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2011 Canadian National Wheelchair Curling Champions

Manitoba

 

     


George Horning, Chris Sobkowicz, Dennis Thiessen, Melissa Lecuyer, Don Kalinsky
Coach – Rob Lamb

Scroll down for end of day results, line scores and standings.
.

 
     
Final Standings
Gold    - Manitoba
Silver   - Alberta
Bronze - Nova Scotia
       
     

Final - Alberta 7-8  Manitoba

Semi-final - Nova Scotia 3-6 Manitoba

Page 1v2  Nova Scotia 5 - 6  Alberta

Page 3v4  Manitoba 6 - 4  BC
.

 
      Standings after Final
(click on team for team members)
 
Team

 

Won

 

Lost

 

Points
+
Points
-
Steals
+
Steals
-
1 Manitoba 10 2 85 53 19 9
2 Alberta 9 2 82 47 22 11
3 Nova Scotia 8 3 67 54 19 14
4 BC 6 4 68 50 17 15
5 Northern Ontario 4 5 56 55 19 13
6 Host Team - Alberta 4 5 53 62 20 17
7 Saskatchewan 3 6 47 61 8 15
8 Quebec 3 6 49 54 10 12
9 Ontario 2 7 53 65 12 16
10 Newfoundland-Labrador 0 9 23 82 6 30

For line scores click on the draw number below
[1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]  [6]  [7]  [8]  [9] [P1-2] [P3-4] [SF] [F]

Results and draws
(times are Mountain Daylight Time)

         
     

All-Stars - Mike Fitzgerald NS skip, Dennis Thiessen MB 3rd, Trendal Hubley-Bolivar NS 2nd and Debbie Earle NS Lead.

Sportsmanship Award - Frank LaBounty BC with an honourable mention to Joanne MacDonald NL

Blog coverage including photos

Suday March 27 - Semi-final recap      Final recap

Saturday March 26 - 1/2 Playoff recap    3/4 Playoff Recap

Friday March 25 - Draw 8 Blog Recap        Draw 9 Blog Recap

Thursday March 24  Draw 6 Blog Recap    -  Draw 7 Blog Recap

Wednesday March 23 - Draw 4 Blog Recap   -  Draw 5 Blog Recap

Tuesday March 22 - Draw 2 Blog Recap  -  Draw 3 Blog Recap

Monday March 21 - Draw 1 Blog Recap

Sunday March 20 - Preview - who's who and where they may finish

The path to success at wheelchair curling is not a secret. You need a lead who can put stones in the rings, a second who can hit when necessary, a skip who calls shots that can be made, rather than shots he or she would like to see made, and an open path for your fourth rock thrower's winning draw.

With that in mind here's how I see this Championship shaping up. I've grouped the team into three sections: contenders, hopefuls and long shots.

Contenders: Alberta, BC, Quebec and Ontario

Alberta are my (narrow) favourites to make the breakthrough to a gold medal that has eluded them in the six plus years they have been playing together. Their best result has so far been a silver medal in 2009 in a game where Jack Smart's last rock throw came within an inch of beating BC, led by Jim Armstrong.

Last year they lost skip Bruno Yizek to Paralympic duty, but Martin Purvis stepped up at 2nd and won all-star honours as did teammates Bridget Wilson and Anne Hibberd.

Bruno returns as skip this year and will throw last rocks. Player for player Alberta have as strong a team as any in Edmonton. For three years they worked with newly appointed GB coach Tony Zummack, a role that has passed to Andy Jones. Team Alberta have a genuine five person squad, are a very organised and disciplined team, and with a current Team Canada member skipping may just be the team to break BC's stranglehold on the National title.

BC - Last year Gary Cormack skipped a BC Host Team to the national title, defeating Gerry Austgarden's BC provincial champions in the final. This year the provincial championships were held in Kimberley, a location far from where BC's curlers actually lived.

New teams were formed from the players with the resources to travel, and to the surprise of many observers Gary's blend of two players from each of last year's final teams, beat out the favoured Jim Armstrong rink that included Darryl Neighbour, Chris Daw and Jackie Roy - all with Team Canada squad experience.

Gary Cormack won a Paralympic gold medal in Torino in 2006, Frank LaBounty has played in most of the Nationals and is benefiting from the rule change allowing him to use his power chair. Vince Miele has shown similar longevity and Alison Duddy, a relative newcomer at lead, has last year's silver medal experience to build on.

