Montreal West has found Montreal South.
For the fourth time in five years, a rink from the busy club in Montreal swept through the brackets in the Junior Invitational Bonspiel at the Schenectady Curling Club, winning the Gazette Newspapers-sponsored John G. Green Trophy.
This time around, skip Shawn Moskalewski’s foursome prevailed over a field of 22 rinks in the three-day event, defeating Plainfield and skip Ryan McMakin, 7-1, Sunday in the finals. It was Moskalewski’s first time skipping the rink at Schenectady, but he was part of the three championships and one runner-up finish posted by his brother Kim.
McMakin had a talented lineup; he and downrink members Nicole Arsenault and Cameron Ross all played on rinks that finished fourth in boys’ or girls’ play this winter in the U.S. Curling Association Junior National Championships in Bemidji, Minn.
But Moskalewski was able to read the ice — and the stones — and that made all the difference.
“Six of the rocks were taking off [overcurling], three were running straight and the rest were curling normal,” Moskalewski said about the 16 granite stones being used on the sheet. “The ice has been playing straight, so I was forcing them [Plainfield] to play hits. There was more of a chance of them missing.”
After blanking the first end, Montreal West set the tone early by scoring three in the second.
“We got a rock behind a guard, then both of us kept bumping rocks behind the T-line,” Moskalewski said. “I missed my first shot, but [McMakin] missed his second and left a port, so I was able to bump for three.”
As McMakin struggled with his draw weight, Montreal West tacked on three more in the fifth end. When McMakin threw his last shot through the house, failing to score in the sixth, the teams shook hands and ended the match.
Moskalewski, 20, who plans to resume his education in trade school, said he will return to Schenectady next March for the 50th edition of the Green Bonspiel.
“It’s a fun tournament,” he said. “I love the people here.”
Curling with Moskalewski were Alex Hall, 16, who was picked up for the Schenectady event, and his regular front end of twin brothers Daniel and Marc Phillion. Alex Prelusky completed the Plainfield lineup.
Another Quebec rink, Matthew Birrell’s St. Lambert team, easily won the fourth event, the Mackintosh Medal, 9-4, over Stephen Ours’ Potomac/Philadelphia entry after being knocked out of the Green semifinals for the second year in a row.
In the second event, the Eugene A. Fink Medal for first-round losers in the Green, Utica, skipped by Albany native Katlyn Beebe, was a 6-4 winner over Nashua and skip Sean Hennessy. Laura Murphy’s Cape Cod rink, skipped by Emily Annand in the finals, held off another Montreal West rink, skipped by Trish Dempsey, for the Munro Medal in the third event, 7-4.
Plainfield (McMakin) 000 100 xx – 1
Mont. West (Moskalewski) 31 030 xx — 7
Utica (Beebe) 101 000 11 — 6
Nashua (Hennessy) 020 101 00 — 4
Montreal West (Dempsey) 000 300 10 — 4
Cape Cod (Annand) 111 011 02 — 7
St. Lambert (Birrell) 220 032 0x — 9
Potomac/Phila. (Ours) 001 200 1x — 4