Russell rink skipped by Bryan Cochrane captures Canadian senior title
BY JOE PAVIA
Bryan Cochrane (Postmedia Network file)
Their mechanics won them a national title.
Skip Bryan Cochrane led his Russell team to the men’s title at the Everest Canadian senior championship in Digby, N.S., on Saturday. Cochrane felt that in all aspects of the game, their superior mechanics loomed large. Not bad analysis for a team sponsored by AC Mechanical.
Cochrane played with Ian Macaulay at third, Doug Johnston at second and Ken Sullivan at lead.
The team did a good job adjusting to arena ice.
“The ice was so good for our team and for me because I’ve really worked hard to understand how to curl properly on arena ice and throwing the rock properly. You deal with the late curl of the sharpened rocks. I felt our team was the best team to understand that all week,” said the skip with his famous nearly done-in throat rasping out answers.
Ottawa’s Jon Wall was the event’s icemaker, by the way.
Their record confirms the analysis. They suffered only one defeat in the round robin to finish at 9-1. Their only loss was a bad one against B.C. It was an 8-2 loss where B.C., took three before stealing one and three.
“I really did believe that B.C., was the second best team there all week. They were the team to beat,” Cochrane said.
In the semis, ironically an Ontario steal gave Cochrane a 6-5 win over B.C. Ontario went on to beat Manitoba in the final.
“Other than the B.C., game in the semifinal, we didn’t use up the old horseshoe luck too much,” Cochrane said.
They used the now new sweeping techniques as well.
“There’s no doubt we had the best sweeping,” Cochrane said. “We had the best technique. I think we used the new technology as much as I don’t like the fact that sweeping has taken over the game a bit much.
“Our team was throwing the right weight that allowed the brooms to help make the shot. We all felt really confident.”
The skip credits both Sullivan and Johnston with great sweeping prowess. After the final, members of Team Manitoba (who are leaving shortly to play in the senior worlds) asked the Ontario front-end for sweeping advice.
Ontario had a varied arsenal as well.
“The opposition knew what we could do,” Cochrane said. “I sensed that they were calling different shots because they knew we could hit and make run backs. We were the best team at that as well.”
Cochrane thinks the star of the final was his third.
“Ian Macaulay was unbelievable. First of all he didn’t miss a shot in the final game. Not one. So he shot 100%. But some of the shots he made were like you have to give him 115% in the game. He was unbelievable.”
Even though they scored two in the seventh end to make the score 6-3, Manitoba shook hands.
This was Cochrane’s first national title. He competed in the 2003 Brier. How does this national compare with the Brier?
“I don’t want to downplay the seniors that much. But the Brier was a special moment, a special week. That will always be the highlight on my curling career but it’s fun to win at any level.”
The team will represent Canada next April at the worlds in Lethbridge.
“I was happy for the boys,” Cochrane said. “It’s a pretty special moment. We’ve been runners-up at the provincial three times. Ken Doug and I lost three times together and the time I had with Ian at the Brier made it all special.”
This is this season’s last curling column. Have a stress free off-season.
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