Team Saskatchewan from the Swift Current Curling Club kept their hot streak going at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, picking up two wins on the first day of the championship round at Innovationplex.
Shaun Meachem, Kelly Schafer and Chris and Teejay Haichert opened the day with a 5-3 win over Charles Sullivan’s New Brunswick rink. The team from the Thistle St. Andrews Curling Club in Saint John stole one in the opening end, but Saskatchewan took the lead with two in the third. New Brunswick tied it up 2-2 at the break with one in the fourth. Meachem took the lead back with two in the fifth end, forced Sullivan to a single in the sixth, and maintained hammer with a blank in the seventh before picking up one to wrap things up in the eighth.
In the evening draw against Team Alberta, Evan Van Amsterdam and his team from Edmonton forced Saskatchewan to one in the first end, then Meachem stole a point in the second to take a 2-0 lead. Alberta scored two in the third to tie it but after the fourth end was blanked, Saskatchewan came out of the break with two in the fifth and a steal of four in the sixth en route to an 8-4 win after seven ends.
“That’s a big one for us here,” Meachem said after the win over Alberta. “Neck and neck with those guys in the standings, and that puts us in a good spot today… We were a little shaky out of the gate, but everybody’s playing great. Kelly is just playing unreal, she’s by far the best curler, not only on our team, but probably in the whole field, so that’s pretty special to have her as a teammate and really brings a lot to the ice.”
Saskatchewan (7-1) has won seven games in a row since their loss to Nova Scotia in the opening draw on Sunday, and they have sole possession of second place in the eight-team round-robin behind an unbeaten Manitoba team, whom they’ll face in their last game on Friday night along with an afternoon matchup against Jamie Koe and the Northwest Territories.
“We’ve got a good game plan coming in,” Meachem added. “We’ve been sticking to it and it’s just execution. Go out there and make your shots. The ice allows you to make everything. We’re getting our rocks all figured out and it’s coming together.”
Ontario, Nova Scotia and Team NWT are in a tie for third at 6-2 with Alberta behind them at 5-3. The top four teams advance to Saturday’s semi-finals.
The championship round games on Friday will be at 12:30pm and 7:30pm with the final seeding round draw at 4:00pm.
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