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    Categories: Curling

Makichuk delivers bonspiel win

SKIPPING THE FINAL - Holly Jamieson signals instructions to her sweepers while Lindsay Makichuk keeps a close eye on the action in Sunday's A final at the St. Albert ladies bonspiel. Makichuk won 6-1 in seven ends. Twenty rinks competed in the three-day event.

The Lindsay Makichuk rink played the waiting game to win the St. Albert ladies bonspiel.

In the A final Sunday, the Spruce Grove based team blanked end after end after end before counting three in four, en route to the 6-1 decision in seven ends against Holly Jamieson.

“We thought we would try for multiple points,” said Makichuk, who curled with third Jennifer Van Wieren, second Jennifer Person and lead Tiffany Steuber. “The first three ends were wide open. Both teams were making really good shots and we blanked those ends.

“In the fourth end we got some opportunities. Our team was throwing great and we found some really nice draw weight. We ended up scoring three and then we got lucky on a steal in the fifth end. They took one in the sixth and in the seventh end we kind of kept to our game plan. It was pretty clean and we didn’t leave too many guards in play or rocks in play for ourselves and we were able to score again.”

Without the hammer, the Jamieson foursome of third Sally Korol, second Nyla Kurylowich of Sturgeon County and lead Klara Smiley, filling in for Andrea Scott, took a cautious approach to the start of the final.

“It was just the way the ends set up. We tried to force them to one and they blanked so, OK, let’s just keep blanking if they want to keep blanking,” Jamieson said. “We tried our best to keep it close, keep the game kind of clean and try and stay in control but any of our misses they definitely capitalized on them.

“We played a very strong team.”

Makichuk’s hit and stick for three opened the scoring.

“We tried a little too hard to force them to one and then my last shot wasn’t quite where we wanted it and it just gave them the opportunity to get those three points,” said Jamieson, a 2015 junior Canadian and world champion as the second on the Kelsey Rocque rink.

The second-place finish out of 20 rinks was better than expected for the Wednesday night league team at Jasper Place.

“We surprised ourselves going 3-0 in the pool,” said Jamison of the results against Crush, Piper and Jewell in pool play, plus the semifinal decision against Smart. “We actually got first ranked of the bonspiel, the A1 team, so that was really nice. We got third best to the draw to the button so we’re very proud of ourselves for that. We’re just happy we got to play some really good teams this weekend.

“It was a lot of fun.”

Jamieson, Korol, Kurylowich and Scott are curling up a storm in preparation for the Canada Deaf Games for deaf and hard of hearing athletes and the winner of the Feb. 19 to 24 competition in Winnipeg qualifies for the 10th Winter Deaflympics in 2019 in Torino, Italy.

Team Jamieson, along with coach Taina Smiley, were bronze medallists as the Canadian reps at the 2017 World Deaf Curling Championship in Sochi, Russia.

“Competition like this is really going to help us hopefully win the Canadian trials and then we’ll go to the Deaflympics,” said Jamieson, who was diagnosed with severe bilateral hearing loss as a young child.

Korol and Kurylowich also curled on the Judy Robertson rink that won gold at the inaugural 2009 World Deaf championship in Winnipeg and were silver medallists in 2013 at Bern, Switzerland.

Robertson retired two years ago and Jamieson was recruited to call the shots.

Jamieson was also brought on board this season as the third on the Jessie Hunkin rink on the competitive circuit.

The newly-formed Makichuk lineup doesn’t compete in a league and used the St. Albert bonspiel as a warm-up before the playdowns for the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

“We wanted more games and more exposure together before we get to the playdowns,” said Makichuk, a Lloydminster curling product who served on the Northern Alberta Curling Association board the last few years and currently works at the Calgary Winter Club. “We’ve curled against each other at various points in our lives and that’s what is so great with curling is that you can always meet up again and join up and be together as a team.”

Makichuk rolled past Greening, Coulter and Saal in their pool and knocked off Scott in the semifinals.

“We had really great teams and great competition here. It wasn’t easy by any stretch. There were a couple of good battles. We went 3-0 in the round robin and managed to do well in the semis and managed to do well in the final too,” said Makichuk, who last curled in St. Albert as a skip at the 2016 northern Alberta Scotties in St. Albert and Jamieson was her second.

”The ice is great just as ever,” Makichuk said. “The St. Albert Curling Club is probably one of the cleanest and most well maintained clubs and hosts one of the well organized bonspiels in the Edmonton city area. Nicole (Bellamy, the general manager) puts on such a good show and we love supporting this club. We were looking for a bonspiel to go in and we knew this club would have great players and great teams in it and it would be a lot of fun so it was really attractive for our team to play in it.”

The next St. Albert bonspiel is the 3 Sons Tire & Auto men’s event next weekend.

Jeff Hansen: Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.