Team McDonald looking to defend title in CornwallJanuary 18, 2020
The last time Team McDonald played in the Ontario Curling Championships, it went really well.
The Kingston-based rink won eleven straight games at the 2019 provincial championships in Elmira to claim the Ontario Tankard men’s title and punch their ticket to the Tim Hortons Brier.
It was an amazing performance on a big curling stage, against some big-name competition.
“That’s the best we’ve played over an extended period of time,” said McDonald. “It was the biggest tournament that any of us has won and to do it against that field was really special.”
Team McDonald’s unblemished record at the championships included wins against some big names like Glenn Howard and John Epping, who they also topped in the final en route to their first provincial title.
Just how did they do it? Preparation, focus and attention to detail were all key ingredients.
“We did a lot of preparation ahead of time to make sure we were as ready as possible,” McDonald recalls. “We were going in probably as the number three (favourite) so the attention wasn’t so much on us. We knew if we played well and did the little things right we’d get that opportunity.”
Team McDonald will look to defend their title and at the 2020 Ontario Curling Championships in Cornwall later this month, and they know it won’t be easy. Some familiar rivals – Howard and Epping included – will be in attendance as well, looking to write a different ending in 2020.
“Other teams’ expectations of us may have changed. The target on our backs will be a bit bigger this year. Teams are going to want to beat us,” McDonald added.
If the defending champions need any extra motivation this year, they don’t have to look far. McDonald’s teammates – third Jonathan Beuk, second Wesley Forget and lead Scott Chadwick – all have roots in Kingston, and the Limestone City is hosting the Brier this year. Winning the provincials and securing a berth in the national championship in their hometown would be quite the highlight.
But that added incentive can also be a double-edged sword.
“You want to get there but you have to focus on the process,” said McDonald. “If you think too much about getting there, it can be a huge distraction.”
For now, the team’s focus is on Cornwall and the fierce competition ahead of them.
“In Ontario, curling fans are really spoiled. There’s a lot of really strong teams in Ontario,” McDonald said. “Fans are in store for some really good curling and some great matches.”
About the 2020 Ontario Curling Championships
Running from January 27 to February 2, the Ontario Curling Championships will see the top nine men’s and women’s teams in Ontario vying for the right to represent the province at the Tim Hortons Brier and Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
The Cornwall Civic Complex will be the site of the competition, with the arena ice being transformed into curling sheets for the weeklong event.
Adding to the unique venue is the roster of teams competing. Some of curling’s biggest names will be in attendance, including the No. 2 world-ranked John Epping and world champion Glenn Howard on the men’s side and Olympian and world champ Rachel Homan on the women’s side.
Tickets for the 2020 Ontario Curling Championships are now on sale!
Full tournament passes can be purchased for $140 while championship weekend passes are available for $75 and daily passes are on sale for $30.
Single draw passes will also be on sale for $12 (only at the door during the event).
Tickets can be purchased in person at the Civic Complex Box Office (100 Water Street East) from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or by phone at 613-938-9400.
They can also be purchased online (please note additional service fees may apply).
Click here to purchase tickets online
Attending the 2020 Ontario Curling Championships? Make a night of it and stay in Cornwall! The city is home to a variety of amazing accommodations, from cozy bed and breakfasts to full-service hotels. For more information, please click here.
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Looking for other fun things to do in the area? Make sure to check out our Events page for info on upcoming events in Cornwall and SDG Counties.
Do you have other questions? Cornwall Tourism can help. Email us at email@example.com to request a copy of our Visitor Guide or contact us at (613) 938-4748. You can also stop by the Cornwall Tourism office at the Cornwall Civic Complex (100 Water Street). The office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm – we would be happy to answer your questions and provide you with recommendations and information to make your visit to Cornwall even more memorable!
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Article by Kevin Lajoie
Photo courtesy of Team McDonald