|Canadian curlers defeat Russia to win world title|
|Wednesday, 13 March 2013 09:39|
by Joe Pavia
The Russians lost it in more ways than one.
On March 2 in Bern, Switzerland the Gatineau rink of Mike Raby, Andre Guillemette, David Joseph, Mike Cyr, alternate Guy Morin and coach Denise Hoekstra defeated the Russian squad to bring the deaf world title to Canada.
Their championship final game was fraught with Russian antics designed to rattle the Canucks. The bad blood may have begun in the round robin when the Gatineau lads defeated the Russians. The losers came back with a Page 1 victory, forcing the Canadians into the semi-final.
In the final, the Russians made lineup changes by having their fifth come in to call the game but throw third. After the fifth end, Canada led 7-4. While the Canadian men huddled with coach Hoekstra between ends, one of the opposing players stole skip Raby's broom and hid it in their own broom bag.
"It wasn't a mistake." said the coach. "Mike's (Raby) broom looked nothing like the Russian brooms."
Not able to find his broom, the rattled Raby borrowed a broom but ended up giving up a three to tie the game in the sixth.
This incensed Canada -- and second Joseph took action. Now Joseph is about 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds. You don't get in his way. He "opened" the Russian broom bag and found his teammate's brush buried in the bag. A few gestures, perhaps unknown in standard American sign language, were exchanged.
In the seventh frame, Joseph was in possession of the house. He swept an errant enemy rock behind the tee line only to be interfered with by his counterpart. That was it. Joseph pushed the curler out of the way and down to the ice. Canada scored a point then stole a deuce in the eighth and ended up with a 10-8 by Browse to Save">win.
"Kudos to the Russians for vastly improving their technique but they are terrible in strategy and game etiquette. The by Browse to Save">Russian women are even worse," Hoekstra said.
They defeated the Canadian women from Alberta in their final, 9-7.
Rachel Homan's Team Canada left Ottawa Monday en route to Latvia for the Titlis Glacier Mountain world women's curling championship. Eve Muirhead (Scotland), Anna Sidorova (Russia), Margaretha Sigfridsson (Sweden) and Silvana Tirinzoni (Switzerland) rank just behind Team Canada in the order of merit. This season, Homan has a 2-1 record against Muirhead and a 0-1 record vs. Sigfridsson. The battle to watch will be Canada against Russia. TSN carries all Canada's games beginning Saturday at 1 p.m.
The junior mixed region results were: 1A - Ben Miskew, B - Mac Calwell. Bantam mixed region by Browse to Save">winners were: A - Pascal Michaud, B - Matt Allan. Rod Matheson and Bob Matheson of Ottawa and Merv Roberts from Perth have advanced to the provincial Grand Masters in Thornhill beginning next Thursday.
The Alexander Keith's City of Ottawa Men's bonspiel begins Wednesday at area clubs. The ultimate by Browse to Save">winner of the Open event can win a minimum of $6,000. That final is Sunday at 5 p.m., at the Hunt as is the seniors final. The Senator's final is at the Ottawa on Saturday at 6 p.m. During the sendoff for Team Canada last Saturday evening, lead Lisa Weagle, was presented with a rock guard broom so she could avoid any further burnt rock episodes ... The Canadian seniors championship begins Saturday in Summerside, PEI. The Team Ontario men are from the Rideau, skipped by Howard Rajala while Quebec's women's entry is from Thurso and skipped by Cathy Derick ... The inaugural Canadian mixed doubles championship begins Thursday in Leduc, Alta.