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Cochrane rink wins mixed provincial title in extra-end

Curling: Team Muise victorious at mixed championships in Black Diamond
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Skip Morgan Muise calls a shot in the 2022 Curling Alberta Mixed Championship final at the Oilfields Curling Club on March 13. Muise won the title with an 8-7 victory over Team Powell.

An extra-end was required to crown Alberta’s mixed curling champions in a nailbiting final determined on the last shot.

Cochrane’s Team Muise rallied for an 8-7 triumph over Sexsmith’s Team Powell to claim the 2022 Alberta Mixed Curling Championships at Black Diamond’s Oilfields Curling Club on March 13.

“It’s incredible and the first provincial title for all three of my teammates here,” said skip Morgan Muise, with third Brad Kokoroyannis, second Shana Snell and lead Ky Macaulay making up the foursome.

“I’m so pumped and proud to experience this here with them.”

Muise, a national club champion in 2018 and world junior bronze medallist in 2005, shares considerable history with her teammates.

“This is my first mixed provincial title and Brad, Shana and I have curled together on and off for 11 years in different formats,” the skip added. “And this is the first time that I’ve skipped with the two of them and with Ky, I know him from Cochrane, and we just loved having him along for the ride.

“He brings the youth and excitement to the table.”

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Skip Morgan Muise throws with second Shana Snell and lead Ky Macaulay in the 2022 Curling Alberta Mixed Championship final at the Oilfields Curling Club on March 13. Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY

In a cagey championship match, the teams exchanged two point ends to start and were locked at 3-3 after five.

Team Powell looked to be in control after a deft draw to the button from skip Graham Powell yielded a three-point end and 6-3 advantage.

Muise countered with four in the seventh to take back the lead.

“We just kept putting the pressure on and knew we could get some rocks in play,” Muise said. “We got really lucky on (Powell’s) first rock that we had a shot to get at the shot rock at the back of the rings.

“That might have been the first shot the other skip missed the whole game, he played incredible. He just got unlucky on his shot and we were able to capitalize.”

Powell countered for a single in the eighth to force the extra-end, leaving Muise with the hammer.

In the extra-end, Muise used the last shot to avoid the guard and draw ahead of the two blue shot stones in the button for the dramatic victory.

“The ice was holding up all game, it never fudged once, it was really keen and a little adrenaline kicked in on my last rock in eight,” Muise said. “So I knew exactly what I needed to cover a pin on my last rock in the extra-end.

“It was just calm the adrenaline down, take an extra breath and if you have a shot, make it.”

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Skip Graham Powell throws to lead Rae-Lynn Beattie and second Daylan Vavrek in the 2022 Curling Alberta Mixed Championship final at the Oilfields Curling Club on March 13. Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY

Team Muise took the long road to the final as second seed out of pool play with Team Powell boasting a 7-0 record and a bye through to the championship match.

Muise edged the Cole Adams rink 6-2 in the semifinal, an extra game that proved to be beneficial for the eventual champions.

“Playing on that sheet of ice and with the (live) streaming we were wearing microphones, having that game experience definitely did not hurt us,” Muise said. “We had such a strong game and really tried to carry that momentum into today.”

The newly crowned Team Alberta will have to wait until the fall to represent the province with the 2022 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships scheduled for November, with a host site not yet finalized.

Following the final, organizers gave kudos to the over 30 volunteers who helped make the five-day event a reality.

“It’s a lot relief, it went very well,” said John Desjardins, host co-ordinator for the event. “I can’t thank the many volunteers enough. The last week or so everything really flowed in and I was feeling better and better as we got closer to the event.

“It was great, we had lots of spectators, great curling and that’s about all you could hope for.”

The efforts did not go unnoticed from those on the ice.

“Every volunteer hour that went into this event made our event amazing,” Muise said. “It made this feel like it was playing off to go to the Brier or the Scotties, they treated us like we were at the same calibre.”

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(From left) Team Muise skip Morgan Muise, third Brad Kokoroyannis, second Shana Snell, and lead Ky Macaulay show off their gold medals after the 2022 Curling Alberta Mixed Championship final at the Oilfields Curling Club on March 13. Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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Teams line up for the opening ceremony for the Curling Alberta Mixed Championship at the Oilfields Curling Club on March 9. Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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Teams line up for the opening ceremony for the Curling Alberta Mixed Championship at the Oilfields Curling Club on March 9. Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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Michael Keenan throws a rock with mother Catherine and father Peter set to sweep, while grandfather Al Pallister (not pictured) awaits the throw during the opening ceremony for the Curling Alberta Mixed Championship at the Oilfields Curling Club on March 9. Pallister is a lifetime member of the club. Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY
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Oilfields Curling Club lifetime member Al Pallister spots a throw by grandson Michael Keenan, swept by daughter Catherine and and son-in-law Peter, during the opening ceremony for the Curling Alberta Mixed Championship at the Oilfields Curling Club on March 9. Brent Calver/OkotoksTODAY

 


Remy Greer

About the Author: Remy Greer

Remy Greer is the assistant editor and sports reporter for Okotokstoday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact rgreer@okotoks.greatwest.ca
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