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Curling games against Scots end in a draw

Two wins two losses Powell River wins on aggregate
Glen Gibbs

  VIDEO    – Five teams from Scotland landed in Powell River on Sunday, January 13, as part of a 15-team contingent vying for the Strathcona Cup.

Since its inception in 1902, the cup is the prize awarded to the country that comes out on top of a rigorous curling schedule of 434 games in 100 clubs involving 1,700 curlers and hosts.

This year, 61 Scottish curlers split up into three groups of five teams to compete in the West, Central and East zones of Canada, with the trophy awarded to the top aggregate score.

The Scots started on Thursday, January 10, with six draws in four days in the Lower Mainland and quickly built a 156-125 aggregate score after 25 games.

They arrived late Sunday afternoon in Powell River and were swept off their feet with the warmth and hospitality of the club.

When the curlers arrived they were greeted by City of Powell River Mayor Dave Formosa, MLA Nicholas Simons, Tla’amin (Sliammon) First Nation Chief Clint Williams, Ann McKenzie from the St Andrew’s Ladies’ Club and 80 curling enthusiasts.

Chef Naomi Salmond of Shinglemill Pub and Bistro prepared a sumptuous dinner of prawns, mussels, clams, wild sockeye, chicken and pasta that was a huge hit with the hungry curlers.

“I asked her to provide something unique for Powell River,” said organizer Marlene Hall, “and she just planned a fantastic meal for us.”

Townsite Brewing, Corby Distilleries, Staples Business Depot and Underwriters Insurance Agencies of Powell River contributed with products and funds to keep the curlers well-oiled and were featured in the program provided by the club.

None of the extras went unnoticed by the Scottish guests who were here to experience evenings such as this one.

Harry Dodds was one of the skips who travelled as part of the Scottish contingent. “Over the years I’ve known curlers in my home,” said Dodds, “who have come here in ’83, ’93 and 2003 and it gave me an inkling to come with the stories that they’ve brought back.

“I’ve been president of our club and helped to organize visits for incoming Canadian tours and we’ve always had great fun so it’s exciting for me to come to Canada.”

The biggest adjustment Dodds said was, “jet lag with our first day being a 25-hour day. You just have to discipline yourself with late nights and early nights. We’ve never been early yet,” he laughed.

His other advice was prevalent throughout the club. “To have an experience of a lifetime, play as well as you can, make new friends and maybe in five years entertain some of these guys that I’ve met.”

“It’s all for fun,” agreed Powell River curler Barry Phillips. “They are used to a small town and they really, really enjoyed themselves and we’re all excited about curling today.”

After the teams were piped onto the ice by Bruce Lister, things turned a little more serious as Powell River tried to become the first western club to prevail over the Scots.

They succeeded 23-22 when Ed Haggerty won with a last shot draw 5-4, Ken Abbs lost 4-7, Bill Hunter lost 4-5 but veteran Felix Massullo fought back from an early 2-5 deficit to win 10-6.

Haggerty led his game from the first end but had to draw to the T-line for the win.

“I was a little nervous,” he admitted, “because I had just thrown a peel the rock before, so it makes quite a difference when you have to throw a draw right behind it. I’m an old fella, but I still did it.”

On the opposite side of the ice, Massullo led 7-6 after seven ends but was protecting three against the Scots’ last rock which was heavy and gave him a 10-6 win.

“One bad guard in the fourth end gave him an opportunity to get three,” recalled Massullo, “but we hung in there and came back. No quitting,” he said of the team’s surge in the last four ends.

His third, Mike Cameron, was happy for the win but just as thrilled to be part of the event. “It was fabulous,” he said. “We enjoyed their company, they were true gentlemen and they are great ambassadors of the game. I am glad we had the opportunity to curl them.

“I would love to go to Scotland and play. I would like to pursue that with the powers that be and get involved, most definitely.”


At press time, Scots 190 East 129, Scots 239 Central 227 and Scots 178 West 148 for a total of Scotland 607 Canada 504.