The battle of the final two undefeated squads at the MCA Bonspiel lived up to its billing yesterday as Brad Haight and Bob Sigurdson waged a heavyweight war at Wildewood Curling Club.
Haight left the ice with the 6-5 victory, his 11th straight in the tournament, after Sigurdson missed a deuce which would have sent the game to an extra end. One shot earlier, Haight missed a run back that would have sealed the win.
"We got lucky because he missed his last rock," said Haight, the St. Vital skip, after the game. "He had a free draw to the eight-foot after I missed my run back there. We got lucky. We would have had the hammer in the extra end but who knows what would have happened there."
Haight cracked a three in the third end before Sigurdson scored a two in the fourth and stole two more in the sixth to take the lead. Haight responded with two in the eighth and a steal of one in the ninth before the dramatic 10th.
UPBEAT AFTER LOSS
"I didn't really have my draw weight all game," said Haight. "I was struggling. I was asking the guys 'What is it? What is it?' We did play well but we probably got lucky in the last end . We should have probably had to win it in the extra but we got lucky Bob missed."
Sigurdson was upbeat after the loss, noting his team had won 16 in a row before the loss -- they went undefeated through zones and won 10 straight at the MCA.
"It was a good game, kind of back and forth," he said. "They're obviously going well and we're playing well so it was a good game."
That left Haight as the lone undefeated squad heading into the afternoon draw against, you guessed it, Sigurdson. But the rematch wasn't nearly as compelling as Haight continued his win streak, posting his 12th in a row with an 8-1 win in six ends.
Haight along with teammates Lowdon, Trevor Loreth and Ryan Duncan have already secured a Safeway Championship berth after upsetting James Kirkness in an A-B final zone game on Jan. 14.
Haight's undefeated streak finally came to an end late last night after a 5-2 loss to La Salle's Randy Neufeld. A win for Haight would have clinched the grand aggregate title. He'll get another shot today. Only Neufeld and Dave Boehmer can catch him.
STREAK: Dave Smith didn't want to do it this way but a loss in the bonspiel's first game put his back against the wall for a provincial berth. Since that loss on Thursday, Smith's squad had rattled off seven straight wins including last night's 4-3 win over Howie Restall. Smith also stayed alive earlier in the day with a 5-4 win over Brendan Taylor in 12 ends.
"We're only in the one main event so it's not much of a grind and it doesn't make it too difficult that way," said Smith yesterday.
The Valour Road skip said a ticket to Dauphin would save his season.
"That's what we're here for."
BITERS: Five of the six berths for Safeway Championship have been determined. Already in are: Russell Kihn of Steinbach, Valour Road's Smith, Craig White of Fort Rouge, Petersfield's Dave Boehmer and Wes Jonasson of Arborg.
Brad Edwards, Howie Restall and Corey Chambers will play for the sixth and final spot in the Championship today.