MONTREAL -- Nova Scotia's Brent MacDougall had a well-deserved Wednesday night bye after posting earlier victories over Ontario and Quebec to grab a share of the lead after 13 draws at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship.
MacDougall began the day by edging Quebec's Mike Fournier 8-7, and followed that by pounding Ontario's Cory Heggestad 11-4. The Nova Scotia rink is tied with Quebec for first place at 7-2, and holds the all-important tiebreaker. Quebec also had a bye in the 13 draw.
Heggestad recovered in the evening draw, and needed the minimum seven ends to dispatch Inuvik's Nick Saturnino, 9-1. A spectacular first end raise take-out for four points sealed the deal early, putting Ontario alone in third place at 6-2.
Saskatchewan's Jeff Hartung missed a great opportunity to keep pace with the leaders and to join Ontario at 6-2 when he lost to Alberta's Kurt Balderston in a well played game between the prairie curling powerhouses.
Hartung led by one playing the 10th end but without the hammer. A well placed guard likely would have left little for Balderston to score. The guard over-curled a hair, leaving Balderston a quiet tap back through a skinny port for the win which he made perfectly winning 6-5.
In other 13th draw action, Northern Ontario's Mike Assad had a barn-burner in his 9-7 victory over British Columbia's Tom Buchy, while New Brunswick's James Grattan scored four in the first end and pounded Manitoba's Terry McNamee, 12-6.
Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Northern Ontario are 5-3.
Two-time champion Robert Campbell of P.E.I. is 5-4, B.C. is 4-4, followed by Alberta at 3-5. Manitoba is 2-6, the Northwest Territories is 1-7, and Yukon is winless in nine visits to the Town of Mount Royal Curling Club.
The day began with B.C. defeating Manitoba 7-5, in the 11th draw, while Saskatchewan got by the Territories 6-3, and P.E.I. hammered the Yukon 10-5.
In the 12th draw, the host Quebec rink recovered from its earlier 8-7 loss to Nova Scotia, and rebounded with a 10-5 win over Alberta. Northern Ontario buried the Yukon 8-2, P.E.I. got by New Brunswick 5-3, and MacDougall's Nova Scotia foursome smothered Ontario 11-4.