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Saskatchewan teams in hunt for playoff spots at Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship

Dash, Sask 1 hold down 3-1 record heading into lone draw Wednesday; Pederson, Sask 2 at 2-2 with three draws remaining

With one draw on their respective round robin schedules, Saskatchewan’s entries into the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship are very much in the hunt for a championship pool spot at the Moose Jaw Curling Centre.

Saskatchewan 1 -- featuring skip Gil Dash, third Marie Wright, second Darwin Bender and lead Moose Gibson -- improved to 3-1 to sit tied for second place in Pool A after a pair of comfortable victories on Tuesday.

Dash kicked off the day with a 7-3 victory over New Brunswick’s Michael Fitzgerald, scoring three in the third and fifth ends to build a 6-2 edge through five and never looking back. Things went even better in the evening draw, as Sask 1 scored points in four straight ends, including deuces in the third and fourth, to build a 6-2 lead and go on to an 8-3 win over Ontario 2 and Paul Grose (1-3).

Sask 1 had opened the event Monday with a tough 8-7 extra end loss to Northern Ontario’s Douglas Dean (4-0) and a 17-1 win over Alberta’s Don Kuchelyma, where Dash put up a pair of four enders and a five-spot in the first three ends.

Northern Ontario holds the lead in Pool A with their unbeaten record, while Sask 1 is tied with B.C.’s Gerry Austgarden for second at 3-1.

Saskatchewan 2 -- skip Rodney Pederson, third Stewart McKeown, second Sheryl Pederson and lead Russell Whitsitt -- hold down a 2-2 record and are alone in fourth place in Pool B.

It was a tough start for Pederson as despite leading 5-2 through five ends against Quebec’s Benoit Lessard in their opening game Monday they’d go on to drop a 6-5 decision. Sask 2 were able to get on track in their next outing, though, scoring one in the final end to take a 6-5 win over Newfoundland’s Cecilia Carroll.

Things didn’t get any easier in Sask 2’s first game Thursday, as they gave up deuces in each of the first three ends and lost 8-2 to Ontario 1’s Jon Thurston. Pederson was once again able to rebound in the night draw, though, putting up a four spot in the seventh end and going on to an 8-5 win over Alberta 1’s Jack Smart.

Alberta 1, Quebec and Ontario 1 are all tied for first in Pool B at 3-1.

The top three teams from each round robin pool advance to the championship pool, with action there beginning Wednesday night.

Sask 1 closes out their preliminary round robin against B.C. (3-1) during the Wednesday afternoon draw, while Sask 2 takes on Nova Scotia (0-4).

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