Muskie male rink nabs OFSAA spot

Joey Payeur

They made it their house.
The Muskie boys’ curling team of skip Chris Silver, third Daniel Vandenbrand, second Jason Bazylewski, and lead Davis Jackson topped the Lake Superior High Stingers (Terrace Bay) 6-5 this morning to capture the gold medal at the NWOSSAA playoffs in Thunder Bay with a 5-0 record.
The rink now advances to the OFSAA championship March 7-10 in North Bay.
“That sure helps take the sting out of last year,” Silver said, referring to the Muskies missing the gold—and an OFSAA berth—in a last-shot loss to the Westgate Tigers.
With the Muskies and Stingers tied 5-5 heading to the last end, and Fort High holding the hammer, Silver made a fantastic shot with his second-last stone to lie one.
The Stingers needed to freeze to the Muskie rock to prolong the game but came up just short, allowing Silver to forego his final shot.
With the success of Westgate’s silver-medal team at OFSAA last year, the number of berths to the all-Ontarios doubled this year, meaning the top two NWOSSAA finishers advance.
The Muskies guaranteed themselves a spot yesterday after beating the Hammarskjold Vikings (Thunder Bay) 7-2 in seven ends and École Secondaire Catholique Trillium Coyotes (Chapleau) by an 8-1 margin in four ends.
Meanwhile, nothing was decided on the girls’ side of the draw as of earlier today.
The Muskie rink of skip Erin Tomalty, third Tory Beaudry, second Anika Beaudry, and lead Andrea Schram split its two games yesterday to sit in a three-way tie for first at 3-1 with Hammarskjold and the Superior Gryphons (Thunder Bay).
Fort High beat the Chapleau Raiders (1-3) by a count of 7-5, then got upended 7-1 by Hammarskjold in the afternoon.
But everything in the girls’ event was thrown for a loop when Superior was disqualified for using an ineligible player.
The Gryphons launched an appeal of the decision, which still hadn’t been ruled on as of press time.
To complicate matters, the Muskies and Gryphons squared off in the final round-robin draw that was incomplete as of press time.
Hammarskjold faced Chapleau in an earlier draw, with that score also unavailable.
Two OFSAA berths also are available in the girls’ division, thanks to the Sioux Lookout Warriors winning gold there last year.
The Warriors still were in the mix to at least get into a tie-breaker later today—sitting one game back of the lead at 2-2 and playing winless Lake Superior in their last game today.
Depending on Superior’s appeal ruling, any teams tied after today’s final round-robin draw will battle it out in one or more tie-breakers this afternoon.