WHEELCHAIR CURLING: Team BC back on track

Following a tough day on Wednesday, Alison Duddy and her Team BC wheelchair curling teammates got back into the win column Thursday, outcurling Nova Scotia 6-1.

The win leaves team BC, skipped by Gary Cormack, in fourth place with a 4-2 record at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships in Edmonton, with three draws to go.

  • Mar. 24, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Following a tough day on Wednesday, Alison Duddy and her Team BC wheelchair curling teammates got back into the win column Thursday, outcurling Nova Scotia 6-1.

The win leaves team BC, skipped by Gary Cormack, in fourth place with a 4-2 record at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships in Edmonton, with three draws to go.

Team BC opened the scoring with a single point in the first end and regained the hammer in the third end when Nova Scotia counted a single to tie the score.

From there on out it was Team BC’s game as they counted two in the fourth, stole one in the fifth and two in the sixth to end the game.

Team BC started the championship with a perfect 3-0 record, before hitting a speed bump on Wednesday with an 8-1 loss against Manitoba and a 7-6 loss against Alberta.

The loss to Alberta was a knock to the chin as Team BC had the hammer going into the final end with the score tied 6-6, but saw Alberta steal a single point to win the game.

In their first game of the championship, Team BC swept to a 6-4 win against Saskatchewan.

“It was a real nail biter,” Duddy said.

Down 4-2 going into the eighth end, BC scored two to tie the game, then stole two more in the ninth to take their first game of the championship.

 

The second draw of the championship was just as nerve-wracking as the host team took a 7-3

lead into the eighth end.

 

But that turned around quickly as Team BC scored four in the eighth and stole one in the ninth to squeak past the Cliff Nuspl rink 8-7.

For the third draw, Team BC took a 4-0 lead in the first end and never looked back as they walloped NFLD and Labrador 10-1, bringing Duddy just a step closer to her goal.

It’s been a long year for Duddy, waiting for her shot at payback, an opportunity to atone for last year’s loss in the gold-medal match at the Canadian Wheelchair Championships in Kelowna, B.C.

“I wanted to go back to nationals really bad,” Duddy said.

“Last year we got the silver and I want the redemption of the gold this year.”

Last year’s loss in the national championship final left Duddy and her teammates with a bitter taste because it came at the hands of Cormack’s team, a team they had beat to win the provincial title just a month earlier.

This year, Duddy and Frank LaBounty, teammates on last year’s B.C. championship team, joined forces with Cormack from Surrey and second Vince Miele from Richmond for this year’s provincial championships.

“It’s kind of like if you can’t beat them, join them,” Duddy said with a chuckle.

The decision has thus far paid dividends.

With a second-place finish at the nationals and two first-place finishes at the provincial championships, Duddy already has a resume to make any curler proud, let alone someone like Duddy who took up curling less than three years ago.

Duddy attributes her success in wheelchair curling to LaBounty.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without Frank,” she said.

“When I first started we had able-bodied people trying to teach us how to play wheelchair curling.

“Frank took me to the level I am at now.

“He’s tried everything and found what works.

“He was able to take me to this level right from the beginning.”

To follow the action visit www.curling.ca/championships/wheelchair/draw-schedule/

 

Quesnel Cariboo Observer

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