Fresh off a fourth-place finish in an international bonspiel in Bern, Switzerland, a talented Canadian rink from Manotick swept through the 47th annual Schenectady Junior Invitational, defeating two-time winner Montreal West, 7-2, Sunday for the Green Trophy at the Schenectady Curling Club.
Named after John Garside Green, who was publisher of the Gazette from 1946-64, the first event is sponsored by The Gazette Newspapers.
Skip Neil Sinclair made his first trip to the United States from Manotick, a small three-sheet club from the southern edge of Ottawa, and aside from a narrow semifinal victory over Broomstone’s Alex Leichter in the semifinals, his rink dominated the three-day, 24-team bonspiel.
In the finals, Montreal West skip Kim Moskalewski, who finished third last year, was denied his third Green Trophy in four years. The deciding end came early, when Sinclair stole three points in the second end to grab a 4-0 lead that his opponents were unable to overcome.
“We got a break early, and managed to hold them off,” said Sinclair, a 17-year-old high school senior. “We managed to put a few rocks in, put pressure on them, and he [Moskalewski] came up a little short on his draw,”
“I think we hit some frost,” said Moskalewski, “and I didn’t make the house, and they got three. That was it. We played well, and they played well the rest of the way.”
The teams traded points the next four ends, with Sinclair drawing to the button with his final delivery in the sixth end to deny Moskalewski’s bid for two. And when the Montreal West skip nicked a guard stone on his final shot in the seventh end, enabling Manotick to grab another point, the teams shook hands and ended the match.
Sinclair was curling with Graham Rathwell (16), Matthew Camm (17) and Andrew Hamilton (17) on a rink that earned its trip to Switzerland by winning a 32-team Ontario bonspiel over the Christmas break.
It’s been a busy season for the Manotick foursome, which has been in 18 events since September and will wrap up its competitive schedule in early April in another international bonspiel in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“I hope to make the world [junior] championships, for sure, and represent Canada,” said Sinclair of next season’s goal. “We lost the provincial final on the last rock in an extra end.”
Moskalewski also had a close brush with reaching the Canadian junior national event, losing to the eventual national champion in the semifinals with his boys’ rink. This weekend, he skipped a mixed squad that included Shawn Moskalewski, Danielle Kalika and Brianna Thicke.
After losing to Manotick in the semifinals, Leichter, who played in both the junior and men’s national championships this year, came back to defeat Plainfield and skip Nicole Arsenault, 5-2, for the Mackintosh Medal in the fourth event.
First-round losers from the Green played down for the Eugene A. Fink Memorial Medal, which went to Samantha Erlandson’s Rochester rink, a 13-3 winner over Cape Cod (Abby Morrison). In the Munro Medal, where the finalists are
determined on a points system,
St. Lambert and skip Matthew Birrell downed a combined Plainfield, Schenectady and Potomac rink skipped by Plainfield’s Jeremy Ringler, 7-3.
Manotick 130 101 1x — 7
Montreal West 001 010 0x — 2
Rochester 150 320 2x — 13
Cape Cod 102 001 0x — 3
Semifinals — Rochester def. Plainfield (Heffner); Cape Cod def. Schenectady (Crawford).
Plainfield 000 111 0x — 3
St. Lambert 321 999 1x — 7
Broomstones 010 012 1x — 5
Plainfield 100 100 0x — 2