Big-name rinks face roster shakeups

JOE PAVIA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Players, not just rocks, are on the move.

As reported recently in this column, Jenn Hanna's front end -- Lee Merklinger and Lauren Mann -- is leaving the team, and now Trish Scharf is leaving Allison Farrell's squad to join Hanna's rink. Farrell plans to "lay low next season -- unless a fabulous offer comes my way, of course."

Mann is a free agent, while Merklinger is the new second for Jo-Ann Rizzo's team from Brantford. Breanne Merklinger is taking a year off from Jacqueline Harrison's rink to complete her master's degree.

Jean-Michel Menard is keeping his Quebec champion rink intact, while Bryan Cochrane is waiting for his vice, Rich Moffatt, to decide what he is going to do. Look for Moffatt to join forces with Chris Fulton and Howard Rajala, his 1999 Brier teammates.

That leaves the 2003 Ontario Brier rep, Cochrane, with only John Steski -- Paul Winford has left the team. "It sounds like I might be a free agent again," quipped the skip.

"If I can get my 'jackass' players to practise, we will likely stick together," Jeff McCrady said. Shawville transplants Steve and Rick Allen with be playing with Iain Wilson at lead and Brian Benning at third. Rick will throw second.

Frank O'Driscoll is leaving J.P. Lachance's team and Gord Schade will take his place, joining returning players Calvin Christiansen and Barry Conrad. Jeff Norman is sitting out from Gilles Allaire's squad for a couple of years.

In junior ranks, Neil Sinclair will skip Ritchie Gillan, Simon Barrick and Kevin Rathwell. Former Sinclair lead Andrew Hamilton is going to attend Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, where he will team up with Sinclair nemesis Travis Fanset. Nikki Johnston is concentrating on nursing, not curling, while Katie Morrissey, last year's provincial runner-up, is forming a new team.

CITY RESULTS

The OVCA City of Ottawa Grand Aggregate trophy winner was the team of Mike Johansen, Steve Mitchell, Henry Chan and Tim Cairns, who defeated Mike Raby. The Tubman Funeral Homes Senior section went to Buckingham's Mario Deschatelets, while the Gordie Perry Senators winner was Brian MacLennan of Dundas. Other event winners were Bill Blad (Event 1), Joe McCaig (2), Mike Johansen (3), Chris Fulton (4), Michael Raby (5), Jacques Fradette (6), Craig Skochinski (7), Mike Johansen (8), Gerry Chartrand (9), Ted Weagle (10), Rudy Blohon (11), Richard Davis (12), Bevan Graham (13), Norm Clement (14), Derek Smith (15), Denis Girard (16), Yves Champagne (18), A. Deschatelets (19), M. Deschatelets (20), Jerry Calver (21), Mario Deschatelets (22), James Mullin (23), Brian MacLennan (25), Steve Kot (26) and Stu Stark (27).

OCA RESULTS

Rideau skip Allison Farrell's loss in a tie-breaker to Carol Jackson gave the Guelph team the trophy provincial championship. Farrell ended the round-robin at 5-2, while Kemptville's Jamie Temple finished at 1-6. On the men's side, Shane Latimer and Dan Cook went 4-3. Milton's Bill Craig won the event.

CURLING THIS WEEK

The world women's curling championship semi-final airs Saturday morning (6 a.m., TSN), with the final Sunday morning (2 a.m., TSN). The Dominion Provincial Stick 'Spiel begins Sunday in Peterborough. The Timbits Elementary School Championships start tomorrow in Omemee, while the bantam and junior mixed provincial championships get under way today in Marmora. Ryan McCrady and Chris Lewis represent this region in bantam, while Christian Tolusso and David Staples will play in juniors.

JOEPAVIA@ROGERS.COM


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