Lyle and Ontario Hosts making most of second chance
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – Jim Lyle and his St. Thomas Curling Club team are hoping to make the most of the second chance they’ve been given.
To do that, they likely need a win Thursday morning over Quebec at the Hy-Grade Steel Roofing Canadian Masters Curling Championships at the Guelph Curling Club.
“We’ve had fun. We’re 3-2 and probably should have won one of the games we lost, but then we shouldn’t have won that one so it all evens out,” Lyle said after the Ontario Hosts squeaked by New Brunswick with an extra-end victory in the Wednesday’s final draw.
Lyle and his team of vice Jim Jenkins, second Bruce Paterson and lead Peter Hayman weren’t supposed to be competing at the National Masters after finishing as runners-up to Bruce Delaney and his Russell Curling Club team at the provincial championships at the Glencoe Curling Club in January.
When it became apparent that there would be an uneven number of participants in the men’s category of the national championship meet, Lyle’s team was offered a spot as the hosts.
“We’re very fortunate to be here,” Lyle said. “We didn’t win the province and they needed a team to balance the draw and they asked us to come. We’d never been in one so we thought we’d better do that. We’re lucky to be here.
“We would’ve been foolish not to come and we’re happy we’re here.”
While they’re not members of the host Guelph Curling Club, Lyle and the other members of his team have curled in event at the Royal City facility so are a little familiar with the tendencies of the ice.
“I’ve played a lot of intermediates and some seniors here and some spiels back years ago,” Lyle said. “I haven’t been here for a while, but we’re quite familiar with it. The ice is great and it’s holding up pretty good.”
Following Wednesday’s play, the Ontario Hosts are part of a four-way tie for second in Pool A heading into the final draw of preliminary pool play Thursday morning. British Columbia leads the pool at 4-1 while the Ontario Hosts, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Alberta are all tied at 3-2. Of those top five, one will not advance to the championship pool, but will compete in the seeding pool with Northwest Territories (1-4) and New Brunswick (1-5).
Wednesday, the Ontario Hosts were down two with two ends to go in their match with New Brunswick when they scored one in the seventh, stole one in the eighth and took two in the ninth for the win.
“We had a couple of chances early and then we got in trouble,” Lyle said. “We made a couple of shots to get out of it and we were lucky to steal one in the eighth. We were real lucky in the extra end. He jammed a corner guard and rolled to the pot and we were able to guard it. We were really fortunate.”
The top four in Pool B have been decided as Northern Ontario (5-1), Saskatchewan (4-1), Prince Edward Island (4-1) and Ontario (3-2) will move on. Spots in the seeding pool will go to Manitoba (1-4), Nova Scotia (1-4) and Yukon (0-5).
The Ontario Hosts will play Quebec in the final draw of preliminary pool play while B.C. is to play Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador is to play Northwest Territories.
“We’d love to qualify for the championship pool,” Lyle said. “We’d be real happy with that.”
The women completed their preliminary pool play Wednesday.
Moving on to the championship pool are Saskatchewan and Manitoba at 5-0, B.C. and Ontario at 4-1, Alberta and P.E.I. at 3-2 and New Brunswick and Northern Ontario at 2-3. Competing in the seeding pool are Quebec (1-4), Nova Scotia (1-4), Newfoundland and Labrador (0-5) and Yukon (0-5).
Play in the women’s championship and seeding pools is to start Thursday at 3 p.m.
The medal matches are set for Sunday with the women playing at 10 a.m. and the men at 2 p.m.
British Columbia (Watson) 4-1
Newfoundland & Labrador (Oke) 3-2
Quebec (Sleno) 3-2
Ontario Host (Lyle) 3-2
Alberta (Armstrong) 3-2
Northwest Territories (Delorey) 1-4
New Brunswick (MacDiarmid) 1-4
Northern Ontario (Hackner) 5-1
Saskatchewan (Wilson) 4-1
Prince Edward Island (Hope) 4-1
Ontario (Delaney) 3-2
Manitoba (Franklin) 1-4
Nova Scotia (Ogden) 1-4
Yukon (Hilderman) 0-5
Saskatchewan (Syrota) 5-0
British Columbia (Klebe) 4-1
Alberta (Foster) 3-2
New Brunswick (Brennen) 2-3
Quebec (Trudel) 1-4
Newfoundland & Labrador (Rockwell) 0-5
Manitoba (Wooley) 5-0
Ontario (Curtis) 4-1
Prince Edward Island (Hope) 3-2
Northern Ontario (Ward) 2-3
Nova Scotia (Labelle) 1-4
Yukon (Johnson) 0-5
Northern Ontario (Hackner) 12 Yukon (Hilderman) 7
Quebec (Sleno) 5 Alberta (Armstrong) 3
Prince Edward Island (Hope) 5 Manitoba (Franklin) 4
Newfoundland & Labrador (Oke) 8 Ontario Host (Lyle) 5
Ontario (Delaney) 7 Nova Scotia (Ogden) 4
Northwest Territories (Delorey) 5 New Brunswick (MacDiarmid) 4
Ontario (Curtis) 10 Northern Ontario (Ward) 2
Saskatchewan (Syrota) 11 New Brunswick (Brennen) 0
Manitoba (Wooley) 12 Nova Scotia (Labelle) 5
Prince Edward Island (Hope) 10 Yukon (Johnson) 3
Alberta (Foster) 7 Newfoundland & Labrador (Rockwell) 2
British Columbia (Klebe) 9 Quebec (Trudel) 3
Saskatchewan (Wilson) 7 Nova Scotia (Ogden) 2
Ontario (Delaney) 9 Manitoba (Franklin) 5
Quebec (Sleno) 10 British Columbia (Watson) 7
Prince Edward Island (Hope) 9 Northern Ontario (Hackner) 6
Ontario Host (Lyle) 7 New Brunswick (MacDiarmid) 5 (extra end)
Alberta (Armstrong) 6 Newfoundland & Labrador (Oke) 5