ALBERTON -- Standings got really interesting really quickly in the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Curling Championship’s afternoon draw Monday afternoon here at the Western Community Curling Club. Within minutes, the last two of the unbeaten teams went down to defeat.
It started with Steve Eller’s Nova Scotia team from Fairview Legion in Halifax handing Blair Goethal’s team from Deloraine Legion Branch 83 in Manitoba (Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario) an 8-3 setback in eight ends.
P.E.I., skipped by Mel Bernard from Summerside Legion Branch 5 needed a double take-out on his final shot in 10 to score two and remain undefeated, but he only got one, leaving Quebec’s Jim Putnam with a steal of one and an 8-6 victory.
“That was a big game for us. If we would have won that game, it would have put us in the driver’s seat. Now, we’re tied with a number of teams and other teams are breathing down our necks,” Bernard assessed. Manitoba remains in first with a 3-1 record. P.E.I. and Nova Scotia/Nunavut have 2-1 records while Quebec and Saskatchewan are right there at 2-2.
“The potential is there for a three- or four-way tie, depending on how things go,” Bernard acknowledged. “What makes it interesting, too, is everybody’s around the same caliber, so, whoever gets the breaks and gets the big shot at the right time, anything can happen.”
A key turning point in the game came in the sixth when Putnam, in danger of sailing right through the house, ticked a rock out front and ended up shot stone. Instead of P.E.I. scoring a possible four, Putman put a point on the board.
Bernard is pleased with how his team is performing and said they’re also having fun. “We’ve come enough to realize, just enjoy ourselves and curl as hard as we can, and hope for the best,” said the veteran of more than a dozen Legion Nationals.
Monday morning scores: Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario 10, Quebec 7; PEI 10 Saskatchewan 2; BC/Yukon 12, Nova Scotia/Nunavut 5.
Afternoon draw: Quebec 8, P.E.I. 6; NS/Nu 8, Man/NW Ont. 3 and Sask 7, NL 3.
Standings after two days of play at the Western Community Curling Club in Alberton
Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario 3-1
Prince Edward Island 2-1
Nova Scotia/Nunavut 2-1
British Columbia/Yukon 1-2
Newfoundland and Labrador 0-3