Northern Ontario men hot at national masters

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – Al Hackner’s Northern Ontario rink has been red hot at the Hy-Grade Steel Roofing Canadian Masters Curling Championships at the Guelph Curling Club.

The Northern Ontario rink made it four wins in four outings with a pair of victories Tuesday as they defeated Mark Franklin of Manitoba 6-4 and Bruce Delaney of Ontario 8-0 in a game that ended with handshakes after four ends. Hackner scored five in the second end of that one to gain control.

“It was almost game over from there. Down five to anybody is not good,” he said afterwards. “It was still early and then again we just kept it going and stole a couple more the next end. It just wasn’t their day.”

Despite the sizzling start to the tournament for Hackner and his team of vice Eric Harnden, second Frank Morissette and lead Bruce Munro, the Northern Ontario foursome isn’t going to take any of their opponents lightly.

“Every one of these teams is capable of beating us or anybody else,” Hackner said. “We’ve come out pretty strong so we’re happy with that and we’ll just carry on from here and see how things go. The ice is very playable. You can make a lot of shots on it.”

This is the first time the team has played in the Masters and the first season this exact lineup has been together as a team. In slo-pitch terms, they’d be known as a tournament team, but geography has as much to do with that as anything.

“We’ve got two from Thunder Bay (Hackner and ), one from Sudbury and one from Sault Ste. Marie (Harnden) so we’ve got no real chance to play together. We just meet and play,” Hackner said. “I say that Eric Harnden lives on the same lake that I do, but he’s eight hours away.”

The team also finds the relaxed nature of the Masters to their liking, although they are serious about their play. Hackner, world champion in 1982 and ’85, also played in Northern Ontario’s provincial championship and senior men’s championship tournaments this season.

“The men’s is certainly serious because there’s lot to play for. The Brier is such a plum for everybody,” he said. “Even starting at the seniors, it’s a lot more relaxed and the masters, more of the same. There’s a lot of chat on the ice and off the ice. Everybody’s pretty friendly with everybody.”

Play continues Wednesday with draws at 8 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The preliminary round-robin pool play is to wrap up Thursday at 11 a.m. and the playoff round is to start Thursday at 3 p.m.

The medal games are slated for Sunday with the women playing at 10 a.m. and the men at 2 p.m.



British Columbia (Watson) 4-0
Alberta (Armstrong) 2-1
Newfoundland & Labrador (Oke) 2-1
Ontario Host (Lyle) 2-1
Quebec (Sleno) 1-2
New Brunswick (MacDiarmid) 1-3
Northwest Territories (Delorey) 0-4
Northern Ontario (Hackner) 4-0
Saskatchewan (Wilson) 3-1
Prince Edward Island (Hope) 2-1
Manitoba (Franklin) 1-2
Nova Scotia (Ogden) 1-2
Ontario (Delaney) 1-2
Yukon (Hilderman) 0-4
Saskatchewan (Syrota) 4-0
British Columbia (Klebe) 3-1
Alberta (Foster) 2-2
New Brunswick (Brennen) 2-2
Quebec (Trudel) 1-3
Newfoundland & Labrador (Rockwell) 0-4
Manitoba (Wooley) 4-0
Ontario (Curtis) 3-1
Northern Ontario (Ward) 2-2
Prince Edward Island (Hope) 2-2
Nova Scotia (Labelle) 1-3
Yukon (Johnson) 0-4


Tuesday Results

Draw 4
Saskatchewan (Wilson) 7 Prince Edward Island (Hope) 5
British Columbia (Watson) 9 Newfoundland & Labrador (Oke) 3
Northern Ontario (Ward) 11 Yukon (Johnson) 3
Quebec (Trudel) 11 Newfoundland & Labrador (Rockwell) 9
Ontario (Curtis) 9 Nova Scotia (Labelle) 5
Saskatchewan (Syrota) 8 British Columbia (Klebe) 4
Alberta (Foster) 6 New Brunswick (Brennen) 4
Manitoba (Wooley) 9 Prince Edward Island (Hope) 1
Draw 5
Alberta (Armstrong) 11 New Brunswick (MacDiarmid) 1
Nova Scotia (Ogden) 9 Yukon (Hilderman) 4
Ontario Host (Lyle) 9 Northwest Territories (Delorey) 2
Northern Ontario (Hackner) 6 Manitoba (Franklin) 4
Alberta (Foster) 8 Quebec (Trudel) 3
Nova Scotia (Labelle) 6 Yukon (Johnson) 5
Prince Edward Island (Hope) 11 Northern Ontario (Ward) 3
Saskatchewan (Syrota) 8 Newfoundland & Labrador (Rockwell) 3
Draw 6
Newfoundland & Labrador (Oke) 7 New Brunswick (MacDiarmid) 4
British Columbia (Watson) 6 Ontario Host (Lyle) 5
Northern Ontario (Hackner) 8 Ontario (Delaney) 0
Quebec (Sleno) 7 Northwest Territories (Delorey) 4
Prince Edward Island (Hope) 6 Yukon (Hilderman) 4
Saskatchewan (Wilson) 4 Manitoba (Franklin) 3
Manitoba (Wooley) 10 Ontario (Curtis) 6
British Columbia (Klebe) 10 New Brunswick (Brennen) 1


Wednesday Games

Draw 7 (8 a.m.)
Sheet A: Northern Ontario (Hackner) vs. Yukon (Hilderman)
Sheet B: Alberta (Armstrong) vs. Quebec (Sleno)
Sheet D: Manitoba (Franklin) vs. Prince Edward Island (Hope)
Sheet F: Newfoundland & Labrador (Oke) vs. Ontario Host (Lyle)
Sheet G: Ontario (Delaney) vs. Nova Scotia (Ogden)
Sheet H: New Brunswick (MacDiarmid) vs. Northwest Territories (Delorey)
Draw 8 (11:30 a.m.)
Sheet B: Ontario (Curtis) vs. Northern Ontario (Ward)
Sheet C: Saskatchewan (Syrota) vs. New Brunswick (Brennen)
Sheet D: Nova Scotia (Labelle) vs. Manitoba (Wooley)
Sheet E: Prince Edward Island (Hope) vs. Yukon (Johnson)
Sheet F: Alberta (Foster) vs. Newfoundland & Labrador (Rockwell)
Sheet H: British Columbia (Klebe) vs. Quebec (Trudel)
Draw 9 (3 p.m.)
Sheet A: Saskatchewan (Wilson) vs. Nova Scotia (Ogden)
Sheet C: Ontario (Delaney) vs. Manitoba (Franklin)
Sheet E: British Columbia (Watson) vs. Quebec (Sleno)
Sheet F: Northern Ontario (Hackner) vs. Prince Edward Island (Hope)
Sheet G: New Brunswick (MacDiarmid) vs. Ontario Host (Lyle)
Sheet H: Alberta (Armstrong) vs. Newfoundland & Labrador (Oke)