Simply put, if skip Rod MacDonald, third stone John Likely, second stone Mark O’Rourke and lead Peter MacDonald defeat Newfoundland and Labrador’s Glenn Goss in tonight’s (Friday) 7 p.m. draw, P.E.I. will finish round-robin play in second place and play in Saturday night’s semifinal.
P.E.I. goes into its round-robin finale tied for second with Alberta’s Wade White at 8-2 (won-lost). However, having defeated Alberta in the round robin, P.E.I. holds the tiebreaker. Alberta plays Northern Ontario’s Bruce Munro (3-7) tonight.
“Going into it I knew we had a good team, and that we were going to be tough,” said MacDonald after P.E.I.’s sixth straight win – an 8-7 nail-biter over Ontario’s Howard Rajala – on Friday morning. “I knew if we got the right breaks and shots at the right time, we would do well.”
New Brunswick’s Wayne Tallon, who is 9-1, has clinched first place and a berth in Sunday’s final. Tallon, who has defeated both P.E.I. and Alberta, closes out the round robin against British Columbia’s Craig Lepine (4-6).
The second- and third-place teams meet in the semifinal on Saturday night.
Six straight wins
P.E.I. made it six straight wins with an 8-7 nail-biter over Ontario’s Howard Rajala on Friday morning. P.E.I. scored three in the sixth end to build an 8-3 lead, but Ontario counted singles in the final four ends and the game came right down to skip MacDonald’s final shot.
Ontario was counting two – one top four biting the button and one centre half four-foot and half button. On his final shot, MacDonald managed to punch the centre rock back far enough to limit Ontario to a steal of one for the one-point victory.
“Going into it I knew we had a good team, and that we were going to be tough. I knew if we got the right breaks and shots at the right time, we would do well.” - P.E.I. men's skip Rod MacDonald
“After missing two in nine, I figured I had better make one or two,” said MacDonald. “I knew it was a real straight spot and I couldn’t overthrow it. I had the proper weight, and it came up just enough at the end to tap it out.”
Likely also delivered a clutch double takeout in the final end.
“That was a big help for sure,” said MacDonald. “They just rubbed the front and that opened it up. That double certainly got us out of trouble.
Overall, though, MacDonald felt P.E.I. controlled the game and admitted his two missed shots in the ninth end made things more difficult than they had to be. MacDonald was referring to a missed peel attempt on his first shot, and he came up light on a draw attempt with his second to give up a steal of one to make it 8-6 coming home.
“If I had made those, I probably would not have had to throw my last two,” said MacDonald.
Other morning draws
In other morning draws, New Brunswick defeated Manitoba’s Bob Sigurdson 7-4; Alberta edged Saskatchewan’s Gord Bell 8-7; British Columbia stole a single in the extra end for a 9-8 win over Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia’s Alan O’Leary counted one with hammer for a 6-5 extra-end win over Quebec’s Robert MacLean, and Northern Ontario trimmed the Northwest Territories’ Glen Hudy 14-4.
The women’s round robin concludes with six games at 2:30 p.m. Nova Scotia’s Colleen Pinkney rink from the Truro Curling Club has already clinched first place and a berth in Sunday’s final.