Rod MacDonald rink wins Labatt Tankard in extra end
Photo (Left to Right): Rod MacDonald, Kevin Champion, Andrew Robinson, Mark O'Rourke, Peter MacDonald (5th), Pat Aylward (coach)
Feb. 15-The Rod MacDonald rink edged out the John Likely team by a 7-6 score this afternoon to win the Labatt Tankard Provincial Men's Curling Championship at the Montague Curling Club, and advance to the Tim Hortons Brier, March 7-15 in Calgary. This is MacDonald's sixth PEI Men's championship. His teammates this time were Kevin Champion, Andrew Robinson, and Mark O'Rourke, with fifth Peter MacDonald and coach Pat Aylward. Champion and O'Rourke also won last year, with their 2008 skip Peter Gallant bowing out this time to coach his son Brett to a Canadian Junior championship. Playing with John Likely were Phillip Gorveatt, Mark Butler, and Mike Dillon, with fifth Robert Campbell. Both teams are from the Charlottetown Curling Club.
Likely, who finished first in the round robin with a 6-1 win-loss record, and advanced directly to the final after winning the Page game between the first and second place teams, blanked the first end to retain last rock advantage. He made a double in the second, to continue the advantage into end three, where he made a fantastic angle raise to open the scoring with a deuce.
MacDonald, who came third in the round robin, where he had the same record as clubmate Ted MacFadyen, but had lost to the five-time winner in their round robin game, advanced to the final by blanking clubmate Bill Hope 7-0 in the 3rd vs 4th place Page game, and then defeated MacFadyen by a 6-4 score in the semi. MacDonald got on the scoreboard in the final with a draw for two in the fourth, and then picked up a single in the fifth end when Likely flashed his final shot. Score at the half: MacDonald 3, Likely 2.
Likely, who won his first men's title in 1985 as second for Dr. Wayne Matheson, and won again as skip in 2002, drew for one facing three MacDonald counters in the sixth.
The seventh end, had many rocks in play and saw MacDonald, who won his first men's title in 1978 as third to brother Peter, and last won in 2005 and 2006 as skip, draw to score a pair. The Likely rink responded with their own deuce in the eighth after a last rock miss by MacDonald.
A hit and stay gave MacDonald a single point in the ninth. The clock was ticking in the tenth end when, with 18 seconds left, MacDonald made a fantastic shot to lie two. All-important last-rock advantage, though was with Likely, who took out one of the rocks to score a single and bring the game to an extra end, where MacDonald used his last rock to draw to the house for the win.
Feb. 15-Rod MacDonald rink to play John Likely team for Labatt Tankard
Feb. 14-John Likely rink earns bye to Labatt Tankard final
Feb. 13-John Likely and Ted MacFadyen advance to Labatt Tankard Page 1-2 Game
Feb. 12-Likely and MacFadyen share Labatt Tankard lead
Feb. 11-Likely only undefeated rink after day two at Labatt Tankard
Feb. 10-MacDonald, Likely, Newson and MacFadyen win Labatt Tankard openers