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Northern Chill Volleyball Club
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018
Just another Tuesday at the Copper Cliff Curling Club
2018-11-03
by Randy Pascal

It's a Tuesday night at the Copper Cliff Curling Club (CCCC), so naturally, there's a great chance that we can meet up with club secretary Tim Lloyd. Actually, the same holds true for almost every Wednesday and Thursday evening, as well, from about mid-October through until some time in March or April.

Tim Lloyd is a CCCC regular.

First introduced to the sport at a very early age, Lloyd acknowledged that he has been a curler since roughly the age of eighteen, including spending the bulk of those hours calling the Copper Cliff venue home since roughly 1993 or so.

On this night, he is among the random collection of talent that comprise, what he refers to, as a “squad league”, which is something of a “come one, come all” grouping that has housed men's, women's and mixed teams over the years.

“It used to be strictly men's,” said Lloyd. “Tuesday and Thursday nights were kind of the traditional “men's nights” at the Copper Cliff Curling Club. But with everybody struggling for membership these days, we opened it right up. It's consisted of a mixed type group for at least ten years now, maybe longer. But the level of competition is pretty good.”

At least some degree of intensity is key to the 58 year old Vale employee. For the third straight winter, Lloyd will team with skip Chris Gordon, as well as as Alastair Giles and Craig Ramsay, looking to work their way through the seniors playdowns, earning a berth at provincials in Port Arthur in January.

“I've curled on relatively competitive teams in squad curling, but right now, this senior team is probably the most competitive team I have curled on,” said Lloyd. As for the Tuesday night league, maybe not so much. “I'm with John Kelly (club treasurer) and a couple of guys that I worked with for years and curled with in the Wednesday Frood Stobie League.”

“This is more of a relaxed game for us. Well, Kelly can get a little more competitive, even though he's not that good,” added Lloyd with a laugh, taking full advantage of the absence of his friend for the interview process. Both Lloyd and Kelly were part and parcel of the 2012 Copper Cliff club championship rink that also featured Bob Coulter and Dave Maynard, a year in which curling experience was clearly served.

Like most who assemble in the venue that sat adjacent to legendary Stanley Stadium for decades, Lloyd is anxious to welcome a new season of curling, in addition to continue the work required in trying to ensure the sustainability of the CCCC for years to come.

“It's great to see people returning to the club, it's great to see new faces,” said Lloyd, noting that on this night, his crew battled it out with Copper Cliff veteran Dustin Montpellier, whose team welcomed a brand new addition from Penetang this fall. “We're making progress. Our membership is up approximately 10% over last year.”

“As you can see, we've made a lot of improvements to the club. We cut operating costs immensely through volunteer hours. We've been rolling up our sleeves and working hard here, making a huge effort to keep this pace going. I think our efforts are paying off.”

******************************

Most of the eyes of avid Northern Ontario curling fans will turn, next week, to Thunder Bay, site of the Grand Slam Tour Challenge. And while it is true that the best of the best will be sparring in the Tier I bracket, and that said bracket does enjoy some local content (with both Tracy Fleury and Kendra Lilly/Team McCarville) in the mix, there is little doubt that there is far more intrigue, from a Sudbury perspective, over in the Tier 2 ranks.

For starters, the junior rink of Kira Brunton, Megan Smith, Sara Guy and Kate Sherry have earned an invite, with games against Binia Feltscher (Switzerland), Mary-Anne Arsenault (Nova Scotia), Elena Stern (Switzerland) and Jacqueline Harrison (Toronto) on the slate.

Long-time Team Fleury front-end sweep-master Amanda Gates has joined forced with Team Enge out of Thunder Bay (Jenna Enge, Oye-Sem Won Briand and Tracy Auld), pitted against Sayaka Yoshimura (Japan), Hollie Duncan (Toronto), Susan Froud (Waterloo) and Annmarie Duberstein (USA) in preliminary round action.

Just for good measure, the defending NOCA junior women's championship team will also be represented, as the Thunder Bay foursome of Hailey Beaudry, Kendra Lemieux, Emily Cooney and Erin Tomalty cherishes from the opportunity to perform in front of the hometown crowd.

On the men's side of the Tier II equation, skip Tanner Horgan and his team of Mark Kean, Jacob Horgan and Maxime Blais are hoping to make some noise, though the same also holds true of fellow local entry, Team Chandler (Jordan Chandler, Sandy MacEwan, Luc Ouimet and Lee Toner).

The action kicks off next Tuesday evening, with games following for the next three days and elimination encounters beginning on Saturday, leading into the Sunday finals.

Also in action next week is the Thunder Bay mixed team of Trevor Bonot, Jackie McCormick, Mike McCarville and Angela Lee-Wiwcharyk. The Northern Ontario reps are in Winnipeg, participating in the 2019 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, being hosted at the Fort Rouge Curling Club.

Bonot and company are competing in Pool “A”, along with Saskatchewan (Jason Ackerman), Quebec (Félix Asselin), Newfoundland (Harold Walters), Manitoba (Colin Kurz), Yukon (Bob Smallwood) and Nunavut (Ed MacDonald).

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