CORNWALL, P.E.I. – After 30 years or so Sean Ledgerwood has curled on the Island scene long enough to know its ins and outs.
The lead of the defending P.E.I. Tankard winner played third in last year’s foursome skipped by Eddie MacKenzie after lead duties on MacKenzie’s 2013 and 2014 championship squads and Mike Gaudet’s 2004 winner.
This year, new second Chris Gallant and new third Josh Barry, who Ledgerwood and MacKenzie haven’t played with before, have stirred up the mix, but for Ledgerwood it’s part and parcel of the fun.
“It’s going to be a challenge, but a good challenge. All the teams have the same ability. Every game will be highly contested,” Ledgerwood said. “Every club is different, every club has different ice conditions. (It’s a matter) of adapting to the ice when you get there. It could be, and probably will be, different. You do the best you can with the ice you’re given. It’s about adapting on the fly.”
The Cornwall Curling Club is this year’s championship host. Today’s opening draw begins at 2 p.m. Opening ceremonies go at 6:15 p.m. Draw 2 follows at 7 p.m.
The field also include John Likely’s rink with Robert Campbell at third and MacKenzie’s former front end of Matt Nabuurs and Robbie Doherty, last year’s runner-up, skipped by Phil Gorveatt, with Kevin Champion, Mike Dillon and Mark Victor at third through lead, respectively.
The final Charlottetown Curling Complex rink is skipped by Tyler Harris, while the Alan Inman-skipped Crapaud Curling Club team is the final entry.
Gallant moved up this season to the men’s bracket after a successful career in junior, though he did play in the Manitoba men’s championship in 2016.
Last year he played third with Tyler Smith’s junior men’s title-winning rink so provincial title chases and building momentum aren’t new things to the Charlottetown native.
“Obviously it’s the best competition on P.E.I. Everyone wants to peak for giving it all we got,” said Gallant, whose brother is Brett Gallant, second with Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue rink. “If everyone plays their part, we should have a good shot at it.”
Tankard teams play a modified triple-knockout format with the winner advancing to the Tim Hortons Brier, March 3-11 in Regina, Sask.
Cornwall hosts the Scotties Tournament of Heart women’s championship at the same time. Both championships are a go despite a winter storm threat today heading into Friday.
Admission is $5 a draw or $20 for a full event pass.
Rosters for the P.E.I. Tankard men’s provincial curling championships today through Sunday at the Cornwall Curling Club. (skip to lead, club)
• Alan Inman, Calvin Smith, Nathan Hardy, Nick Blanchard, Crapaud.
• Eddie MacKenzie, Josh Barry, Christopher Gallant, Sean Ledgerwood, coach Phil Gorveatt, Charlottetown.
• John Likely, Robert Campbell, Matthew Nabuurs, Robbie Doherty, alternate Mark O’Rourke, Charlottetown and Cornwall.
• Philip Gorveatt, Kevin Champion, Mike Dillon, Mark Victor, Charlottetown.
• Tyler Harris, Tyler MacKenzie, Sam Ramsay, Sean Clarey, Charlottetown.
P.E.I. Tankard winners this decade (skip to lead)
2017 – Eddie MacKenzie, Sean Ledgerwood, Matthew Nabuurs, Robbie Doherty.
2016 – Adam Casey, David Mathers, Anson Carmody, Robbie Doherty.
2015 – Adam Casey, Josh Barry, Anson Carmody, Robbie Doherty.
2014 – Eddie MacKenzie, Anson Carmody, Tyler MacKenzie, Sean Ledgerwood.
2013 – Eddie MacKenzie, Anson Carmody, Alex MacFadyen, Sean Ledgerwood.
2012 – Mike Gaudet, Tyler MacKenzie, Tyler Harris, Sean Clarey.
2011 – Eddie MacKenzie, Mike Gaudet, Mike Dillon, Alex MacFadyen.
2010 – Rod MacDonald, Kevin Champion, Andrew Robinson, Mark O’Rourke.