BC's approach to the Nationals has been almost the opposite to Alberta's in that they have not worked together as a team under their own coach. They do have experience though, not only at playing, but winning. Their strengths will be their experience calling a game that suits their players, and while they may not be as strong individually as some other teams, their past record says that yet again they will be tough to beat.

Quebec - My wildcard selection for this year's championship is Quebec. This will be their third trip to the Nationals. Last year three male members of the team left Kelowna in a sulk, early and without their coach's permission. That transgression led to the team relocating to a different club and working with a new, but highly experienced, coach.

The strength of what is still a relatively inexperienced team is their track record as established high performance athletes outside of curling. They have added Sébastien Boisvert, considered a "natural" by coaches I have spoken to, and Germain Tremblay may have had time to instil not only some respect for the conventions of the game, but strategic sense.

If skip Ben Lessard has some early success, he opens against Nova Scotia and Manitoba, that will help his confidence. The team has travelled this season to prepare for the Nationals, and expect to do well, I think with some justification.

Ontario - It has taken Ontario skip Chris Rees three years to get back on the national stage after losing the 2008 final to Jim Armstrong's BC. He returns with equally experienced Carl Bax, and a rookie second in Alec Denys, a five time Paralympian at archery. Shauna Petrie rounds out the team who had a tough road to Edmonton, having to beat out five other teams including two previous Ontario champions at their provincials.

Back in 2008 the feeling among opposing coaches was that the way to defeat Ontario was to put lots of granite in the rings and see whether Rees had the physical strength to throw the required hits. I expect this generation of coaches may have similar notions, though rookie Denys has impressed observers with his hitting. Ontario's prospects may depend on Rees' ability to rely on a draw to win the game.

The hopefuls: Northern Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia

Northern Ontario were a tie-break away from the playoffs in 2009, but faded to a 3-6 record last year. They bring the same team to Edmonton, knowing that they beat Manitoba twice in pre-championship friendlies.

They are a great team to hang with and I am sure they want to win; though perhaps not with quite the single-minded drive and determination of Wayne Ficek, their skip. This is not a team of established high performance athletes with Paralympic pedigrees, but if they can recapture the consistency that was lacking last year, they have realistic hopes of making the final four.

Manitoba have taken bronze from the last three Nationals. This year's team was born out of acrimony, with Dennis Thiessen changing allegiance that resulted in Chris Sobkowicz's rink being declared Manitoba's representative without a provincial championship.

Chris and Dennis have won bronze at the last three Nationals and George Horning is also an experienced curler. Melissa Lecuyer is one of eight rookies at this year's championships. They lost to Northern Ontario this season and while they can count on the experience of their back end, peace and love has never been a hallmark of previous Manitoba teams. If it's possible to want to win too much, this is the team that will suffer.

Nova Scotia can beat anyone on their day, but have not so far shown the consistency to string enough wins together to challenge for the podium. Skip Mike Fitzgerald is a shotmaker who has in the past been called on to make too many game saving shots.

This is the same team that gave last year's winners their only loss. They also beat this year's favourites, Alberta, yet later lost to sub-500 teams like Saskatchewan and Quebec. It may be that a nine game round robin stretches this team's stamina.

Long shots: Saskatchewan, Host Team Alberta, Newfoundland-Labrador

Saskatchewan posted a very respectable 4-5 record last year, but this year are without the experienced Del Huber. Darwin Bender steps up as skip and last year's alternate Terry Hart comes in, significantly at lead.

Saskatchewan has not grown participation over the past three years and while this team is enthusiastic, the question is whether they can improve enough to move up the table.

Team Host Alberta - The CCA had hoped to add a tenth provincial team this year, but both New Brunswick and PEI decided they were not yet ready to compete at the national level. Edmonton as hosts took the tenth spot by coming second to Calgary's Team Yizek in their provincial championship.

Cliff Nuspl has been around a long time, and was named alternate on Team Smart with Bruno Yizek on Team Canada duty last year. He skips a squad that has impressed Cathy Craig, the coach. This will, however, be their first experience not only of play at this level, but of nine games in five days.

They will have a home crowd cheering them on, and the advantage of sleeping in their own beds, but I think they will have done well if at the end of the week they get close to a .500 record.

