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Adams Jr. takes top spot in Major League of Curling standings

A 7-5 win over Krista McCarville on Wednesday night was enough to vault Adams Jr. in to first place over Al Hackner, who fell 10-6 to two-time defending champion Dylan Johnston in the regular-season finale.

THUNDER BAY – Brian Adams Jr. and his teammates did their part.

But they still needed a little help to secure top spot in the Tbaytel Major League of Curling standings after edging defending Scotties Tournament of Hearts silver medalist Krista McCarville 7-5 on Wednesday night at the Port Arthur Curling Club.

Dylan Johnston lent that helping hand, scoring five in the seventh to edge veteran Al Hackner 10-5. Hackner held first place by one point over Adams Jr. and two points over Trevor Bonot, who edged Ron Rosengren 5-4, scoring a point on his final stone to eke out the win.

Bonot’s win put him briefly in top spot, but minutes later Adams Jr. sealed the deal and with the victory also earned a first-round by in next Sunday’s Major League of Curling playoffs.

“It was great to get a win over Krista. She’s playing really well and she played a great game. For us to be able to move up in the standings and get the first-place bye, that was our goal tonight. We were trying not to sheet watch, but we noticed that Al had lost, so that was our chance. We were able to close out the game and we played well tonight,” said Adams, who returned to Major League for the first time in more than a decade and who will also take part in the Northern Ontario men’s play-downs later this month in Kenora.

Adams, Mark Koivula, Colin Koivula and Joel Adams finished the regular season at 10-0-2-1, good for 31 points, one more than Bonot, who settled for second at 9-1-2-1 and two more than Hackner (9-1-3-0), who tied for third with Gary Weiss, who edged Nicole Westlund-Stewart on a draw to the button tiebreaker to capture an 8-7 triumph.

Second wasn’t what Bonot was aiming for, but No. 2 isn’t a bad spot either, he said.

“We’ll take that. We had a couple of shaky games in there, but we’re pretty proud of how we’ve done and we’re looking forward to next Sunday and playing another good weekend,” Bonot said. “It’s playoffs and anything can happen.

“I think we went in as No. 2 last year and lost in the semis, so in curling anything can happen. A lot of these teams are so good and we play them all time so we know we can play them, but I’m confident in our team and I think if we go play our game and play like we can, we can win next Sunday.”

Rosengren, two-time defending champion Dylan Johnston and Denis Malette, who needed fourth Mike Pozihun to make a tricky, but makable bounce off his own stone into the four foot to secure the final playoff spot, edging Ben Mikkelsen 5-3, round out the top seven, who advance to the championship round. The remaining seven teams head to the consolation bracket.

“We knew there were about four teams that could catch us if we didn’t win, so basically it was a win and you’re in the top half, lose you’re in the bottom half. We just wanted to be consistent, curl steady, and we did that until the last couple of ends.

Mikkelsen was sitting two as Pozihun released his final stone.

“We got ourselves in trouble in that last end. I threw the first shot OK, and it gave us options with my second shot. Ben made a pretty good one, but he left me a chip-off. I had numerous options, which I like,” Pozihun said.

In the only other game of the night, Dallas Burgess, who will also travel to Kenora for provincials, doubled up Kory Carr 6-3. Carr will also be at the Northern Ontario play-downs.

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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