OTTAWA, ON, January 14, 2020 — Team British Columbia – B has captured the 2020 Canadian Masters Team Championship in a thrilling Gold Medal encounter against Team Alberta by a 4-3 final score. The high stakes battle saw the host province win on home soil as the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club hosted the event with 7 teams from across Canada from January 10-12, 2020.
As the event began, Team British Columbia – B and Team Alberta were seeded number one and number two respectively and demonstrated why as both went undefeated in round robin play. In addition, both teams easily defeated their respective semi-final opponents (Ontario and Quebec) by 5-2 scores to advance to the Championship Match. As these two powerhouse teams got set to clash for the Championship, it was almost certain to be an epic encounter between the two western provinces.
As the Championship Match began, Alberta jumped out to an early lead by capturing the first match – Darren Thomson (AB) defeated Trevor Latimer (BC) by 3-0. But not to be outdone, BC then came back with a 3-0 win as Lauren Wagner (BC) defeated Julie Multamaki (AB). In the third match, David Safton (AB) defeated Bruce Matthews (BC) in a five-set marathon to give Alberta a 2-1 lead in the Championship encounter. Going forward, Carolyn Russell (BC) quickly evened the score by defeating Anna Pentland (AB) by 3-0 to then see the teams trade wins with Ian Power (AB) defeating Richard Yendell (BC) by 3-0 and Emma Parke (BC) defeating Fiona Curthoys (AB) by 3-0 – the encounter now tied at 3-3 going into the final match to determine who would claim Gold. In what may have been no surprise to those watching, the final match was not going to be a quick one between BC’s Andrew Lynn and Alberta’s Pete Goodings. Lynn (BC) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but could not close out the match, allowing Goodings (AB) to fight back to tie the match at 2-2; however, even after clawing his way back Lynn (BC) rebounded to win the fifth and deciding game to earn him a 3-2 victory. Team BC – B defeated Team Alberta 4-3 to capture the 2020 National Title.
In other results, Team Ontario took home the Bronze medal after defeating Team Quebec by a score of 6-1. Ontario had come into this event as the reigning Champions and will now look to rebuild their team for 2021. In the Consolation Round, Team BC – C came away with a 5th Place finish over Team Manitoba who finished 6th and Team Saskatchewan rounded out the teams in 7th Place.
The victory by British Columbia was their first Canadian Masters Teams Championship since 2010. For Alberta, it was heartbreak again after having failed to capture the title for the fifth time since winning the inaugural title in 2009.
“BC was proud to host the 2020 Masters Championships at the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club. The host club and event committee, led by Richard Freeman and club pro Viktor Berg, organized a spectacular event both on and off court. Exceptional squash was on display from all players throughout the entire weekend and a thrilling sudden-death match that ultimately determined Gold going to Team BC. We were fortunate as host province to have a second team represent BC, who finished 5th winning the consolation round,” said Squash BC Executive Director Nancy Thompson. “Squash BC would like to thank all players who participated in the 2020 Canadian Masters Team Championships in Vancouver. Your team spirit, passion, and healthy competitiveness made for exciting squash to watch! A special thank you to both BC team supporters and the spectators for helping create an exuberant atmosphere all weekend and to Tournament Referee Jimmy Valliere. You did BC proud! Go Team BC!”
“Vancouver Lawn was pleased to have the opportunity to host such a fantastic group of amazingly skilled squash players from all over the country. Our members and the squash community were treated to some excellent squash, including an exciting 5 game tie-breaking final match deciding the gold medal,” said Tournament Co-Chair Richard Freeman. “It was a pleasure to work with Squash Canada and Squash BC, and we would like to thank all the tournament sponsors for making it possible to bring the Canadian Masters Team Championships to our Club. Congratulations to all the medal winners!”
“Competing for a National Team Championship is always hard work, especially against such a talented and experienced group of athletes from across the country. Winning the title at home is a long overdue treat for Team BC.” – Bruce Matthews, Captain of Team BC – B
“It has been an honour to represent Team BC at the Masters Team Championships and how I love the game of squash on and off the court. From playing since I was 8 years of age, it is truly a happy place out there on the courts. Thanks to Canada and BC for taking in this British lass and making it feel like home.” – Emma Parke, Member of Team BC – B
Gold: Team British Columbia – B
Lauren Wagner, Carolyn Russell, Emma Parke, Richard Yendell, Andrew Lynn, Trevor Latimer, Bruce Matthews
Silver: Team Alberta
Fiona Curthoys, Anna Pentland, Julie Multamaki, Ian Power, Pete Goodings, Darren Thomson, Dave Safton
Bronze: Team Ontario
Melanie Jans, Elka Markus, Heather Dart, Sean Oh, Don Lee, Trent Haase, Walter Bentley