March 26, 2010
Playoff matchups not set yet
By JOE PAVIA, QMI Agency
OTTAWA -- Heidi Hanlon pretty much predicted the current logjam at the Canadian senior curling championships with her analysis of the event earlier this week.
"Everybody can do well here," the veteran New Brunswick skip said. "Everybody has more experience. That's what curling is, anybody can beat anybody."
A look at the standings after Thursday night's draw at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club showed how right she was.
B.C.'s Christine Jurgenson led the way at 8-2 after an 8-5 extra-end victory over Newfoundland and Labrador.
Saskatchewan's Susan Lang and Northern Ontario's Vicky Barrett were right on Jurgenson's heels at 7-3. Hanlon was another game back, tied with Ontario's Dale Curtis at 6-4 and still with a chance at playing on the weekend.
The top team after Friday's final round-robin draw at 3 p.m. advances directly to Sunday's final, with the second- and third-place teams squaring off in a semi-final on Saturday.
Needless to say, tiebreakers are a definite possibility.
Northern Ontario takes on Alberta Friday afternoon, while New Brunswick will battle Saskatchewan. The spoilers could be the teams that are out of contention, such as Quebec (3-7), which plays Ontario, and the Territories (also 3-7), which play B.C.
On the men's side, the standings are somewhat clearer.
Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan sit tied for first at 7-2 heading into Friday's two final draws. Quebec and Northern Ontario (both at 6-3) cannot afford another loss if they want to stay in contention.
Friday morning's games feature Saskatchewan against Alberta, while Ontario takes on P.E.I., which is out of contention at 4-5. Northern Ontario faces last-place New Brunswick (1-8), and Quebec goes up against Nova Scotia (5-4).
QUEBEC VS. ONTARIO
The evening draw features Quebec vs. Ontario, Northern Ontario against Alberta and Saskatchewan vs. New Brunswick.
The biggest determining factor in the final playoff picture just might be how well the out-of-contention rinks play.
The Territories, who are in second-last place in the men's standings at 2-7, gave Hacker a scare Thursday afternoon, losing 7-5.
That could happen in any game.
An 11:30 p.m. tiebreaker on Friday night -- a possibility if three tie-breaker draws are necessary -- is not exactly a curler's, or an organizer's, dream.
But, as Hanlon suggested, in curling, you just never know what will happen.