OTTAWA, Ont. -- Darren Moulding came into the Rideau Curling Club in Ottawa with a bad memory on his mind, but he left it with a much better one.
Moulding and his Alberta rink from Coaldale and Airdrie captured the 2014 Canadian mixed curling championship with an 8-5 win over defending champion Cory Heggestad of Ontario, ten years after he fell short to Saskatchewan's Steve Laycock at the Rideau Club in the final of the Canadian junior men's championship.
"I thought about it. It's even the same sheet of ice," Moulding said with a chuckle. "It's something that's bothered me for 10 years.
"Just two years ago, somebody was talking to me about it and asked me about the double I missed in seven (against Laycock) and I damn near started to cry. So, yeah, it puts a bit of a lid on that for me. It was something that always chafed me a little bit."
Moulding's rink of Anna-Marie Moulding, Heather Jensen, and Brent Hamilton claimed Alberta's 10th title at the Canadian Mixed, and first since Calgary's Dean Ross prevailed in 2008.
Alberta, 9-2 and first place after the round robin, had a slow start, giving up a steal of one to an Ontario team that won three times on Friday to reach the final.
But Moulding came back strong the next two ends, tapping for a deuce in the second and stealing one in the third when Heggestad attempted a double-takeout.
But Heggestad tied it with single points in the next two ends, and forced Moulding to a single in the sixth before taking his first lead of the game with a great double-takeout in the seventh to score two.
A runback double-takeout from Hamilton set up Moulding's tap for a deuce to retake the lead.
In the ninth, two Ontario picks left Heggestad with only a tough in-off to score; he would miss it, and Moulding would steal two to put the game and the national championship away.
"It was a crazy game," said Moulding. "We had our chances. We almost broke it open in five when I had a shot for five or six. After missing that it felt like somebody kicking me in the gut. But then you go, 'OK, we're tied with the hammer.' Someone tells us we're tied with hammer with five ends to go to win a Canadian championship, you take it, right?
With the win, Moulding gets two entries (two two-person teams) into the 2014 Canadian Mixed Doubles trials, slated for March 19-23, also in Ottawa. The winner of the 32-team competition will then represent Canada at the World Mixed Doubles in Scotland in April.
The 2015 Canadian Mixed Championship is scheduled for Nov. 8-15, with the pre-qualifier to take place Nov. 6 and 7 at the Granite Club, in North Bay, Ont.