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Sunday, March 18, 2012

We are ready to rock in Thunder Bay!

As reported, the Wheelchair Curling Blog along with the CCA will be providing enhanced coverage of the 2012 Canadian National Championship in Thunder Bay over the next week.

We will provide live scores, blog coverage, a few “behind the glass” stories, videos and photos though the CCA website surrounding the Championships and recast on the Curling Blog.

This year above any other the CCA has invested in providing a new level of coverage for the championship including live web streaming of selected games. The broadcast team for the Wheelchair curling blog 2 as you know is  Trevor Kerr, former team equipment manager for Team Canada and myself, Chris Daw; former skip of Team Canada.

So what have we learned so far? What can we share? Here is our prelude to the 2012 Canadian National Wheelchair Champion.

2012 Team Photo
* Northern Ontario – As winners of the NOCA championship, and playing in their home club, the pressure must be on.  We know that they have received excellent media coverage over the past several weeks which have positioned them to receive excellent attendance for all their games.  An interesting choice falls in their alternate selection of Doug Dean who informed us last night that he had only been curling for seven weeks. Team appears to be ready to roll.
Skip: Carl Levesque
Third: Rick Bell
Second: Mel Prairie
Lead: Sharon LaFroye
Alternate: Doug Dean
Coach: David Kawahara
 *Newfoundland & Labrador – Officer of Canada recipient skip, Joanne MacDonald, leads her team back onto the ice for a run at the championship. As the only female skip at this event we see a small move in the line up after learning that long time third, Darlene Jackman, was unable to make the trip this year due to personal reasons. Felix Green has made the move from second to third after resolving contentious employment issues over the last several years. 
RE/MAX Centre, St. John’s
Skip: Joanne MacDonald
Second: Cecilia Carroll
Coach: Leslie Anne Walsh
Third: Felix Green
Lead: Lanie Woodfine
* Host Team Northern Ontario – This collaboration of two teams into one lead by coach Gervais, and skip Rick Prud’homme will gain valuable experience in this championship with aspirations of making the playoffs. Who knows this team may be able to pull off the big wins when needed. They came close at the NOCA championships.
Sudbury CC
Skip: Rick Prud’homme
Third: Sarah Lashbrook
Second: Dennis Duclos
Lead: Gino Sonego
Alternate: Linda Kontunen (Not Shown)
Coach: Norm Gervais

*New Team Nova Scotia – This new team to Nationals is not new to the sport. They are well coached by both head coach Bill Fletcher and alternate Trendal Hubley-Bolivar. The team is facing a bit of adversity in the fact the skipper Richard Brown has experienced a personal loss which will take him away to the family funeral before the championships is fully plays out. This strong team both on and off the team will gain the experience needed to become better each time they hit the ice.
Lakeshore CC, Lower Sackville
Skip: Richard Brown
Third: Terry Cousineau
Second: Steve Parfitt
Lead: Deborah Earle
5th: Trendal Hubley-Bolivar
Coach: Bill Fletcher

* Team Quebec – A much focused team, this team should hit the playoffs.  The Team has worked to gained the experience needed to vault the towards the podium and with the last year under their belt the play off should be big this year.
Club de curling Magog
Skip: Benoit Lessard
Third: Carl Marquis
Second: Sebastien Boisvert
Lead: Johanne Daly
Alternate: Denis Grenier
Coach: Germain Tremblay

* Team Ontario – Coach Comerford with his optimistic wit has developed a strong team that if they can close they could be one of those look at play offs. Mark Ideson has worked hard to adjust to the few changes he has faced. With no lack of prep work or games leading up to the championship all Ontario has to do is find a way to finish what they start.
Ilderton CC
Skip: Mark Ideson
Third: Katie Paialunga
Second: Tony Reynen
Lead: Shannon Wilcox
Alternate: Jacqui Kinahan
Coach: Ernie Comerford

* Team Manitoba – With  long time skip Chris Sobkowicz deciding to take a year off  We see Dennis Thiessen take the role of skipper.. Also, Mark Wherrett former Northern Ontario third for Wayne Ficek now moves back into the third role. The team looks ready and only time will tell if they can capture the crown once more.
Assiniboine CC, Winnipeg
Skip: Dennis Thiessen
Third: Mark Wherrett
Second: Melissa Lecuyer
Lead: George Horning
Alternate: Don Kalinsky
Coach: Rob Lamb

Team SaskatchewanReady, willing and hungry for an improvement over last year, this team is poised to make a move on the podium.
Callie CC, Regina
Skip: Darwin Bender
Third: Gil Dash
Second: Marie Wright
Lead: Larry Schrader
Coach: Lorraine Arguin
Coach: Bob Capp

* Team Alberta -. 7 times Bruno and his rat pack have come to the show a team which is not only focused on winning but having fun in the process. Known as a close unit which shares a few beers at summer BBQ’s, it is their time to shine. With 2 active members of the Team Canada crew fresh off of worlds this team WILL make its mark once again
Calgary CC
Coach: Andy Jones
Lead: Anne Hibberd
Second: Martin Purvis
Third: Jack Smart
Skip: Bruno Yizek
Alternate: Bridget Wilson (not shown)
*Team British Columbia - Another team born from2 teams to make 1. Team BC see not only the return of 2006 Paralympic Gold medalist Gerry Austgarden but the return of both Allison Duddy and Frank Labounty after Canada members Neighbour & Guadet were unable to attend due to personal reasons.
Nanaimo Curling Centre
Skip: Gerry Austgarden
Third: Frank LaBountry
Second: Ellis Tull
Lead(s): Corinne Jensen/Allison Duddy
Coach: Karen Watson

1 comment:

Wayne F said...

Hey Chris,

Looking forward to your coverage of the 2012 WC Nationals and your continuance with the blog. It's a thank less job.... but someone needs to do it and commend your efforts.

Just wanted to wish all my curling friends and foe's from the past 4 Nationals a good week and hope everyone enjoys their stay in Thunder Bay. I want to personally wish both Team Thunder Bay and the Host team a good championship and if they curl the way their both capable of, will be some kind of factor at the end of the week. I believe from the line up of the teams this year that any one of the teams is play off material if they have a good week.

Also want to thanks the CCA and the host committee for all the preparations for this years event and look forward to the live blog and streaming of the events.

Good luck everyone and enjoy this wonderful event.

Wayne Ficek