Skip to content

Sask 1 finish first in round robin, receive bye to Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship final

Dash battles to 5-4 win over Quebec’s Marquis in must-win game to finish 8-2 and in first place after round robin

With the way things played out for Sask 1 at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship this past week, it would have been easy to assume heading into the final round-robin draw that things would have been pretty comfortable for Gil Dash and crew.

Instead, thanks to the way tiebreakers work at the event, they were actually fighting for their playoff lives despite carrying a 7-2 record into their contest with Quebec’s Carl Marquis.

In the end, things worked out just fine, as Dash, third Marie Wright, second Moose Gibson and lead Sheryl Pederson battled to a 5-4 victory, finishing first place overall and earning a bye into the championship final on Saturday afternoon at the Moose Jaw Curling Centre.

“She’s not done yet,” Dash said with a grin shortly after the tense victory. “We got our bye to the finals so we’re really happy about that, but we took the tough route. We had chances, it was our own destiny with how we started out in the week, but it just goes to show how tough all the teams here are. It was the ones who were lower in the standings that we had trouble with. But now we’re into the finals, we got there.”

Even with a loss, Sask 1 would have finished with a 7-3 record, but thanks to some tough luck in the Last Stone Draw tiebreaker and who else was in contention, a loss Friday would have eliminated the defending champs from contention.

As it stands, Newfoundland’s Doug Dean took an 8-3 win over New Brunswick’s Mike Fitzgerald to also finish 8-2, but thanks to Dash’s win over Dean in the round robin, Sask 1 finished first.

British Columbia’s Gerry Austgarden took third place in dramatic fashion, defeating Manitoba’s Dennis Thiessen 9-2 to see both teams finish at 7-3. Thanks to his win in that game, Austgarden claimed the third and final playoff spot.

As a result, B.C. and Newfoundland will play in the semifinal at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the gold medal game at 2:30 p.m.

“We have to come out going for every shot,” Dash said of what it will take to win that contest. “Going for the rolls, the hits, the draws, not just being there. We have to be focussed and doing our best.”

A win Saturday would be a record fifth title for Dash and Wright, the fourth for Gibson and first for Pederson. Asked about the drive for five being alive, Dash had to pause to gather his thoughts.

“The drive for five is pretty cool,” he said. “I didn’t really feel that emotional before but coming off a big win today, it’s hard not to feel that way. It’s going to be so hard tomorrow, but we’re going to bring what we can to the table and go for gold.”


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks