The 2012-2013 Atlantic curling championship season gets underway in a few weeks, with the second annual Curl Atlantic Championship, Sept. 14-17 at the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Civic Centre in Sackville, New Brunswick. This round-robin event is designed to give Atlantic curlers experience with playing on arena ice, and features cash prizes of $3000 for the men’s and women’s winners, $2000 for the runners-up, and $1000 for the remaining semi-finalists. There are two pools of six teams in both the men’s and women’s divisions. All round robin games are 8 ends, with the semi-finals and finals going 10 ends. Teams were determined based on performance and points earned last season.
PEI will be represented by two women’s and one men’s team, with the defending champion Suzanne Birt rink picking up Sarah Fullerton, who has skipped her junior team to three consecutive junior titles, and has now graduated from the junior ranks, at second, replacing Robyn MacPhee, who is taking time off curling. Returning team members are Shelly Bradley at third stone, and lead Leslie MacDougall.
Photo (L-R): Suzanne Birt, Shelly Bradley, Sarah Fullerton, Leslie MacDougall
Meanwhile, Kathy O’Rourke, who took last year off from competitive curling, after skipping her team to a silver medal finish at the 2010 national Scotties, losing out to Jennifer Jones in the final, and finished in the runner-up spot to the Birt rink in the 2011 PEI Scotties, is back calling the game and throwing third stones with a new team consisting of Meaghan Hughes, who skipped her team to a second place finish at the 2012 PEI Scotties and is a 4-time PEI junior champ, throwing final stones, along with Jackie Reid at second, and Tricia Affleck at lead stone.
Other women’s teams are skipped by Heather Smith-Dacey, Marie Christianson, Mary-Anne Arsenault (with Colleen Jones at third), Colleen Pinkney, and Kelly MacIntosh, all from Nova Scotia, along with New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford, Sylvie Robichaud, Mary Jane McGuire, and Jessica Ronalds, and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Stacie Devereaux.
On the men’s side, Eddie MacKenzie moves up to the skip position on the Island rink that was captained by Brett Gallant last year, and finished as runners-up at the PEI Tankard men’s championship. Gallant has since moved to St. John’s NL to join the Brad Gushue rink, who are not in this event. Anson Carmody moves up to the vice-skip/mate role, with Christian Tolusso joining the team at second, and Alex MacFadyen returning in the lead spot.
Men’s teams entered from Nova Scotia are skipped by Mark Dacey, Jamie Murphy, Chad Stevens, Paul Flemming, Peter Burgess, Ian Juurlink, and John Luckhurst. New Brunswick entries are skipped by Terry Odishaw, defending champion James Grattan, and Marc le Cocq. The Ken Peddigrew rink from Newfoundland and Labrador round out the field.
Round robin games go Friday through Sunday at 8 am, 12 noon, 4 pm and 8 pm, with the semi-finals Monday at 9 am and the finals following at 1:30 pm.
End-by-end results will be available at LiveCurling.com.