After bitter defeat, it’s time to move on.
Ottawa lead Craig Savill is looking forward to helping skip Glenn Howard aim to reclaim the Canadian men’s curling crown at the Tim Horton’s Brier that begins Saturday in Halifax.
“It means a lot going back to the Brier,” Savill said.
After losing the Canadian Curling Trials final can the Brier mean anything to a team that has been there so many times?
“We were pretty disappointed,” said Savill, who is due to play his sixth Brier. “It took a few weeks to get over. It was the toughest loss of my life losing that Trials final. But we’ve had some time to get over it. We’ve talked about it and regrouped so now our focus is on winning the Brier and the worlds.”
The Ontario men have some formidable competition.
“There’s a lot of tough teams in Canada. It’s going to come down to us, (Alberta’s Kevin) Koe, (Newfoundland and Labrador’s Brad) Gushue, (Manitoba’s Jeff) Stoughton, but any team can beat any team there. I don’t know if it’s anybody’s year.”
Savill wishes the crowds at the Halifax Metro Centre would be as raucous as those at the Olympics.
“We love hearing the crowd behind us cheering. I watched the curling at the Olympics and I loved how they were noisy all the time. Even cheering the misses I don’t mind so much. I love seeing up in the stands Ontario everywhere — fan support is great.”
Savill’s wife, Karen Cumberland, is organizing an Ontario pep rally to start in the Purple Heart Lounge on Wednesday March 10 before the 7:30 Manitoba-Ontario game. Cumberland says bring cowbells and wear red.
TSN’s Brier broadcasts begin Saturday afternoon with daily coverage at 9:30. 2 and 6:30. Watch for my daily Halifax blog beginning Saturday at hoglinecurling.com.
In the Hunt: When the World Financial Group Canadian senior Championships take place at the Ottawa Hunt Club (March 20-28), the only local flavour will come from western Quebec. Agnes Charette, with France Charette (no relation), Guylaine Deschatelets, Marie Leblanc and Diane Sullivan claimed the Quebec crown for the 11th time in 15 years. Charette defeated Chicoutimi’s Roland Madore in an extra-end final 7-6 on Saturday. The win earns the Buckingham skip her 20th Quebec title, including six Scotties and three mixed along with the seniors. She is a three-time Canadian Seniors champion and the most decorated curler, female or male, in Quebec. France Charette’s spouse, Pierre Charette, won the Quebec senior men’s title, curling with Louis Biron, Maurice Cayouette and Marco Ferraro.
OCA results: Intermediate regional winners were: 1A — Doug Johnston, Dianne Wylie; 1B — Daryl Smith, Debra Karbashewski. Junior mixed regional victors were: 1A — David Mathers; 1B — Ritchie Gillan. Bantam region winners were: 1A — Tyler Sagan; B — Ryan McCrady.
Odds and ends: One new rink for next season: Shane Latimer, Ritchie Gillan, Terry Scharf and Ron Johnston ... Rachel Homan’s rink was feted at the Ottawa Curling Club on Monday. The team begins play Saturday in Flims, Switzerland at the world junior championships.