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Northern bowlers soar well above average at P.O.A. event in Sudbury
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The Northern Ontario 5 Pin Bowlers Association hosted their P.O.A. (Pins Over Average); Hi-Low & Executive Provincial Championships between Plaza Bowl and Chico’s Bowl last week, with participants from as far away as Thunder Bay and beyond to the Manitoba border, up through the Gold Belt (Timmins, Hearst, Kirkland Lake and area) and across to the Gateway region of North Bay to Parry Sound – as well as the local contingent (Cambrian North and Nickel District).

Now three years back into a sport that he enjoyed as an active member of YBC (Youth Bowling Council) from the age of perhaps seven to his early teens (then stepping away for seven years), Andrew Landriault has taken his game to a whole new level this year – most notably at the P.O.A. ten-game showdown.

Entering play with a league average of 185, the native of Wahnapitae proceeded to better that number comfortably in eight of his ten games, finishing with an average of 213.30 (283 pins over average) in helping Cambrian North #1 to a fourth place finish in a field of 12 teams.

Yvette (MacLellan) coached me throughout my younger days – but I also spent time recently with (coach) Ed Bernier,” said Landriault. “It really helped my game tremendously. He got me to slow down my approach. I was rushing my ball, throwing it wide.”

Benefitting from a clear familiarity with the lanes at Plaza Bowl, the same venue he frequents on a weekly basis, Landriault would string together an eight game combo with scores ranging from 203 to 263, as he clearly found his rhythm.

“It’s just a comfort level knowing the lanes,” he said. “The synthetic lanes at Plaza are nice. Wherever you place your ball, that’s where it’s going. With wooden lanes, there’s always that temperature change, just other variables that you have to deal with.”

And, of course, there is the added bonus of a trio of Cambrian North counterparts who are in your corner from start to finish of the competition.

“Honestly, I could not have asked for a better team to bowl with,” said Landriault, his mates for this first ever provincial tournament being Michael Franolla, Anita Blais and Lyne Perry. “It was just a couple of phenomenal days. They made everything easier on me.”

While she bowls regularly out of Partners Billiards & Bowling in North Bay, Breanne Ouellette is in lockstep with Landriault when it comes to her assessment of the lanes at Plaza – no surprise given that the Gateway representative topped the President’s Division with a high single of 323 and a high POA of 163.

“It’s similar to home, which made things a lot easier,” said the 39 year old, who is also returning to bowling after a lengthy absence (15 years), now in year two of the sequel, if you will.

“They are well maintained lanes,” added Ouellette, enjoying this facility for the first time in her career. With an average of 160 or so coming in, the woman who returned to bowling “to go out and have some adult time, have some fun with family and friends” dealt well with the double-edged sword that a large scale tournament offers to these bowlers.

“It’s very difficult, at times, to stay calm, especially when you have all of the excitement going on with the other lanes – but the excitement kind of helps too,” she said. “There was a point when we were bowling and it was quiet and that was a lot harder than when all of the noise was going on.”

The noise did not seem to bother the Gateway crew a whole lot as their P.O.A teams took the top two spots, as did their Hi-Low tandems while the Sunset Country pairing of Brandon Stefanik and Jesse Sidor topped the Secretary and Treasurer Division respectively.

On an individual basis, Sherry Horrigan (Nickel District) earned gold with 498 pins over average, with Jenn Jones (Cambrian North) in third place while Larry Lafleur (Cambrian North) matched that on the men’s side, with Andrew Landriault just two spots back in fifth.

Following are some of the remaining teams/individuals who excelled last weekend in Sudbury:

Pins over Average
1st - Gateway # 2 - Connor Clark, Daley Boultilier, Emilie Roussel, Chantal Laframboise
2nd - Gateway # 1 - Roger Lebeau, Christopher Hurtubise, Manon Gobeil, Cindy Eagle
3rd - Gold Belt # 1 - Judy Robinette, Andrea Champagne, Ray Marotte, Bill Smith

P.O.A. - High Low Doubles
1st - Gateway - Eric Morgan, Toby Barclay
2nd - Gateway - Marc Lecuyer, Shirley Lirette
3rd - Cambrian North - Ashley Gosselin, Shelley Landriault

P.O.A. - Executive Event
President's Division - 1st - Breanne Ouellette (Gateway); 2nd - Sean Bernier (Cambrian North)
Secretary's Division - 1st - Brandon Stefanik (Sunset Country); 2nd - Justin Pitre (Cambrian North)
Treasurer's Division - 1st - Jesse Sidor (Sunset Country); 2nd - Anne Withers (Nickel District)

P.O.A. - Individuals
Men - 1st - Toby Barclay (Gateway); 2nd - Ray Marotte (Gold Belt); 3rd - Larry Lafleur (Cambrian North)
Women - 1st - Sherry Horrigan (Nickel District); 2nd - Chantal Laframboise (Gateway); 3rd - Jenn Jones (Cambrian North)

Still with bowling, congratulations to the Nickel District men's team of Mathieu Barton-Bedard, Brady Rheaume, Logan Rheaume, Matthieu St-Onge, Landon Zelonko and coach Dave Secord which captured gold at the recent 2024 Ontario Winter Games in Thunder Bay.

Northern Hockey Academy