A chance to break new ice

JOE PAVIA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

It's where the elite don't meet.

The Dominion Curling Club Championship begins Nov. 24 in Toronto. The national Canadian Curling Association-sanctioned event takes the spotlight off the elite and places it on regular club curlers, who would otherwise never have a chance to represent their jurisdiction at a higher level.

Jenn Hanna's third, Kelly Cochrane of Toronto, will skip her own team at the Dominion. Cochrane, who plays at Toronto's High Park Club with sister Brenna and two other club members in the Wednesday women's league, is thrilled to represent Ontario after winning provincials last weekend.

“We think (the Dominion is) a fabulous idea,” said Cochrane. “The girls on my team played competitively in juniors, but then they went to women’s and they didn’t try zones competitively. They still had that competitiveness in them and this keeps that dream alive to represent Ontario in something they actually have a chance of winning, not like the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.”

Ottawa rinks skipped by Layne Noble and Susan Schmidt made the semi-finals of the provincial Dominion. Chatham’s Robert Stafford won the men’s side.

First up for Cochrane, with the Hanna rink, is this weekend’s Royal Lepage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic in Kemptville, where Cochrane might wear her Ontario jacket.

While it’s not as strong a field as other years (23-of-24 allowable teams are entered), the Fall Classic will feature experience versus youth.

On one side is the U.S. Olympic team skipped by New York’s Debbie McCormick, as well as Hanna, who won the 2007 Classic.

On the other are young teams skipped by Manotick’s Jamie Sinclair and Winchester’s Crystal Lillico.

The Jo-Ann Rizzo team from Brantford has lots of experience and creates a conundrum for Bruce Merklinger. He coaches the Sinclair team, while his daughter Lee throws second for Rizzo. To conflict Merklinger more, Lee’s twin Breanne plays lead for the Robyn Matte squad.

The final, worth $4,000 to the winner, is at 4 p.m. Sunday at the North Grenville Curling Club. You can follow the draw at classic.ovca.com. Expect a Rizzo-Hanna final with the money going to the Brantford rink.

Junior achievement

Rachel Homan’s rink dominated the JSI OVCA Junior Superspiel last weekend. Not only did Homan win the women’s section by defeating Guelph’s Clancy Grandy 7-5, she also beat men’s champion Connor Duhaime of Peterborough in the Battle of the Sexes. In the men’s final, Duhaime nipped Manotick’s Neil Sinclair 5-4 with an extra-end steal. The semi-finalists were Navan’s Mat Camm, Carleton Place’s Bowie Abbis-Mills and Manitobans Kelsey Boettcher and Alyssa Vandepoele.

Out of town

Glenn Howard defeated Kevin Martin to win $22,000 and the Pheasant Classic in Alberta Sunday … Bruce Delaney lost the Tweed Cashspiel to Frank McCourt.

Behind the glass

Twelve hundred dollars in A-side cash is up for grabs at the Pembroke Open Cashspiel Nov. 19-22. The new format, with three games guaranteed, includes Saturday dinner and entertainment. Contact Jeff Faught at faughtje75@hotmail.com or 613-635-3881 … The OVCA Ottawa Men’s Bonspiel (March 16-21) is now accepting entries. Be advised the number of teams had been reduced for this year’s event. Visit ovca.com for more information.

joe@hoglinecurling.com


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