Congratulations Team Gouthro
Winners of the $1000 First Prize
The Schooner Open Cash Spiel was held on the long weekend in February, this year seeing twelve teams compete, and was a great success. Top prize was $1000 thanks to sponsorship of two local businesses, Firestop and Jeff Ellis Enterprises. Entry fees were also returned as prizes.
Play got underway on Friday, February 14, with all twelve teams seeing action on the first night. The first draw of the evening was at 5pm and had Schooner teams skipped by Kevin Gouthro and Wally MacDonald facing off while Schooner's Robert Agnew faced Kurt Roach of the Sydney Curling Club on the other sheet. Gouthro and Roach were victorious in those games. The next draw would have a team of Junior curlers from the Sydney Club take on Schooner's John Donovan while Coralie Ayre from Schooner took on Sydney's Brandon Toner. Both Sydney rinks prevailed in those tilts. The final draw of Friday saw the four rinks who essentially had a bye for the first round take the ice with winners going directly to the semi-final of the top division. Once again, Schooner rinks faced off against Sydney rinks on both sheets. Gordie Cormier faced Yvonne LeForte and Gary Landry faced Sebastian LeForte, Yvonne's son. The senior Leforte, Yvonne, was a winner but Sebastian fell to Landry, who would face Yvonne in his next game in the top division. Losers from Friday dropped to the consolation round to continue playing.
Play got underway early on Saturday with winners from round one facing off to see who would make it into the second semi final game for the top division. On one sheet, Kevin Gouthro was facing Kurt Roach and on the other it was the Sydney Junior squad facing Brandon Toner's rink. Losers of these games would move to the 'B' division to continue play. Toner and Gouthro were both victorious and would move to the semi final game later that day. The other semi, as mentioned earlier, between LeForte and Landry had been decided the previous evening.
Next up we had play get underway in the 'B' division which now contained eight teams, all who had a loss in a previous match. Winners of these games would move on to the semi-final of that division later that evening while losers would still have a chance to compete in the 'C' division. Schooner rinks Wally MacDonald and Coralie Ayre won their way to the semis and would face each other for a chance in the 'B' title game while Sydney's Kurt Roach and Sebastian Leforte would face off in the other for their chance at a spot in the 'B' final. John Donovan, Robert Agnew, Gordie Cormier and the Sydney Junior team all would move to compete in the 'C' division. After this, any further loss would mean elimination for all of these teams.
The top division was back on the ice after play in round one of 'B' was sorted out, four teams vying for one of two spots in the 'A' final on Sunday afternoon and a chance at the $1000 first prize. Losers of these games would still be alive and play in the 'C' Division semi final on Sunday morning. The Kevin Gouthro rink continued their strong play and defeated Brandon Toner to advance while Yvonne Leforte remained in the mix, defeating Gary Landry for his chance at the top spot in 'A'. Gouthro and LeForte would face off on Sunday afternoon for the championship while Landry and Toner would play on Sunday morning to try to make it to the 'C' final.
Play would continue into Saturday evening with teams in the 'C' division set to take the ice, winners moving on to the semi final on Sunday and losers of these games being eliminated from further play. Gordie Cormier's rink was successful in one game and would move on to face Gary Landry while Robert Agnew punched his ticket to the semis to face Sydney's Brandon Toner. To cap off curling action on Saturday we had more 'B' division action with semi final games between Wally MacDonald and Coralie Ayre as well as Kurt Roach and Sebastian LeForte, winners playing for the 'B' top prize on Sunday and losers seeing their weekend come to an end. In the end, the 'B' final would feature Schooner's Ayre rink facing off against Sydney's Kurt Roach. This final was scheduled to go just before the main event on Sunday.
Once curling was done, the lights were lowered and the club was turned over to DJ Jimmy who provided some great tunes for everyone to party to late into the evening. A large crowd of curlers and fans stayed around and had a great time late into the night.
Sunday play would begin at 10am when the 'C' division semi finals would go off to see who would play for title in that division later that same day. Two Schooner rinks were successful in making it through and the final in 'C' would have Gordie Cormier facing off against the Robert Agnew rink. The final game was scheduled for mid afternoon and would be played opposite the 'A' final. Before that, the 'B' division finalists, Coralie Ayre and Kurt Roach, would take the ice to decide a winner. Roach defeated Ayre to take first overall in that division and the $600 prize. Joining Roach was Mark MacNamara, Travis Stone and Robin Nathanson. Ayre and her foursome that also included Heidi Bishop, Patti Merrigan and Marcie Bungay, won $400 for their efforts.
The last two games of the 2020 Schooner Open Cash were set for early Sunday afternoon and a big crowd of supporters filled the club to watch the finals in both the 'A' and 'C' divisions and cheer on their favorite teams. In the 'C' final, Gordie Cormier won over Robert Agnew to take the division title and the $400 prize while Agnew took home $200as runner-up. Skip Cormier was joined by Stephen Leslie, Phillip Edwards and Carrie Cress but, do to some scheduling conflicts with his players, also needed the services of Julia Cormier and Russell Fitzgerald over the weekend. Skip Agnew was joined by Walter Nichols, Chris 'Spider' Webb and Eric MacLeod.
The 'A' division final didn't disappoint fans as it was filled with great curling. While Team Gouthro got off to a lead thanks to an early steal, the game was never really out of reach for the LeForte rink who always looked like they could get back into it at any time. Some timely shot making by Skip Gouthro and some untimely misses by team Leforte were ultimately the difference in the match that saw skip Kevin Gouthro, mate Brian Laughlin, second Kelley Laughlin and lead Anthony Boudreau emerge victorious and take home the Schooner Open Cash title for 2020 and a $1000 first prize. Congratulations to you all. Skip LeForte and his team had a great weekend as well and took home a $600 cash prize in the runners-up position. Joining Skip Yvonne was Thomas Drover, Mitch McNutt and Aidan McNutt.
Congratulations to all of our winners again and thank you to everyone who took part. Thank you also to the team of spiel organizers who worked so hard organizing and running the event, to Tommy Young who provided curlers and guests with delicious food all weekend long, to the ice crew for working hard to keep ice conditions so good throughout the spiel , to bartenders, cleaners and everyone else who works behind the scenes to make an event like this not only possible but so successful. A big thank you also goes out to spiel sponsors Stephen Leslie and Firestop and Jeff Ellis of Jeff Ellis Enterprises for your generous donations. Without the help of community minded businesses like these, events like this would not be possible at the club.
So that puts the 2020 edition of the Schooner Open Cash Spiel in the books as another great success. We hope to see you all back next year when the event will once again be held on the Heritage Day long weekend in February. Mark your calendars and plan to join us.