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Doug MacKenzie’s rink comes up short at national curling tourney


WINDSOR — The Doug MacKenzie rink just missed out on going to Russia in mid-October next year for the World Mixed Curling Championships.

From left, skip Doug MacKenzie, third Jocelyn Nix, second Richard Barker and lead Shelley Barker attended nationals earlier this month.

The rink finished 4-2 in the initial round-robin portion of Pool A at the 2016 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships in Toronto earlier this month.

The eventual national champions, from Alberta, finished 6-0.

McKenzie's rink, which consisted of himself and Falmouth curlers Jocelyn Nix, Richard Barker and Shelley Barker, tied with Northern Ontario at 4-2.  

In their opening game, they crushed Prince Edward Island 9-2 with a huge four-ender in the fourth and two more apiece in the fifth and seventh ends. The game was called after seven ends.

They followed this win up with a 6-4 verdict over Northern Ontario. This one went down to the closing ends when Nova Scotia scored three times, two in the sixth and once in the seventh to rally for the win.

Saskatchewan, who lost to Alberta in the championship game, took Nova Scotia down 7-2. The game was called after five ends.

Nova Scotia then came back for a 6-5 win over British Columbia by stealing a point in the ninth end.

Next was a 6-4 win over Newfoundland in a game tied at 4-4 after six ends. Singles in the seventh and eighth ends gave the Windsor rink the victory.  

Nova Scotia finished 4-2 after faltering to Alberta 10-4.

Alberta connected for a four-ender in the second end and led 5-0 after three ends. Nova Scotia then rallied with a pair in both the fourth and fifth ends.

But the momentum shifted and it was all about Alberta as they scored two in the sixth and three more in the seventh for the 10-4 win.

The 4-2 finish ensured Nova Scotia would have to lose twice before being eliminated.

Their playoff round started strong with a 7-6 win over the Yukon team.

Nova Scotia then went to 2-0 in the playoffs with a 7-2 win over the Northwest Territories. This was a game called after six ends.

This is as far as they could advance, however, as they proceeded to lose a pair of games.

The first loss was 7-6 to Quebec. It was a hard-fought battle, with Quebec stealing one in the ninth to secure the win. The teams were knotted at 5-5 after five ends.

The next game, Nova Scotia lost 7-4 to New Brunswick and was eliminated from further play.

In this game, Nova Scotia fell behind 3-0 after two ends but connected for a three-ender in the third and the game was tied 4-4 after six ends. New Brunswick struck for one in the seventh and two in the eighth end for their win.

A win in either of the final two playoff games would likely have put Nova Scotia in the medal round.

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