Team Newfoundland/Labrador - While most provinces struggle to get female players, Newfoundland/Labrador field a team with just one male. This is the team skipped by Chris Daw in 2009. When he moved west, Joanne MacDonald stepped up. She struggled as a rookie skip in 2010 and with a year's practice will be looking to improve on that 1-8 record.
 

 
      Standings after Round Robin
(click on team for team members)
 
Team

 

Won

 

Lost

 

Points
+
Points
-
Steals
+
Steals
-
Nova Scotia 8 1 59 42 17 9
Alberta 8 1 69 34 19 8
Manitoba 7 2 65 39 14 8
BC 6 3 64 44 16 13
Northern Ontario 4 5 56 55 19 13
Host Team - Alberta 4 5 53 62 20 17
Saskatchewan 3 6 47 61 8 15
Quebec 3 6 49 54 10 12
Ontario 2 7 53 65 12 16
Newfoundland-Labrador 0 9 23 82 6 30

For line scores click on the draw number below
[1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]  [6]  [7]  [8]  [9] [TB] [P1-2] [P3-4] [SF] [F]

Results and draws
(times are Mountain Daylight Time)

     
Date Time Sheet B Sheet C Sheet D Sheet E Sheet F
21 7 pm NL  - AB
1 - 11
QC  -  NS
5 - 6
HT  -  ON
7 - 5
MB  -  NO
9 - 5
SK  -  BC
4 - 6
22 1 pm MB  -  QC
8 - 5
NL -  ON
4 - 10
AB  -  SK
11 - 3
HT - BC
 7 - 8
NO - NS
1 - 8
22 6 pm NS -  HT
9 - 7
SK  -  NO
4 - 11
BC  -  NL
10 - 1
QC  -  AB
2 - 6
ON  -  MB
4 - 9
23 1 pm SK  -  NL
10 - 2
HT  -  QC
9 - 8
NS  -  MB
7 - 4
NO - ON
8 - 7
BC  - AB
6 - 7
23 6 pm BC - MB
1 - 8
ON  -  AB
5 - 7
NO  -  QC
4 - 8
NS - NL
9 - 5
HT  -  SK
8 - 3
24 1 PM HT - NO
2 - 5
NS - BC
1
- 8
MB  -  AB
4  - 6
ON  -  SK
6 - 9
NL  -  QC
1 - 8
24 6 pm ON  - NS
5 - 7
MB  -  SK
7 - 3
NL - HT
6 - 7
BC  -  QC
5 - 7
AB  -  NO
8 - 7
25 10 am QC  -  SK
4 - 7
NO - NL
9 - 1
ON - BC
3 - 13
AB  -  NS
3 - 6
MB  -  HT
8 - 6
25 3 pm NO - BC
6 - 7
AB  -  HT
10 - 0
SK  -  NS
4 - 6
NL - MB
2 - 8
QC  -  ON
2 - 8
26 1.30

Page 1/2  Nova Scotia 5 - 6 Alberta

26 6.30 Page 3/4  - Manitoba 6 - 4 BC
27 9.30 Semi-final  - Nova Scotia 3 - 6 Manitoba
27 2 PM Final  -  Alberta 7 - 8 Manitoba
     
     
Final  - Sunday March 27 - 2 PM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Alberta * 1 0 3 0 0 2 0 1 7
Manitoba 0 2 0 1 2 0 3 0 8
 
Semi-final - Sunday March 27 - 9.30 AM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Nova Scotia * 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 x 3
Manitoba 0 1 1 0 0 2 2 x 6
 
Page Playoff 1/2 - Saturday March 26  - 1.30 PM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Nova Scotia * 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 5
Alberta 1 0 0 0 2 1 2 0 6
 
Page Playoff 3/4 - Saturday March 26 - 6.30 PM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Manitoba * 1 1 1 0 0 3 0 x 6
BC 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 x 4
Draw 9 - Friday March 25 - 3 PM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
N. Ontario 0 2 1 2 0 0 0 1 6
BC * 1 0 0 0 3 2 1 0 7
Alberta 2 1 1 2 3 1 x x 10
Host * 0 0 0 0 0 0 x x 0
Saskatchewan 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 x 4
Nova Scotia * 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 x 6
Newfoundland/Lab 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 x 2
Manitoba * 0 2 1 2 1 0 2 x 8
Quebec * 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 x 2
Ontario 2 0 1 0 2 2 1 x 8

Draw 8 - Friday March 25 - 10 AM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Quebec 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 x 4
Saskatchewan * 0 1 0 1 0 2 3 x 7
N. Ontario 2 0 1 1 2 2 1 x 9
Newfoundland/Lab * 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 x 1
Ontario 0 1 0 2 0 0 x x 3
BC * 3 0 3 0 3 4 x x 13
Alberta * 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 x 3
Nova Scotia 1 1 0 3 1 0 0 x 6
Manitoba * 1 1 0 4 2 0 0 x 8
Host 0 0 1 0 0 4 1 x 6

Draw 7 - Thursday March 24 - 6 PM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Ontario 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 x 5
Nova Scotia * 3 1 1 0 2 0 0 x 7
Manitoba 1 0 2 0 0 2 2 x 7
Saskatchewan * 1 0 1 1 0 0 x 3
Newfoundland/Lab 2 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 6
Host * 0 2 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 7
BC * 0 1 0 1 0 0 3 x 5
Quebec 2 0 1 0 1 3 0 x 7
Alberta * 3 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 8
N. Ontario 0 0 1 2 2 1 0 1 7

Draw 6 - Thursday March 24 - 1 PM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Host * 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 x 2
N. Ontario   1 1 0 1 1 0 1 x 5
Nova Scotia * 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 x 1
BC 1 0 0 2 1 2 2 x 8
Manitoba * 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 x 4
Alberta 0 1 2 2 0 1 0 x 6
Ontario * 2 0 0 1 1 0 2 x 6
Saskatchewan 0 2 4 0 0 3 0 x 9
Newfoundland/Lab 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 x 1
Quebec * 1 0 1 1 1 2 2 x 8

Draw 5 - Wednesday March 23 - 6 PM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
BC * 0 1 0 0 0 0 x x 1
Manitoba 2 0 1 1 3 1 x x 8
Ontario * 0 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 5
Alberta 2 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 7
N. Ontario 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 x 4
Quebec * 1 1 1 0 4 1 0 x 8
Nova Scotia * 3 0 3 2 0 1 0 x   9
Newfoundland/Lab 0 1 0 0 1 0 3 x 5
Host * 1 2 1 2 1 1 0 x 8
Saskatchewan 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 x 3

Draw 4 - Wednesday March 23 - 1 PM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Saskatchewan * 3 3 2 0 1 1 x x 10
Newfoundland/Lab 0 0 0 2 0 0 x x 2
Host * 1 0 2 1 1 2 0 2 9
Quebec 0 4 0 0 0 0 4 0 8
Nova Scotia 2 1 0 1 0 0 1 2 7
Manitoba * 0 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 4
N. Ontario 0 0 0 3 3 1 0 0 1 8
Ontario * 2 1 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 7
BC 1 1 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 6
Alberta * 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 2 1 7

Draw 3 - Tuesday March 22 - 6 PM  
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Nova Scotia 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 4 2 9
Host * 1 1 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 7
Saskatchewan * 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 x 4
N. Ontario 2 0 2 5 1 0 1 x 11
BC * 4 1 0 1 1 2 1 x 10
Newfoundland/Lab 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 x 1
Quebec 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 x 2
Alberta * 1 1 0 1 0 2 1 x 6
Ontario * 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 4
Manitoba 1 0 1 2 0 2 1 2 9

Draw 2 - Tuesday March 22 - 1 PM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Manitoba 1 0 2 0 3 0 2 x 8
Quebec * 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 x 5
Newfoundland/Lab   0 0 0 0 1 2 1 x   4
Ontario * 3 1 4 2 0 0 0 x 10
 
Alberta * 2 0 3 0 2 0 4 x 11
Saskatchewan 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 x 3
Host   0 1 2 2 1 0 1 0 0 7
BC * 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 1 8
N. Ontario 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 x 1
Nova Scotia * 1 0 2 0 2 1 2 x 8

Draw 1 - Monday March 21 - 7.30 PM
  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Newfoundland/Lab 0 0 0 0 0 1 x x 1
Alberta * 1 3 2 3 2 0 x x 11
Quebec * 0 3 0 1 0 0 1 x 5
Nova Scotia 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 x 6
Host * 1 1 0 0 4 1 0 x 7
Ontario 0 0 1 1 0 0 3 x 5
Manitoba * 1 0 0 3 0 1 4 x 9
No. Ontario 0 2 1 0 2 0 0 x 5
Saskatchewan 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 4
BC * 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 2 6
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