A morning loss may end up making for a long day for the Muskie boys’ curling rink.
The quartet of skip Daniel Vandenbrand, third Jason Bazylewski, second Owen Riches, and lead Davis Jackson lost 9-3 in six ends earlier today to the Hammarskjold Vikings (Thunder Bay) to put both teams in a three-way tie for first place with the St. Patrick’s Saints (Thunder Bay) at the NWOSSAA championships in Longlac.
Had the Muskies beaten the Vikings, and then the winless Geraldton Knights later (score unavailable at press time), they would have clinched the gold medal and nailed down a berth to OFSAA on March 22-25 in North Bay.
But the defeat means if the Muskies beat Geraldton in the final round-robin draw, while Hammarskjold downs the École Saint-Joseph Chevaliers (Wawa) and St. Pat’s overcomes the Sioux Lookout Warriors, a double tiebreaker will come into effect.
By some form of random draw still undetermined as of press time, one team will be selected to get an automatic berth to the final while the other two will play in a four-end tiebreaker.
The winner of that then plays the team with the bye in a second four-end tiebreaker.
If only two teams are tied after the round-robin, they were to play an eight-end tiebreaker to decide the gold medal.
Yesterday, the Muskies beat the Chevaliers 7-3 with just three players as normal skip Chris Silver is out with a hamstring injury and lead Davis Jackson was sidelined by the ‘flu.
However, Jackson returned for a 6-5 extra-end win over St. Pat’s to close the day.
As for the Muskie girls’ rink of skip Tory Beaudry, third Anika Beaudry, second Katrina Slomke, and co-leads Andrea Schram and Ashley Payne, they will bring a bronze medal home from Longlac after finishing with a 3-2 record.
The Muskie girls won NWOSSAA last year, although with now-departed graduate Erin Tomalty handling the skip’s role.
In a heartbreaker, the Muskies fell 7-6 in an extra end to Hammarskjold to virtually end their chances at the gold and a shot at qualifying for OFSAA for the second-straight year.
But the black-and-gold displayed their pride by dumping Geraldton 9-2 in seven ends and then edging the Churchill Trojans (Thunder Bay) by a 5-4 score.