible to curl on. The times and teams practicing in each session are indicated below.
1:00 pm - 1st Practice Session - Nfld/Lab,
2:00 pm - 2nd Practice Session - NS/NVT, NB, Quebec & Man/NW Ont.
After a year of planning, the 2009 Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championships are ready to begin. The Championship is being held from March 14 – March 20, 2009 in Maple Ridge British Columbia. The Maple Ridge Legion, Branch 88 has left no stone unturned to make the visit of Legion curlers representing 8 Legion Provincial Commands, one they will remember for a long time. Nutana Branch 362 from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.will be returning to the Dominion Championship to defend their 2008 title at the Golden Ears Curling Club in Maple Ridge. They will be joined by Salmon Arm, BC Branch 62, Pilot Mound, Manitoba Branch 62, Sherbrooke, Quebec Branch 10, Moncton, New Brunswick Branch 6, River Hebert, Nova Scotia Branch 14, Charlottetown, PEI Branch 1, and Stephenville, Nfld Branch 35.
Maple Ridge Branch 88 Host Committee Chair, Comrade Steve Zeron is pleased to see that all of his committee’s hard work, finally coming to the point of reality. “I’m proud to see how our group has come together to make this event happen. We look forward to hosting our fellow comrades from across the country. Aside from the curling competition we have a week full of events and entertainment”. Steve is responsible for the Championship theme, when during a committee organizing meeting he was heard to say “Rock your socks off at Branch 88”.
The Maple Ridge Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion was established by Charter in 1927. It has grown to be one of the largest, most successful branches in Canada with membership in excess of 2600 and, with six buildings, assets of over $50 million dollars. The Branch licensed lounge is often called the most beautiful anywhere, with its skylights, windows, patio and a huge lofted ceiling. Seating 250, the lounge is the center point for our members' social activities. Our Sports Lounge with all of its TV's are fantastic. A good place to be! The Fireside Lounge is a peaceful haven and provides a quiet area for conversation with friends. Books and magazines are plentiful. Archive Alley houses all of the memorabilia from many veterans who have donated interesting items from their years of serving their country.
Branch 88 has a long history of hosting the various Legion Member sports events. Over the years, the branch has twice sent BC reps to the Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship. The Golden Ears Curling Club where the curling competition of the 2009 Dominion Championship will be held has hosted many Provincial Championship events leading to Canadian Curling Association National events. The most recent event was the BC Men’s Provincial Curling Championship held last month, with the Sean Geal team winning the opportunity to represent BC at next week’s Brier in Calgary. Golden Ears has had many Provincial Champions at all levels of Men’s, Women’s and juniors. Golden Ears is looking forward to hosting the Legion curlers from across the country and are pleased to give them ice to curl on that has the reputation of being the best in British Columbia.
The Maple Ridge Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and its members are looking forward to a great week of comradeship not only on the curling ice, but also in the fun and entertainment planned at the Branch. To find out more about Branch 88 check out the Branch website at www.legion88.ca.
Skip - 6 Legion Dominion Championships, 1 time Legion Dominion Champion
3rd - 2 time rep at Legion Dominion Championship
2nd - 2 time rep at Legion Dominion Championship
Lead - 2 time rep at Legion Dominion Championship
Skip – 2008 Legion Dominion Champion, curled 22 years
3rd - 2008 Legion Dominion Champion, curled 39 years
2nd - 2008 Legion Dominion Champion, 2005 rep at Senior Legion Dominion Championship, curled 25 years
Lead - 2008 Legion Dominion Champion, curled 7 years
Skip – rep at 2007 Legion Dominion Championship, 8 Legion Provincials
3rd - rep at 2007 Legion Dominion Championship, 7 Legion Provincials, 5 Scotties Provincials
2nd - rep at 2007 Legion Dominion Championship, 6 Legion Provincials
Lead - rep at 2007 Legion Dominion Championship, 3 Legion Provincials
Skip – Twice Legion Dominion Champion, 5 Legion Provincials, 2 time Provincial Tankard participant, curled 24 years
3rd - Twice Legion Dominion Champion, 3 time Provincial Tankard participant, curled 14 years
2nd - One Legion Dominion Championship win, 3 time Provincial Tankard participant, curled 14 years
Lead - Twice Legion Dominion Champion, 5 time Legion Dominion rep, 9 Legion Provincials,
Skip – 21 years of Legion curling, curled 40 years
3rd - 30 years of Legion curling, curled 30 years
2nd - 28 years of Legion curling, curled 22 years
Lead - 37 years of Legion curling, curled 35 years
New Brunswick Command
Skip - 2000 & 2004 Legion Dominion, Gold Medal @ 2008 Canada Games 55+. Curled 31 years
3rd - Twice runner up at NB Tankard, NB rep at 1998 Brier, Represented NB at Postal curling Championship 25 times, runner up 4 times.
2nd - Twice runner up at NB Tankard, 4 of 6 times in Senior NB Provincial final, curled 28 years
Lead - 2004 Legion Dominion, Gold Medal @ 2008 Canada Games 55+, curled 24 years
Prince Edward Island Command
Skip – 1998 Legion Dominion Regular Champion, 2000 rep at Legion Dominion Senior Championship, Skip at 2003 Canadian Seniors Championship
2nd - 2003 Canadian Seniors Championship.- threw 2ns stone
Newfoundland & Labrador Command
Skip – 9 time rep at Legion Dominion Championships, 5 Canadian Senior Championships, 7 Mixed and Tankard Provincial Championships
3rd - 6 time rep at Legion Dominion Championship, 2 Senior Provincial Championships, Curled 12 years
2nd - 10 time rep at Legion Dominion Championship, 1 Canadian Senior Championship..Lead – One Legion Dominion Championship