St. Anthony’s Legion rink to represent P.E.I. at Legion Curling Nationals

Eric McCarthy
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Published on January 12, 2014

Skip Kevin Ellsworth urges on his sweepers, from left, Blaine Hutt, David Bell and Fred Fraser on his final stone in six during the final game Sunday of the Provincial Legion Curling championship. Looking on is Earle Proude from the Lou Nowlan Summerside Legion rink. The Ellsworth rink, representing the St. Anthony’s Legion, tied the game with a deuce in the sixth and went on to win the provincial title.

Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer

Published on January 12, 2014

Mate Blaine Hutt and skip Kevin Ellsworth strategize during their Provincial Legion Curling championship game Sunday against the Lou Nowlan rink from Summerside. The St. Anthony’s Legion team claimed a 7-5 victory with a hit for two in the tenth.

Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer

Published on January 12, 2014

Summerside Legion skip Lou Nowlan watches as his front end, Earle Proude and Paul Matheson, sweep one of his rocks in the fifth end. Nowlan bowed out of the double knock-out championship with a 2-2 record, both of his losses at the hands of the winning Kevin Ellsworth rink from St. Anthony’s Legion.

Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer

ALBERTON -- Skip Kevin Ellsworth will be attending his fifth Dominion Command National Legion Curling Championship March 15 to 19 in Dauphin, Manitoba..

Ellsworth and his host St. Anthony’s Legion team of Blaine Hutt, mate; Fred Fraser, second and David Bell, lead, defeated Lou Nowlan’s Summerside Legion team 7-5 Sunday morning at the Western Community Curling Club to take the four-team, double knock-out championship in the minimum number of games. This will be Hutt’s third Legion National with Ellsworth, Bell’s second and Fraser’s first.

Other members of the Nowlan rink are Barry Cameron, Paul Matheson and Earle Proude. Nowlan and Proude were members of the Mel Bernard rink that won the provincial championship last year.

Ellsworth had opened the championship Friday night with a win over Nowlan and followed that up with a win over the David Murphy Charlottetown Legion team. In the meantime, Nowlan stayed alive by eliminating the Dale Cannon Summerside Legion team Saturday morning and the Murphy rink in the afternoon. He needed two wins Sunday against Ellsworth to take the title, but Ellsworth made the most of his first opportunity.

It was a close battle from beginning to end, though. Nowlan blanked the first and took a deuce in the second. Ellsworth blanked the third and the teams traded singles over the next two ends. Ellsworth tied the game with two in the sixth and took the lead with a steal of two in eight. Nowlan tied things up when he hit and stuck for two in the ninth, setting up an interesting final end which included two hogged rocks by the Nowlan rink and two missed peels by the Ellsworth foursome.

Nowlan elected to hide behind a long center guard with the first of his skip rocks. Ellsworth was able to get it out but couldn’t get the roll under cover, leaving his rock 90 per cent exposed on the four-foot, behind the tee-line. Nowlan then threw a perfect draw, tapping Ellsworth’s rock back a few inches and rolling two-thirds buried. On his hammer shot, Ellsworth skimmed past the long guard and bumped back the Nowlan stone to stay for two.

“Once they get guards up front, you’ve got to peel them and if you get a nose hit, or whatever, on one, it makes sometimes an interesting last shot, and that’s exactly what happened,“ Ellsworth acknowledged. He agreed Nowlan made a gutsy final throw. “He got a little inside roll on it and then I had to play it a little bit tighter, almost wrecked on the guard,“ he said in replaying the game-winning shot. “I knew I had to play it tight., thee was no sense floating it out.”

The winning skip admitted he would have liked to have seen more legion teams entered, noting he has curled in the event when there were as many as 20 teams - senior and regular legion combined - entered.

“It’s still a nice, friendly tournament,“ he stressed. “Some of the guys are laughing in between (shots). We try hard to win, but it’s not like somebody smashing their brooms, or cursing and swearing; it’s a nice, friendly tournament.”

He had praise for the Nowlan rink. “Hats off to them. It was a good game and they’re good guys to curl against.”

Organizations: Legion Curling Nationals, Western Community Curling Club

Geographic location: St. Anthony, P.E.I.

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