McLennan's double sinks Sadoway
Shot in sixth end decides Solo Liquor Mixed Bonspiel winner
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 06:00 am
Doug McLennan ordered a double at the expense of Warren Sadoway before last call at the Solo Liquor Mixed Bonspiel in St. Albert.
The skip for the reigning President’s Cup playoff champions at the St. Albert Curling Club executed a double takeout with the hammer in the sixth end to break open Sunday’s tight final after Sadoway's last rock stopped short of its destination.
“I gave him that shot for a double,” said the happy-go-lucky Sadoway with a shrug of his shoulders after the 6-2 loss in seven ends. “That’s the one shot you don’t want to give Doug but you have to give him credit; he made a hell of a shot.
“And once you give Doug a two-point lead late in the game you’re kind of in trouble.”
The score was knotted at two apiece going into skips' stones in six, and with no rocks in the house but a bunch scattered in front, Sadoway drew to the right side of the rings. McLennan followed with a draw that was a tad heavy for his liking behind the T-line for second shot.
After much deliberation, Sadoway elected to toss his next rock close to McLennan’s last shot and it slid to the top of the four-foot.
“We were looking to prevent the double,” said Sadoway, who hoped to escape the end down 3-2. “It seemed like it stopped fast. We needed to go another rock down. One rock length would’ve probably made it a really tough double.”
McLennan wasted no time blasting Sadoway’s stones out of the house and his shooter stayed for the deuce.
“It was kind of a falling-off-a-log kind of a double. You only have to hit a third of it,” he said.
The teams shook hands after seven after McLennan’s rink of third Alison Howes, second Colin Jenkyns and his sister Lauren at lead jumped at the opportunity to steal multiple points with some early rocks in play. The game ended with McLennan lying three and Sadoway only eliminated one rock as his shooter rolled out of the rings.
“Stealing one there is enormous and stealing two is just a bonus,” McLennan said. “We wanted to keep it fairly open that end but when Lauren puts one on the can and then they kind of picked a little bit and got one close to the centre then it’s steal on. They had some tough luck trying to clear them off and that was unfortunate for them but we also made some pretty good shots so it was tough for them to clear them out.”
McLennan started the final with a deuce and Sadoway tied it after two blanked ends.
McLennan blanked the fifth before getting down to business in six. It was all part of the game plan, he said, against the Sadoway foursome of Sandy Sadoway and Tim and Leanne Fell.
“I was watching Warren’s (semifinal) game and he was mucking it up with the Deb Santos/Donnie Bartlett team. They’re pretty good draw players so we wanted to get them into a game where we could sort of keep it calm because we bowl pretty good,” McLennan said. “We play a lot of the game pretty good, quite frankly. That’s three of the best players you’re going to find in this club on my team.”
The Edmonton and area Tournament of Champions in 2010 and last year’s finalists slide past Williams in Thursday’s opener before dismantling Rouault, Asmussen and Throndson, a lightning-quick four-end semifinal decision.
“We played really, really well with the exception for myself in the first game. I was struggling with weight. It was so fast. The guys here have got the ice so good. I was just coming out a little too hard so everything just seemed to be back ring all the time and I didn't seem to get control of it. The rest of the team carried me through that one,” McLennan said. “After that we pretty much controlled most of the games. The last three games we played we were like gold.”
The most prolific mixed rink in the history of the St. Albert Curling Club – sixth President’s Cup in the last seven years – made a rare appearance in the mixed spiel after McLennan retired from the senior 50-plus ranks, as the northern playdown dates clashed with the annual St. Albert spiel.
The perennial top team in the Thursday night league has lost only one game all winter, as Frank Lane’s rink pulled off the feat with John Mann skipping.
“Are we curling as good as we ever have? I would have to say yes,” said McLennan, the third rocker for Wade White’s bronze-medal winning rink at the 2013 Canadian seniors championships. “We do have a bit of a history and the fun part is when we come into a lot of these events a lot of people think we’re the favourite and I think that inspires a lot of people. You’ve got a bit of a target on you, but we know what we can do and it’s going to take an awfully good team and awfully good shots to beat us.
“There is a lot of confidence on our team. We’ve got a lead who is the provincial champion in ladies skipping at the Dominions (national club championships) so we’re in pretty good shape.”
Sunday’s grand finale in the 32-rink competition, with $550 going to the winners and $200 to the losers, marked Sadoway’s return to the final after he was tripped up 5-3 in seven ends by Dave Klatchuk in 2012.
It’s also the first meaningful game against McLennan since the Friday night foursome upset the team to beat this year in the 2006 club final.
“It’s been a while since we played Doug head to head,” Sadoway said. “We’ve been playing well so we’re happy to be back.”
Sadoway rattled off wins against Mecir, Rogers, Lane and Bartlett en route to the final.
“We probably got away with a game or two earlier. This morning (against Bartlett) we played really well. It was probably our best game,” Sadoway said of running the opposition out of rocks without the hammer while holding a two-point lead in the last end. “I can’t say that we actually played a bad game just now against Doug, we just made one mistake.”