NZ Champions crowned at 2006 National Curling Championships

Naseby, 7 August 2006 – Team Dan Mustapic (Men’s) and Team Bridget Becker (Women’s) have won the 2006 New Zealand National Curling Championships, held at the Maniototo International Curling Rink in Naseby, Central Otago, earning the right to represent New Zealand in international competition.

Six teams participated in the New Zealand Men’s Curling Championship competition. The competition format saw a full round robin phase, with the top two teams advancing to a best three-out-of-five final to determine the New Zealand champions.

After the round robin, Team Mustapic led with field with perfect 5-0 record, while Team Sean Becker finished second with a four win, 1 loss record. In the best-of-five final series, Team Dan Mustapic won Game 1 by an 8-7 score, Team Sean Becker rebounded to win Game 2 by an 11-6 count, but Team Mustapic roared back to win Game 3 by a 7-4 score and then closed out the championship with a 7-5 win in Game 4, claiming the final 3 wins to 1.

"We wanted to play to a system and try to execute it well", said winning skip Dan Mustapic. "The team played really well and we stuck to the plan. The standard of play was really high – the fans saw some great curling and it shows that the sport is getting stronger all the time".

Mustapic (45, Dunedin) and his team (Hans Frauenlob, 45, North Shore City,  Rupert Jones, 22, Dunedin, Lorne DePape, 50, Te Awamutu) will now represent New Zealand at the 2006 Pacific Curling Championships (20-26 Nov, Karuizawa, Japan) where they will attempt to qualify for the 2007 World Mens Curling Championships, to be held in Edmonton, Canada in April 2007. Mustapic, Frauenlob and DePape were members of the 2006 Winter Olympic curling team that competed in Torino, Italy.

Three teams participated in the New Zealand Women’s Curling Championship competition. The competition format was a double round-robin phase, with the top two teams advancing to a best-of-three final to determine the New Zealand champions.

After the round robin, Team Bridget Becker led the field with a perfect 4-0 record, while team Cass Becker claimed second place with a 2 win, 2 loss record. In the best-of-three final, Team Bridget Becker won Game 1 by an 8-7 score, and Game 2 by a 12-4 count, to claim the final 2 wins to 0.

"Every year the competition gets better" said winning skip Bridget Becker. "It's great to be able to play a competition like this with such good ice conditions. Cass' team is a new team but they played us very tough. We'll work hard and do our very best at Pacifics".

Becker and her team of Brydie Donald, Natalie Campbell and Catherine Inder will represent NZ at the 2006 Pacific Curling Championships where they will attempt to qualify for the 2007 World Womens Curling Championships, to be held in Aomori, Japan in March 2007.

Cumulative national performances at the 2007, 2008 and 2009 World Curling Championships will determine the field of 10 nations that qualify for the curling event at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Results Summary – Men

Round Robin Team  Wins   Losses       
  Dan Mustapic 5 0      
  Sean Becker 4 1      
  Peter Becker 3 2      
  Chris Armstrong 2 3      
  Vantex 1 4      
  Auckland Sliders 0 5      
Best of 5 Final Dan Mustapic (3) beat (1) Sean Becker
2006 Champions Dan Mustapic (skip), Hans Frauenlob (3rd), Rupert Jones (2nd), Lorne DePape (lead)
             

Results Summary – Women

Round Robin Team  Wins   Losses       
  Bridget Becker 4 0      
  Cass Becker 2 2      
  Auckland Thistles 0 4      
Best of 3 Final Bridget Becker (2) beat (0) Cass Becker
2006 Champions   Bridget Becker (skip), Brydie Donald (3rd), Natalie Campbell (2nd), Catherine Inder (lead)