Local rinks in middle of pack

Lorne Jackson (Fort Frances) improved to 2-1 record at the 16-rink Northwestern Ontario men’s playdowns in Atikokan.
He beat Jeff Zechner (Nipigon) 9-4 in this afternoon’s sixth draw.
If Jackson can win his game tonight versus John Salo (Fort William), he will advance to the double-knockout round.
Jackson, whose rink includes third Don DeBenedet, second Derek Jackson, and lead Wayne Beacham, opened action yesterday afternoon with an 8-4 loss to Bruce Melville (Port Arthur).
But they scored a deuce in the 10th last night to beat Blake Ponton (Dryden) 8-6.
The other Fort Frances rink, entered under the name Kevin Busch but skipped by Mike Kjerulf, beat Ponton 10-7 this morning to stay alive in the triple-knockout format with a 1-2 record.
They dropped both their games yesterday—10-5 to Murray Affleck (Kenora) and 11-4 to Bobby Morgan (White River).
The Busch rink, which also includes second Ed Vold and lead Cory Labbe, next plays at 3:30 p.m. (EST) and must win that game to remain alive.
After this afternoon’s sixth draw, two teams sat atop that pack with 3-0 records, including defending provincial champion Al Hackner (Fort William) and Affleck.
Only the top eight top rinks after tonight’s draw will move on to the modified double-knockout round, which gets underway tomorrow.
The top three teams after that will advance to the provincials Feb. 12-16 in Kapuskasing.