Late entry wins squash tourney

When James Knopf finally got his foot in the door, everyone else wished they had changed the locks.
The Winnipeg resident originally wasn’t part of the field of 16 at the annual Boxing Day men’s squash tournament at the Memorial Sports Centre last Friday.
But after John Hazel couldn’t continue past the first round due to injury, Knopf took his place and ended up riding his good fortune all the way to the ‘A’ event crown—downing fellow Winnipegger Jason Kabel 3-1 in the best-of-five final.
Hazel had blanked Mike York 3-0 in his opening match, but was forced to withdraw from the tournament—leaving a gap Knopf was more than happy to fill.
He went on to beat Toby Munro 3-0 in the quarter-finals and then blanked Bob Tkachuk 3-0 in the semi-finals, before bouncing Kabel to complete his charge to the title.
Kabel hadn’t lost a game prior to the final, posting 3-0 sweeps over Jason Sobkowicz, Paul Visser, and Steve Krag.
On the ‘B’ side, Steve Boileau continued his strong play this season by winning the consolation championship with a 3-0 win over Cole Derksen in the final.
After losing his opening match to Tkachuk 3-0, Boileau rebounded to eliminate Chad Buist and York by identical 3-1 scores before finishing off Derksen in the final.
Derksen lost 3-0 to Visser in his first match, then beat Sobkowicz 3-2 and Dave Bond to qualify for the ‘B’ final.
In other news, Boileau and Krag will join Megan Canfield as the three local reps on the eight-person Northwestern Ontario squash team entry at the upcoming Ontario Winter Games on March 11-14 in London.