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Mixed Doubles Curling

 Quebec team makes worth while trip


   St-Georges and Asselin takes the St. Thomas Mixed Doubles curling classic

   defeating the hometown team of Neil and McDonald in the final


  December 19, 2022


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By Rob J. Ross

ST. THOMAS - It was well worth the 16 hour round trip from La belle province.

Laurie St-Georges and Felix Asselin, of Laval, Quebec, won the St. Thomas Mixed Doubles Classic and the $1800 prize that goes to the champions, Sunday, at  the St. Thomas Curling Club.

The Quebec pair defeated the hometown favourites, Scott McDonald and Laura Neil, 8-4, to complete an 8-0 run, at the three day 24-team tournament.

"We had some games that it was difficult and sometimes we were just not on the right side of the inches," said St-Georges, "but we kept going and talked positive thoughts. We knew we could win, but we had to stay in the present moment."

In the final, St-Georges and Asselin jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first end, but McDonald and Neil put two on the board in the second end and it was all even at five by the end of four. St-Georges and Asselin regained the lead in the fifth end and stole two in the sixth, before adding one in the seventh.

"It was a great start, but in mixed doubles there's not really a safe lead," Asselin said. "Those two points that we stole in that end were the biggest key. It was a close game. The score isn't representative of what happened in the game."

McDonald and Neil may have had their first lead in the game, of not for the steal.

"It's a angle game. Sometimes there's just one shot that can change everything in the game. That's about the result in this game," St-Georges said. "It was just one or two key shots that gave us a couple steals and we took the lead again. Other than that, we were tied with them."

McDonald and Neil, picked up $1200, as the runnerup and finished with a 6-2 record.

"It was an exciting game. They're a really good team," said McDonald. "Mixed doubles is unpredictable. Even giving up three early, we knew we had a chance to come back. We had to make a few good shots to do it."

It is the first event of the season for McDonald and Neil, representing the host club.

"It was big for us to get to the final, because it makes the other events meaningful," McDonald said. "To play well and play some meaningful games was awesome for us."

McDonald and Neil are aiming to qualify for the Ontario provincials, but need to accumulate points at events next month, in Arthur and Cambridge.

Semi-finalists Lyndsey Wilson and Scott Dow, from Palmerston and Sarah Bailey and Dylan Sipura, out of St. Catharines, both picked up $700. Quarter-final losers each pocketed $500.

McDonald and Neil have made the curling rink seem like their second home in recent months, including at the Canadian Mixed curling championship, with Lori Eddy and Matt Hall.

In early October, McDonald and Neil helped St. Thomas win the provincial Silver Tankard.

Then McDonald was on the James Gratten rink, that were finalists at the St. Thomas Classic men's bonspiel. McDonald will again be with Gratten, at the New Brunswick provincial playdowns, in the new year.

"We have lots of goals this year and hopefully we can keep playing well and accomplish a few of them," McDonald said.




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