ALBERTON -- Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario, represented by Deloraine Legion Branch 83 put up two lop-sided victories Sunday to top the leaderboard after one day of play in the Royal Canadian Legion’s 57th annual Dominion Legion Curling Championship. The seven-team round robin championship is being hosted by St. Anthony’s Legion Branch 27 in Bloomfield, and the games are being played at the Western Community Curling Club in Alberton. Skipped by Blair Goethals, the Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario team opened with a 10-3 win over Rick Cook’s Newfoundland and Labrador team out of the Stephenville Branch 35 and ended the day with a 9-1 win over Saskatchewan’s Andrew Hay rink from Nutawa Legion Branch 362.
The team from the host province, the Mel Bernard rink from Summerside Legion Branch 5, had the bye in the opening draw. They went right to work in the evening with an 8-3 win over Newfoundland and Labrador.
In the other evening game, British Columbia/Yukon from Cowichan Branch 35 had a 5-2 lead going at the fifth end break, but that’s when the wheels fell off. Quebec (Jim Putnam, Hudson Branch 115) rebounded with one in the sixth and then stole deuces in seven, eight and nine for an 8-5 victory.
Two of the games in the opening draw ended in the seventh when the teams in the lead both stole triples.
Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario scored four in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead. They were up 7-3 on Newfoundland and Labrador after six and their stolen triple in seven was enough to bring out the handshakes.
Nova Scotia/Nunavut (Steve Elder) made effective use of the hammer to build up a 5-2 lead on Quebec’s Jim Putnam at the five-end break. Elder then stole one in six and put the game away with the steal of three in seven.
Saskatchewan’s Andrew Hay spotted British Columbia/Yukon a 3-1 lead through the first three ends before putting up singles in each of the next six ends (five stolen points) for a 7-3 lead after nine. He ran Gallaugher out of rocks in the tenth.
There are two draws at Western Community Curling Club on Monday, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Standings after the opening day of round robin play
Team W L
Manitoba/NW Ontario 2 0
P.E.I. 1 0
NS/Nunavut 1 0
Quebec 1 1
Sask 1 1
BC/Yukon 0 2
NFld Labrador 0 2