The Journal Pioneer
Published: Jeremy Fraser (email@example.com)
February 3, 2020 – 4:30 pm
SYDNEY, N.S. — Louise Gillis has been attending the Canadian Visually Impaired Curling Championship for more than 10 years, but this year will be a different experience.
Gillis and her teammates will enter the annual tournament as the defending champions after winning their first championship last February. As the defending champions, they will form Team Canada for the six-day event.
The Gillis rink, which will also feature Terrylynn MacDonald and Mary Campbell, has high expectations for the tournament and hope to win their third medal at the event at the Ottawa Curling Club.
“We’d like to be the champions again, but there are other teams out there who are strong and we’ll hope for the best and do the best we can,” said Gillis. “We’re doing everything we’ve done all along, we’re not changing much to our game, we’re thinking positive.”
Last year, the Gillis rink posted a 4-2 record in the round robin, with the club’s only losses coming to Team Canada and Ontario. The team picked up wins against Alberta (8-2), Manitoba (10-5), Saskatchewan (12-3) and British Columbia (14-2).
In the semifinals, the club edged Team Canada 8-7 and advanced to play Ontario in the championship draw, a team that had posted a perfect 6-0 record in the round robin.
The Nova Scotians went on to win the final game 8-1, becoming the first team east of Ontario to win the title.
The Gillis rink, which curls curl out of the Sydney Curling Club, has won three medals in the past 12 years at the tournament. Along with last year’s gold, the team also won two bronze medals in previous years.
Along with the Gillis rink, this year’s tournament will feature two Ontario teams as well as representatives from Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. Saskatchewan will not ice a team at the tournament.
Gillis admits entering the tournament as Team Canada is unfamiliar territory for the team, but she isn’t worried about any pressure.
“We’re there to do our best and we’ll try to put the pressure aside and try to play every game as if its a new game and we’ll see where we end up,” said Gillis. “We certainly hope we’ll do well, but if we don’t, there’s better players than us out there, obviously.”
The Gillis rink will open the tournament Tuesday with a pair of games against Manitoba at 10 a.m. and Alberta at 2 p.m. The team will continue the round robin on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. against Ontario No. 1, before playing Ontario No. 2 at 1:30 p.m.
The rink will play its final game of the preliminary round on Thursday at 10 a.m. against British Columbia.
The semifinal is slated for either Saturday or Sunday, depending on whether or not there’s a tie-breaker in the tournament. The date and time for the championship draw was not confirmed at press time.
TEAM CANADA SCHEDULE:
Tuesday – 10 a.m. – vs. Manitoba
Tuesday – 2 p.m. – vs. Alberta
Wednesday – 9:30 a.m. – vs. Ontario 1
Wednesday – 1:30 p.m. – vs. Ontario 2
Thursday – 10 a.m. – vs. British Columbia
Saturday – 2 p.m. – Semifinal (If no tie-breaker)
Sunday – 10 a.m. – Semifinal (If no tie-breaker)
*The date and time for the championship draw was not confirmed at press time.
**All Game Times Atlantic