Merklinger to face Longworth in Vernon Super League showdown

Vernon’s Sonja Gaudet, anchored by teammate Dennis Thiessen, delivers a rock in the World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia. - Richard Gray Photo
Vernon’s Sonja Gaudet, anchored by teammate Dennis Thiessen, delivers a rock in the World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia.
— image credit: Richard Gray Photo

Dave Merklinger’s Canwest Propane is through to the Baron Insurance Super League final thanks to a pair of late deuces Wednesday night at the Vernon Curling Club.

Down by a point after six ends, Canwest skip Darren Heath cracked doubles in seven and eight to upend Darrell Houston’s Nufloors 7-4 in semifinal action.

The gas men will meet Mark Longworth’s Sladen Moore in the championship game Wednesday (8:30 p.m.). Longworth brushed back Jim Cotter’s Woodland Equipment in the other semi a week earlier.

The Super League champion nets $700, runners-up earn $400 and third- and fourth-place finishers collect $250 apiece.

Houston and Merklinger swapped singles in two and three, and doubles in four and five. Nufloors earned its first lead with a single steal in six.

- Canada has advanced to the page playoff one-two game at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships with a 7-6 win over Norway’s Rune Lorenstsen in its final round-robin game Thursday in Sochi, Russia.

The Canadian team – skip Jim Armstrong (Cambridge, Ont.), third Dennis Thiessen (Sanford, Man.), second Ina Forrest (Armstrong), lead Sonja Gaudet (Vernon), alternate Mark Ideson (London, Ont.) and coach Joe Rea (Prince George) – ended preliminary action tied for top spot at 8-1 with Sweden’s Jalle Jungnell.

The Swedes are ranked first having defeated Canada in head-to-head play. The rinks met in the one-two game early this morning (2:30 a.m. PST).

The winner will play in Saturday’s gold-medal game. The loser will face the winner of the page three-four game in a semifinal today.

- A husband and wife won their respective B.C. Senior Curling Championships, and the better half is from Vernon.

Craig and Karen Lepine, who now live in Surrey, claimed the men’s and women’s provincial titles last weekend at the Trail Curling Club.

The Lepines are three-time provincial champions in mixed curling (1996, 2000 and 2002), but this is the first year the pair have won separate titles in the same year. Craig went to the Brier as B.C. men’s champion in 1990 and Karen was senior women’s champion in 2003.

Karen’s rink features Vernon’s Carol Martel.

Both Lepine teams will head to Summerside, P.E.I. for the Canadian championships, March 16-24.

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