Team Armstrong save their best for last
BY JOE PAVIA
Glenn Howard’s rink defeated Kingston’s Dayna Deruelle in the A final to earn a spot in the Tankard. (Postmedia Network)
Would you like revenge with that?
Team Hailey Armstrong won the U21 provincials on Sunday in Russell by defeating the only two rinks they lost to in the round robin.
Skip Armstrong works as an assistant manager at the McDonald’s in Carleton Place but on the ice she was dishing up victory. Armstrong and her Rideau Curling Club teammates, Grace Holyoke, Lindsay Dubue and Marcia Richardson played in this their first U21 provincial.
In the semifinal Toronto’s Courtney Auld gave them quite the battle. “We were down after five ends 7-2 and a miracle happened and we ended up winning 10-9 in the semi,” said the elated skip, in her last year of U21 eligibility.
Then came the final where an all Ottawa rinks showdown loomed. Carleton Heights Emma Wallingford played a strong game and led by two in the tenth. Armstrong took three in the last end. “That last shot was amazing,” said the skip. “We made some really good shots. When I saw Lindsay Dubue throw up her hands in the air I knew we won.”
Now the team gets set for Victoria at the end of the month. “It was our goal this year to go to Victoria and then to Korea,” said Armstrong. “We weren’t cocky or anything going in. Our goal was Victoria. We worked very hard with Earle (Morris) and Bill Rogers our coaches.”
It seemed more satisfying coming from behind. “We try to keep it interesting for our parents. We try to give them heart attacks.”
The Rideau is hosting a send off for the team on Monday Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.
On the men’s side, Toronto’s Mathew Hall went undefeated taking the crown over Guelph’s Kiernan Scott.
At the RCMP curling club, men’s rinks sought the three spots up for grabs in the provincial qualifier to advance to the Tankard in Cobourg starting Jan. 29. Team Glenn Howard third Richard Hart had his eyes glued to his phone on the ice even during his A-final game on Sunday, played at the same time his two sons, Joey and David were winning the province in Russell. Howard defeated Kingston’s Dayna Deruelle in the A final to clinch his Tankard spot. Howard was unsure if this was his 27th or 28th visit to the provincials.
“It’s scary all the time. All 27 or 28 have been hard. It’s never been easy,” said the skip after the game.
Howard praised the new system in place this year that eliminated zone play and gave byes to teams both to get to the provincials and in the first round of the regions. “I commend the OCA for making the changes. The byes were terrific. Guys who went out and played hard — played well Epping (John) and Balsy (Greg Balsdon). And then the next best teams get the byes to the region.”
He has this advice. “I would like to see a triple at some point. The hard part about the double is that if you lose one early you have to win four or five after that and that makes it tough cause your on your death bed.”
Others advancing through the B were Deruelle and Cody Maus. In the west region those who advanced were Mark Bice, Wayne Tuck and Scott Bailey.
game on in vegas
The World Financial Group Continental Cup begins tomorrow in Las Vegas. Six North American teams, including Manotick’s Jamie Sinclair’s US squad, will battle six World teams. The competition involves regular-team play, skins action and mixed doubles. Sixty points is up for grabs and the team that earns thirty is declared the winner. TSN will broadcast all the games in this competition that most pro curlers love. The first games are Thursday at noon.
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