This past weekend, from January 20-22, Elmira hosted our fourth annual U18 OJCT cash spiel with 16 rinks participating from across southern Ontario to compete for OJCT tour points and for $2600 in prize money available to qualifying teams.
On the womens’ side, Pool A came down to the cumulative draw-to-the-button scores as Teams Emma McKenzie of Elmira, Maddy Warriner of Oakville, and Rachel Snelgrove of Whitby all posted equivalent 2-1 records at the conclusion of round-robin play. McKenzie and Snelgrove enjoyed the best cumulative draw scores and so these two teams qualified out of Pool A for playoff games on Sunday. In Pool B, Team Veronica Bernard of Richmond Hill were undefeated at 3-0, followed by Julia Heitolla of Coldwater and District at 2-1 qualified for playoffs.
In the men’s draw in Pool A, Daniel Del Conte and his rink from Hamilton Victoria finished round-robin play at 3-0, followed by Sam Domaratzki of Elmira at 2-1. In Pool B, Owen Purdy of Niagara Falls finished undefeated at 3-0 followed by Evan Running of Coldwater at 2-1.
In the cross-over semi-finals, on the women’s side Emma Mackenzie and her Elmira rink were forced to play with three players due to an injury and came up short against Veronica Bernard’s rink out of Richmond Hill, who cruised to an 8-2 win. Julia Heittola edged Rachel Snelgrove in the other semi-final which featured some great shotmaking in the 8th end, with Rachel making an angle-slash takeout with her last stone in 8 to sit one with the score tied, but Heittola using her excellent feel for draw weight and drawing to bite the button for the winning point with hammer.
On the men’s side, Sam Domaratzki upset Owen Purdy 5-4, stealing the win with a single point in 8, while Del Conte edged Evan Running 4-3, taking two with hammer in the eighth end.
In the finals, Veronica Bernard took the championship final 7-2 over Julia Heittola, another undefeated tournament for Veronica and her team and their third OJCT tour win of the season, and they collected the winner’s cheque for $500. The consolation final saw Rachel Snelgrove steal 2 in 7 for a 6-3 lead and ran Emma McKenzie out of stones in the final end. On the men’s side, Sam Domaratzki and his Elmira foursome stole 2 in 8 for an upset win over Daniel Del Conte of Hamilton Victoria who was just heavy with his final draw with hammer. That win was the Domaratzki foursome’s first tour event victory. In the consolation final, Owen Purdy defeated Evan Running 6-4 in an entertaining game that was tied 4-4 after 7.
The weekend saw some outstanding play and some great team performances by some teams who will be ones to watch in the coming years. My personal thanks to ice technician Rob Shaw, Perry Marshall of the OJCT for setting up live scoring on CurlingZone, our Elmira volunteers who helped run the draw and the kitchen during the event, Carol McKenzie for her help with lunch on the Sunday, and all of the players and coaches. In addition I would like to thank our event sponsors without whose support our event would not be possible:
- Adventure Guide, Waterloo
- Frey Building Contractors, Hawkesville
- Century Group Financial, Kitchener
- Rudow’s Carstar Autobody, Elmira
- Martin’s Mills, Elmira
- Kiwanis Club of Elmira