ALBERTON -- It took an extra end to accomplish it, but Jamie Newson and his Silver Fox Curling Club rink hammered out a tight 8-7 win over defending champion Eddie MacKenzie in the opening draw of the P.E.I. Tankard provincial men’s curling championship Wednesday evening at the Western Community Curling Club.
Newson had opened up a 7-3 lead over MacKenzie after eight ends, but MacKenzie forced the extra end with a triple in the ninth and a stolen single in the tenth.
The John Likely rink from the Charlottetown Curling Club and the host Western Community Curling Club also scored a tight victory in their first game. Likely scored his team’s only steal of the game in the tenth end, and it gave them a 6-4 win over Darren Higgins and company from the Silver Fox.
A pair of deuces were also pivotal in Likely’s victory.
The win sends Likely and his team of Anson Carmody, Steve Burgess and Matthew Nabuurs right back out in the 9 p.m. draw against another Summerside rink, skipped by Steve van Ouwerkerk.
The late starts Wednesday were brought on by a snowstorm that delayed the scheduled 2 p.m. draw by three hours and pushed the scheduled 7 p.m. draw to 9 p.m.
While Likely is playing van Ouwerkerk, Newson and his team of Corey Miller, Patrick Ramsay and Adam Arsenault will be taking on the P.E.I. Junior champions, the Tyler Smith rink from Charlottetown. Van Ouwerkerk and Smith got the first draw bye on the basis of being seeded first and second respectively among the six men’s entries.