Team Alberta, with Doug McLennan of St. Albert playing third for the Glen Hansen rink, lost more games in Saturday’s playoffs than in two round-robin pools at the Canadian Seniors (50-plus) Curling Championships.
And two of the three losses for Alberta at nationals were against Quebec, skipped by Ted Butler of the Buckingham Curling Club – 9-5 in seven ends in pool A on March 22 and 6-2 in seven ends in the semifinals.
The playoff loss left Alberta playing for bronze against New Brunswick, skipped by Wayne Tallon of the Capital Winter Club in Fredericton. Last year’s world champion and winner of the 2013 nationals counted one in seven and stole singles in eight and the extra end to cap off the 6-5 comeback victory.
Alberta scored a deuce with the hammer in the first end and stole one in two en route to a 4-1 lead after four ends.
The semifinal saw Quebec steal four of its six points in three different ends after the first end was blanked with Alberta holding the hammer. Down 3-0 Alberta counted one in four and stole a point in five before Quebec answered with a deuce in six and a steal of one in seven.
Alberta, with George Parsons and Don Bartlett at front-end, was the top seed in the playoffs after knocking off Manitoba, skipped by Randy Neufeld of the La Salle Curling Club, 6-2 in seven ends to finish 6-1 in the championship pool and 9-1 overall going into the playoffs.
With first place on the line Alberta broke it open with a deuce in five to lead 3-2 and steals of one in six and two in seven against Manitoba, who tied for second with New Brunswick at 5-2 in the championship pool. Quebec was 4-3.
In the final Manitoba defeated Quebec 5-3 and will represent Canada at the 2016 worlds.
McLennan, 57, and Parsons were competing in their second nationals in three years for Alberta after finishing 9-3 overall for bronze curling with skip Wade White and second Dan Holowaychuk of St. Albert in 2013 at Summerside, P.E.I.
The St. Albert Sabres are basking in the glow of a Hockey Alberta championship after completing a comeback victory in the recent peewee AA major final at Olds.
The 7-6 decision against the Wainwright Polar Kings also raised the team’s overall record to 45-3-2 (352 GF/115 GA), as listed on the team’s website.
The Sabres are Evan Arnold, Ethan Barwick, Michael Benning, Hayden Carlson, Jackson Ganton, Mathieu Gautier, Tyson Greenway, Langley Kruggel, Marc Lajoie, Blake Lyda, Carter MacDonald, Ethan McKinley, Ethan Pool, Carter Savoie, Jace Simington-Lesanko, Austin Spiridakis, Carter Stock and head coach Brian Benning.
Down 4-2 to Wainwright with under 16 minutes left in the middle frame, Gautier and Spiridakis pulled the Sabres even before the period ended and Pool and Savoie made it 6-4 with under 10 minutes remaining in regulation time.
Wainwright closed to within one with 7:01 to play, but McKinley’s unassisted effort with 1:47 to go restored the two-goal lead.
Wainwright’s last goal came with 26 ticks on the clock.
Spiridakis was the top point producer in the final with two goals and two assists. Savoie added a pair and one assist and Greenway had two assists.
Shots were 32-23 for Wainwright and Lyda and Barwick shared netminding duties for the Sabres.
In pool A the Sabres downed the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers 9-3, tied the SEERA Icemen 2-2, lost 4-2 to Wainwright and polished off the Olds Grizzlys 7-2 before slaying the Grande Prairie Knights 8-3 in the semifinals.
Spiridakis and Savoie led the Sabres in goals at provincials with seven apiece.
McKinley was the top playmaker with 11 assists and shared the team lead with Savoie in points with 14.
Gautier collected six goals and 10 points, Greenway had eight points and Benning added six for the gold medallists at the 56th annual Quebec Peewee International Hockey Tournament.
Emma Durocher’s overtime goal for the St. Albert Mission secured seventh place at the tween U14AA Western Canada Ringette Championships in Calgary.
Vail Ketsa and Maren Krec assisted on the play with 12:29 left in the extra period against Calgary 212 in Saturday’s 6-5 decision.
The game winner was scored after the Mission killed off a penalty for body contact.
The Mission also killed off a four-minute major penalty leading up Krec’s goal with 0.8 seconds on the clock to force overtime.
Ketsa finished with two goals and two assists and Kirsten McEachern and Hanna Howard also tallied as the Mission finished 3-2 overall.
The Mission opened the tournament by beating the Eastman Flames of Winnipeg 9-7, lost 9-6 to Saskatchewan, were outscored 5-2 in the last period in the 6-5 loss to British Columbia and knocked off the Saskatoon Saints 7-5.
McEachern was credited with eight goals and 14 points at westerns.
Ketsa recorded six goals and 13 points and Abby Klatt and Durocher chipped in with five goals and eight points apiece.
Manitoba doubled British Columbia 6-3 in the final.
The Misson’s overall record after westerns is 24-21-4.
At provincials in St. Albert they finished 2-2 while placing fifth out of six teams.