PEI’s women’s and men’s curling championships got underway on schedule Wednesday at the Montague Curling Rink despite the road and weather conditions, with the opening draw underway before the storm hit. Both the five-team Scotties women’s championship and the eleven-team men’s Tankard are playing modified triple knockout formats, with the first of the three qualifying finals for the two-game championship round (if needed) taking place at 7 pm Thursday,
The Scotties “A” qualifier will see the Veronica Smith team from the Silver Fox in Summerside take on the winner of a 9 am game between Summerside’s Melissa Morrow foursome and the defending champion Suzanne Birt, playing out of the host club, and looking for her eleventh Scotties title. In opening day action, Montague’s Tammy Dewar and Charlottetown’s Amanda Power had opening day losses and play at 9 am in the B section.
On the men’s side, the teams for the 7 pm “A” qualifier game will also be determined with the 9 am draw, when defending champ John Likely, playing out of Cornwall, takes on five-time PEI Tankard winner Eddie MacKenzie of Charlottetown, while Cornwall’s Bryan Cochrane team, which includes Island natives Morgan Currie and Ian MacAulay from his World Senior Curling Championship-winning rink, along with Mark O’Rourke, a veteran of ten PEI Tankards, will face the Steve vanOuwerkerk squad, also from Cornwall. Teams with one loss square off at 2 pm in the “B” section, with Cornwall’s Mitchell Schut battling the Higgins rink from Summerside and Phil Gorveatt facing Charlottetown clubmate Rod MacDonald. Also at 2 will be must-win “C” event game between host club teams skipped by Keith Nabuurs and Philip MacDonald.
Draws go daily at 9 am and 2 and 7 pm. If a team wins all three sections of the modified triple knockout event, a champion would be declared on Saturday evening, while a team winning two sections could wrap things up with a Sunday morning win, If not, the final game will go at 2 pm on Sunday.
There is no admission charge to watch this combined event, with the women’s championship sponsored by Kruger Products, Canada’s #1 tissue products manufacturer and the longest national corporate sponsor of amateur sport in Canada, along with local event sponsors O’Connor Glass, Tim Hortons, and Bogside Brewing. 50/50 draws will be held, with proceeds going toward the Montague Junior Curling Program.
The kitchen will be open for lunch (soup or chili and sandwiches) and supper (regular menu). Food and beverages are also available at the Bogside brewery, only a three-minute walk from the club, and at Tim Hortons, just a six-minute walk away.
Live end-by-end results are available at: PEICurling.com/scoreboard
The winning women’s team will advance to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Feb. 15-23, 2020 at
Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, while the men’s championship team will compete in the 2020 Tim Hortons Brier, Feb. 29 to March 8, 2020 at Leon’s Centre in Kingston Ontario.