Roy advances to senior provincials

Local skip Raymond Roy finished atop the eight-team field at the Northwestern Ontario senior men’s playdowns over the weekend in Kakabeka Falls.
Roy’s rink, which also includes third Don DeBenedet, second Dave Bondett, and lead Paul Fraser, went a perfect 7-0 to earn one of the two berths up for grabs to the provincial playdowns coming up Feb. 21-25 in Sault Ste. Marie.
Larry Chepesiuk (Thunder Bay) captured the other berth after finishing second at 5-2.
Bryan Bonot (Stratton) also competed in Kakabeka Falls but failed to advance, finishing the four-day event with a 1-5 record (the bottom four teams didn’t bother playing their final round-robin game because they already had been eliminated from further contention).
Roy opened the competition with a 8-5 win over Chepesiuk on Wednesday night.
The local rink then dumped Dan Macsemchuk (Kakabeka Falls) 11-2 before earning a narrow 8-6 win over Tim Pyhtila (Port Arthur) in their two draws Thursday.
Roy continued his hot streak with a pair of wins Friday. He first defeated Murray Affleck (Kenora) by a score of 10-4, then earned a 7-2 win over Bonot later in the day.
Roy wrapped up his perfect record Saturday with a 5-3 victory over Ken Anderson (Red Lake) and a 9-0 shutout versus Jim Pick (Marathon).
In senior women’s action, meanwhile, Judy LaBelle of Fort Frances narrowly missed earning a berth to the provincial playdowns.
With Muriel Anderson (Sioux Lookout) already having clinched the first provincial berth, LaBelle fell 10-2 to Marion Clark (Port Arthur) in the battle to determine the second spot at Sault Ste. Marie later this month.
LaBelle, whose rink included third Nancy Evans, second Dianne Bonot, and lead Sally Stewart, was nipped 8-7 by Anderson in her opening game at the four-team competition on Thursday.
She then split her two games Friday, losing 11-7 to Clark but then rebounding with an 8-5 win over Bev Junnila (Port Arthur).
The Fort Frances rink then beat Junnila 10-9 in the playoff round to advance against Clark (who had lost to Anderson) for the second provincial berth.