THUNDER BAY – Kent Maarup wasn’t thrilled with the way his Tbaytel Major League of Curling match played out on Wednesday night.
But he’ll take the final result.
Maarup was leading Bryan Burgess 6-3 heading into the eighth and final end, but gave up three and was forced to an extra-end draw to the button to decide the outcome.
He stuck his stone to the button to claim a 7-6 win, Burgess falling for the second straight week after scoring three in the final end to force the extra shot.
“We were up by three and just trying to keep it clean. I got a little carried away with my last rock and popped it a little and jammed it. He had an easy draw for three to tie,” Maarup said. “At least my sweepers, Joel (Adams) and Andrew (Hackner) were great. That’s what we needed to pull that one off.
Maarup jumped out in front in the first end, scoring a single, and stole another in the second to lead Burgess 2-0.
Burgess (2-4) tied it with a pair in the third, but Maarup took the lead again in the fourth, picking up one, then doubled his lead with another steal in the fifth to go up 4-2.
A deuce in the seventh seemingly put the game out of reach, but Burgess refused to back down and made the most of his chances to score the three he needed to tie and send it beyond regulation.
Maarup said at that point, it’s just a matter of settling down.
“You’ve got to think you’ve just got to park it and make sure you can give it to the sweepers. There’s nothing worse than throwing and they’re just looking at it.”
Burgess shot first and left it back four-foot.
The win evened Maarup’s record at 3-3, though he only collected two points for not finishing it off in eight ends. It leaves him alone in seventh place in the standings, tied for the final playoff spot with Frank Morissette, who edged long-time rival Al Hackner 6-5, the winning point also coming on a shot to the button.
“We need those wins because the playoffs are coming up, so at least we’re back to .500,” Maarup said. “There are a lot of teams below us now.”
All but one of the teams are below Krista McCarville, Sarah Potts, Ashley Sippala and Oye Sem Won, who continued their winning ways over Trevor Bonot’s squad, downing them 7-4 in a match that went down to the final stone.
Jordan Potter took the helm for Bonot, who is seeking a second Canadian Mixed Curling Championship in Canmore, Alta., advancing to the championship round with a 5-1 round-robin record.
The Olympic hopeful McCarville, who had one eye on the action in Alberta, said she’s a little surprised her team is 5-0, tied with Kory Carr.
“It’s kind of shocking because we don’t usually do so well in Major League. But this year we have a different sense of focus. Every game is very meaningful, because we don’t have too many games,” McCarville said.
Tied 1-1, they jumped in front for good with a steal of three in the third, though Potter kept them honest, scoring one in the fourth and stealing one in the fifth to close the gap to 4-3.
“It was actually quite shocking that it happened,” McCarville said of the third-end steal. “The ice was a little tricky and pretty straight. His last one curled and happened to tick one of ours and pushed us in and gave us a steal of three.”
In other action, Gary Weiss needed just six ends to down Ben Mikkelsen 8-3, while Carr stayed perfect, scoring two in the eighth to edge Dylan Johnston 5-4. Mike Desilets downed Britney Malette 8-2 and Dallas Burgess won for a second straight week, coming from behind to defeat Jonathan Vellinga 5-3.
“We’ve been playing really solid lately, coming out and playing our game, and we fell back a little bit early, but were able to bounce back, just like last week,” Burgess said.