McDougall team made history during three-year strech
Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame
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Joyce McDougall, Linda Van Daele, Cheryl Orr and Karen Dunbar put together a three-year run that most curlers could only dream of achieving.
From 2011 to 2013, the Brandon Curling Club team won three straight provincial women’s masters championships, reached the playoffs at the nationals twice and won a Canadian title in 2011.
The quartet was honoured for its efforts Sunday night at the Victoria Inn as they were officially inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame.
“We all found out that we were going into the hall around the same time, so it was a pretty big thrill,” McDougall said.
This marks the second induction into the Hall of Fame for Van Daele and Dunbar, who were previously enshrined for their individual accolades.
It was also a special evening for Orr, as her husband Ray’s 2009 Canadian masters championship side was also honoured.
“I actually found out before he did so I had to keep it a secret from him before he got the call from the Hall of Fame,” Cheryl Orr said with a laugh.
Orr was the last addition to a team that was already familiar with one another. McDougall won a provincial senior title in 2001 and was a finalist in 2002 as the third for Van Daele and won senior titles in 2004, 2006 and 2007 as the skip for a team that included Dunbar.
The team would join Ernie Boushy’s mixed team (1965-1967), Pat Malanchuk’s masters men’s team (2014-2016) and Dave Boehmer’s senior men’s team (2018-2020) as the only quartets in Manitoba curling history to win three straight provincial titles with the exact same lineup.
“Everything just seemed to click right away,” Orr said.
“I knew how Karen and Linda threw a rock from having played with them before and I curled against Cheryl quite a bit so I knew how she played the game pretty well,” McDougall added.
“We were a good hitting team, but we could draw as well. Those are the two main ingredients you want out on the ice.”
The McDougall team won their first provincial masters title in December 2010 in a convincing 10-2 win over Elaine Jones in Carman.
At the nationals the following March in Winnipeg, the Manitoba champions went 6-0 in pool play and reached the final with a dramatic 7-6 extra end win over Karin Host of British Columbia.
The two teams square off again in the final, but it wasn’t as close, as McDougall won by a score of 11-5.
“It was a pretty amazing week,” McDougall said. “The chance to represent Manitoba in our home province was special and the support we received from everyone there was wonderful.”
McDougall thinks one of the things that helped the team was the fact that they had all been to different national events in the past, either as teammates or with separate squads.
They also had some luck on their side along the way.
“During our first game against Saskatchewan, we were in an extra end and they pretty much had the game won,” McDougall said.
“Linda spied a rock on the outside and she said ‘If you hit that, you can roll in and take out their shot rock.’ I’d be darned if that didn’t end up happening and that got our week going with a bit of a confidence boost.”
The rink won a second straight provincial title in December 2011 at the Riverview Curling Club but their title defence hit a slight snag when McDougall broke her right wrist in an on-ice fall at the senior provincials in February 2012.
McDougall moved to lead for the nationals in Boucherville and Saint-Lambert, Que., with Van Daele throwing skip stones.
The defending champions qualified for the playoffs again with a 6-3 record, but lost 9-6 to Ontario’s Joyce Potter in the semifinal and 10-7 to Northern Ontario’s Marion Clark in the bronze medal game.
Their third and final provincial title was the most dramatic, as they rebounded from a 1-2 start to win three playoff games and earn a trip to the 2013 national masters in Thunder Bay, Ont.
That week wasn’t as kind for the squad as they missed the playoffs with a 4-4 record.
“There are some days where you have it and there are some days where you don’t,” McDougall said.
“I really sympathize with these teams that go to nationals and have a tough time. When you are struggling sometimes, it can be pretty tough to pull yourself out of it, no matter how hard you try.”
The McDougall rink was one of four Westman teams to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. They were joined by Ray Orr’s 2009 Canadian masters champions from Minnedosa, Doug Armour’s 2005 national masters champions from Souris and Kelly Robertson’s Neepawa team that won the 2011 Canadian seniors and captured a silver medal at the 2012 worlds.
The late Martin Bailey’s 2004 masters champions were also honoured during the ceremony, as were curlers Ruth Wiebe and Doug Harrison, and builders Dave Petursson and Bob Flock.
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