A highly-competitive field is pushing Scott Gobeil to the wire as he tries to pin down a playoff berth at the Canadian Police Curling Championship in Summerside, P.E.I.
The Fort Frances skip—representing Northern Ontario along with third Jeff Simpkins, second Dennis Smith, and lead Pete LeDrew—moved into a three-way tie for second place at 7-2 after dumping Dean Chaulk (Newfoundland and Labrador) 11-2 in seven ends this morning.
After giving up one in the first, Gobeil scored three in the second and stole a single in the third to go up 4-1.
Chaulk (4-5) managed another point in the fourth, but Northern Ontario struck for singles in the fifth and sixth ends before getting a huge steal of five in the seventh to bring the game to an abrupt halt.
Yesterday was a good news-bad news day for Gobeil in his match-ups against two of the other three squads who were tied with Northern Ontario for first place after Tuesday’s action.
Gobeil scored in only three out of 10 ends, but made the most of his opportunities with a four-ender in the second and three more in the eighth on his way to an 8-5 win over Barry Meyer (B.C).
Then last night’s battle with Garth Mitchell (Ontario)—a former two-time champion—went back-and-forth the entire way, with Gobeil scoring two in the 10th to tie the game 7-7.
But Mitchell capitalized with the hammer in the extra end to score a single for an 8-7 victory.
Mark Johnson (Alberta) leads the pack at 8-1 after this morning’s play.
Don Nelson (Manitoba) is still in the playoff hunt at 6-3, followed by Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Quebec’s Eric Harvey (4-5).
John Elliott (Nova Scotia) and Tom Berry (New Brunswick) are at 3-6, with the Ross Milward (Territories) and defending champ Paul Saulnier (P.E.I.) sitting at 2-7.
Roger Pick (Saskatchewan) sits in the basement with a 1-8 mark.
In today’s noon (CST) draw, Gobeil needed to beat Manitoba to clinch a berth in tomorrow’s quarter-finals. The game was not completed as of press time today.
Northern Ontario finishes round-robin play against Nova Scotia in tomorrow morning’s draw (6 a.m. CST).
Any tie breakers, if necessary, will be played tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., with the quarter-finals to follow at 4 p.m. (all times CST).
The tournament is using the Page playoff system, which means the top two teams after the round-robin will meet in one quarter-final, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s final.
The loser will meet the winner of the #3 vs. #4 quarter-final match-up in the semi-final Saturday morning.