Small town teamed up with big city and went on to rule the country.
Next up: the world.
Stratton native Trevor Bonot skipped his Northern Ontario rink to the 2017 Canadian mixed curling championship in Yarmouth, N.S. with a 5-2 win over Manitoba in Saturday’ final.
The team also includes Bonot’s sister, Jackie McCormick, at third, along with Kory and Megan Carr of Thunder Bay at second and lead.
The triumph was Northern Ontario’s first at the mixed nationals since Chris Johnson topped the field back in 1997.
“It’s pretty exciting coming from a little wee town that nobody knows about,” said McCormick, who runs the Fort Frances Enhanced Hearing Centre.
The key end came in the fifth with the teams tied 1-1.
Holding the hammer, Bonot put some extra power behind his last rock to scatter the house and score four for Northern Ontario.
“We knew what was going to happen,” noted Bonot, who now calls the Port Arthur Curling Club home and who also won the male sportsmanship award for the week as voted by the players.
“We had a team discussion before the shot on how we wanted to play it,” he explained.
“We saw the opportunity for four.”
Bonot went into lockdown mode from there, with Manitoba skip Braden Calvert blanking the sixth only to end up with just one in the seventh.
He then was run out of rocks in the eighth.
It was a tense Friday for Northern Ontario just to get into the semi-finals.
A 9-0 loss to Ontario’s Wayne Tuck in the morning left Bonot’s crew needing a win over New Brunswick’s Charlie Sullivan to clinch a berth in the final four and avoid a messy tie-breaker scenario with New Brunswick and Manitoba.
But Northern Ontario made that all moot by dumping New Brunswick 7-4 to finish tied for second with Saskatchewan at 8-2 behind Tuck (10-0).
Bonot then led 4-1 after three ends against Saskatchewan in the semi-final before having to hold on for a 5-4 win.
Manitoba upset Ontario 4-2 in the other semi-final.