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Mixed emotions for Bonot following provincials

By Lucas Punkari
Staff Writer

Having just missed out on reaching his goal of making the playoffs at this week’s Northern Ontario men’s provincial curling championships in Nipigon, Stratton native Trevor Bonot had a number of different feelings in his head as he returned to Thunder Bay.
“It was frustrating and kind of disappointing at times, but it was still an okay week,” Bonot explained.
“There are still positives that I can take from the week though, as I gained more experience playing with the best teams in the province, and learned how to manage things when they don’t go your way.
“I personally struggled a lot so trying to win games when that is happening is something that you can always learn from,” he added.
Bonot and his rink from the Port Arthur Curling Club, which includes third Al Macsemchuk, second Chris Briand, and Devlin native Mike Badiuk at lead, finished the week in a tie for fifth place with Jeff Currie (Thunder Bay), Matt Dumontelle (New Liskeard), and Mike Jakubo (Copper Cliff) at a record of 3-5.
Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie captured his fourth consecutive provincial crown on Sunday with a 6-5 victory over Sudbury’s Robbie Gordon, and is now headed to next month’s Tim Hortons Brier in Edmonton.
Bonot began the round-robin with a bang on Wednesday, as he picked up back-to-back wins over Dumontelle and Currie by scores of 11-5 and 6-4 respectively.
“The Dumontelle game was a battle, as it always is with him, as he makes a lot of big shots,” he noted.
“We just kept it close and finally in the ninth end we were able to get a six-ender to pretty much wrap the game up.
“In the game against Currie, we got off to a good start and stole two early, but I ended up having a draw against three in fifth end that ended up going to the back of the 12-foot, so we had to claw back from that,” Bonot added.
The first setback of the week for Bonot came on Thursday afternoon against two-time Brier and world champion Al Hackner of Thunder Bay, as he came out on the losing end of a 7-3 decision to the Iceman.
“That game just came down to one miss in the fourth,” Bonot recalled.
“I tried to make a double for two and I ended up curling up and jamming and giving them three points.
“Prior to my shot, they were only sitting one, and that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the game as we were unable to claw back from that,” he added.
Bonot would bounce back later that night, as he defeated Gordon by a score of 6-8 to improve to 3-1 for the event.
“We just played a solid game from start to finish there,” he added.
Friday would prove to be a day to forget for the Lakehead squad, however, as they dropped all three of their contests.
Their first loss of the day came to Jakubo by a score of 5-1 in eight ends, in a game that Bonot said was much closer than the final margin indicated.
“We ran up against a hot last rock thrower in Matt Seabrook who pretty much made everything against us,” he noted.
“He was making freezes left, right, and centre, and every time we had an end set up he would make a great shot to change things,” Bonot added.
In the afternoon draw, Bonot went right to the limit with Jacobs but fell just short in an low-scoring 2-1 affair to the eventual champions, who finished the week with an unbeaten record.
“You usually don’t see seven blank ends in a game anymore,” Bonot laughed.
“It was a very interesting game with a lot of rocks in play and we had them in trouble in almost every end.
“Their third Ryan Fry was pretty much making everything, and Brad was as well,” he added.
Bonot’s squad then suffered a third straight setback to finish off the day with a 8-4 loss to Jordan Chandler on Friday night, in a game that proved to be the only win for the North Bay rink.
“It was one of those games where we were flat after taking on Jacobs and we just never had the momentum going,” Bonot reasoned.
“Chandler himself played really well and they are a really good team, but they just had a lot of last rock games that they came out on the losing end of,” he added.
Heading into the final round-robin game on Saturday morning, Bonot needed to beat Thunder Bay’s Bryan Burgess and also have a little bit of help from his fellow curlers in order to force a tiebreaker later that day.
However, that scenario would not take play out as Burgess was able to come away with a 6-3 win.
“If everything had played out there could have been a massive tie for second place, but none of the teams that were in that mix won their last game, including us,” Bonot explained.
“We were up in the game and then a misplaced guard on one of my last rocks in the sixth allowed Bryan to come through a hole and make a double takeout to get three on us,” he added.
With men’s league play winding down in Thunder Bay, Bonot is currently looking ahead at the 2013-14 campaign, which will get underway at the end of September.
“In Thunder Bay, there really isn’t a lot of downtime before you have to start thinking about next year, as the teams here tend to shake up right away,” Bonot explained.
“We’ve already talked about our future plans for our team a little bit, and we’re going to be sitting down and go over our year and see where that will take us,” he added.