|Mac Ice Classic turns into curling rock show|
|Thursday, 11 October 2012 11:42|
By Joe Pavia
Quebec skip Marie-France Larouche (Reuters file)
Home shows don’t move this much granite.
Monday’s championship round of the Mac Ice Classic featured some stellar shot-making and tons of rocks in play.
The men’s side boiled down to the region’s best men’s rink, Team Ian MacAulay, against a new team to the Ottawa scene — Thunder Bay’s Team Trevor Bonot. The women’s final featured a junior team on a roll — Team Lauren Horton — against Quebec City’s Team Marie-France Larouche.
Horton was down by two in the fourth end. When Horton threw her hammer stone in that end, 15 of 16 rocks were in play. She was counting two and had 4 rocks welded together covering the 4 foot., An enemy stone had welded at the back four, preventing Horton from scoring any more than two. Horton threw firm weight, nudging her line of granite back to dislodge the blue rock and score four to lead 5-3 going into the fifth.
Larouche came right back and countered with her own score of four.
“She played an excellent end (in the fourth),” said Larouche. “After that, we said we are just down by two so we have to take two. Then Brenda (Nicholls, her vice) made a great hit and roll to let us take four and I think that brought them down.”
The Quebec rink stole one more point before running Horton out of rocks in the final end for an 8-5 victory and a cheque for $3,000. The youngsters earned $2,000.
Not to be outdone, MacAulay made a quadruple takeout in the seventh end of his game. He went on to an 8-4 win.
“I figured we had to hit close to where we had to hit it,” MacAulay said. “Some of my guys didn’t think it was there. It was the end of the game.” Referring to the northern Ontario team, he said, “They made a ton of shots. They kept coming at us.”
MacAulay, Steve and Rick Allen and Barry Conrad earned $5,000 and Bonot left with $3,000.
Bonot dispatched defending champion Jean-Michel Menard in one semi-final.
The MacAulay-Mike Fournier semi-final saw plenty in rocks in play, allowing the Ottawa rink to steal two for a 5-2 win. Both Fournier and Menard won $2,000.
Men’s qualifiers winning $1,200 each were Frank O’Driscoll, Don Bowser, Ollson Sports Group (Team Dow) and Howard Rajala. The women’s field semis saw Horton defeat Montreal’s Allison Ross and Larouche beating Laura Payne.
In the tournament’s three open sections, the winners were Team Ollson Sports ($800), Art Miskew ($500) and Al Solari ($400).
WINNER’S CIRCLE: Two Ontario women’s teams — Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan and Collingwood’s Team Sherry Middaugh (with Ottawa’s Lee Merklinger at second) — ended up in the final at Calgary’s Curlers’ Corner Autumn Gold Classic. Middaugh emerged with a 6-3 win.
“We controlled the whole game. She (Homan) had a deuce opportunity in the seventh, but she ticked on a guard and we stole one.” The deuce would have tied the match,” Middaugh said.
Middaugh’s team earned $14,000, while Homan captured $11,000.
BITERS: Ottawa’s Erin Morrissey and Karen Sagle, playing third and second respectively for Peterborough’s Lisa Farnell, helped their squad reach the final at the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard. Farnell lost to Mary-Anne Arsenault and Colleen Jones of Halifax 7-2 for a $3,000 payday ... Bryan Cochrane called the shots for Chris Gardner in the same cashspiel, where they lost to Bradford’s Joe Franz in a semi-final. Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton took the top prize.