Scott Gobeil’s first-day accuracy resulted in a first-place finish at the end of a wild and woolly round-robin at the Canadian Police Curling Championship in Summerside, P.E.I.
The Fort Frances skip and his team of third Jeff Simpkins, second Dennis Smith, and lead Pete LeDrew crushed John Elliott (Nova Scotia) 10-3 in just five ends this morning to tie Garth Mitchell (Ontario) and Mark Johnson (Alberta) atop the standings with a 9-2 mark.
With the three rinks each sporting a 1-1 mark against each other during the preliminary round, Gobeil got the nod for top spot by virtue of finishing ahead of the other two in a closest-to-the-button competition held prior to the opening draw last Sunday.
Mitchell, who beat Dean Chaulk (Newfoundland and Labrador) 8-1 in five ends this morning, was awarded second place for the week based on him finishing ahead of Johnson as closest-to-the-button.
Johnson had been in the driver’s seat for first place but was upended 8-3 by Eric Harvey (Quebec) this morning to fall back into a tie with Northern Ontario and Ontario.
Barry Meyer from B.C. (8-3) could have made it a four-way tie for first, but wrecked on a guard in front of the house with his last rock to lose 8-7 in an extra end to Manitoba this morning.
Under the Page playoff format, Northern Ontario and Ontario squared off in the #1 vs. #2 quarter-final game today at noon (CST). Mitchell had defeated Gobeil 8-7 in an extra end during their round robin match-up Wednesday.
The winner advances directly to tomorrow’s final, also at noon (CST), while the loser will play in tomorrow morning’s semi-final against the winner of today’s #3 vs. #4 match between Alberta and B.C.
Manitoba, who were eliminated from playoff contention with their 7-5 loss to Northern Ontario yesterday afternoon, finished in fifth at 7-4, followed by Quebec at 6-5.
Rounding out the field were Newfoundland and Labrador (4-7), New Brunswick (4-7), Nova Scotia (3-8), Saskatchewan (3-8), the Territories (2-9), and defending champ Paul Saulnier from host P.E.I. (2-9).