Semi-Final: Ontario 6, Saskatchewan 5
In a game where the teams were never separated by more than 2 points, Ontario managed to earn a one-point victory in Friday night’s semi-final. The key shots came in the 9th end, when Ontario skip Cory Heggestad made consecutive tap-backs to score 3 and take a 2 point lead. The end featured nearly every rock in play, which Ontario hadn’t intended at the start of the end.
“We were thinking that they were going to throw it in so we could blank the end and have hammer coming home,” said Heggestad. “But they threw up a centre guard which made us go in, and they went in, and then we were already in it, so we thought ‘we’re not going to blank now.’”
In the 10th, Saskatchewan skip Shaun Meachem had a chance to get the deuce needed to tie. With a stone frozen in the four foot, Meachem had a difficult double take-out and his shooter just rolled too far. When asked if it was difficult to watch, Heggestad said “that’s curling. You don’t really get too excited. You want it to be close, you want everyone to play well…when you have tight games like that it had to be a treat for [the fans] to watch.”
Ontario now has to prepare to play Alberta in Saturday afternoon’s final. After three games on Friday, Heggestad knows what the team needs to do to be successful in that game: “Just keep doing what we’re doing…We just hope to have a good game tomorrow and see what happens.”
Day 7 Notes: Alberta won 7-4 in the round-robin game between the two teams in Tuesday night’s 10th draw…Heggestad is vying to become the first skip to successfully defend the Mixed since Larry McGrath’s Saskatchewan rink won consecutive titles in 1967 and 1968…Saturday’s final will start at 2:00PM and will be televised on Rogers’ cable in Ontario. Rogers’ customers outside Ontario will be able to live stream the game…Because they had a bye in draw 17, the final will be Alberta’s first game since Thursday night. On the opposite side, Ontario played three games on Friday…Ontario second Greg Balsdon, who missed a game earlier in the week with a hip injury, was visibly uncomfortable through most of the game. While Heggestad acknowledged that Balsdon was hurting, he was confident that he would be ready for the final. “He’ll be ok – he’s a trooper.” In the event that Balsdon can’t play, Don Bowser, who played with the team earlier in the week, will play in his place.