Heavy snow on the roof of Sault Memorial Gardens caused headaches Sunday for organizers of the M&M Meat Shops National curling event.
About 4.5 hours before the scheduled final between Greg McAulay and Glenn Howard (shown above), World Curling Tour officials noticed snow falling through two roof vents onto the ice.
Officials scrambled to the roof in an effort to fix the problem, but by noon snow was still falling on the centre sheet where the televised match was to take place at 3 p.m., and some damage was noticed to the hard-to-maintain curling surface.
The decision was made then to shift the final to an adjoining sheet, forcing CTV SportsNet to reposition its cameras.
The snow problem was nobody's fault, head ice technician Mark Shurek told SooToday.com. The staff at Soo Memorial Gardens were great, Shureck said.
"This is a really great building, even if it's an old building," he said.
The small amount of snow drifting through the roof vents probably wouldn't even be noticed during a hockey game, but curling ice is much more delicate and easily damaged.
In the final, Glen Howard of Coldwater, Ont. beat Glenn McAulay of Richmond, B.C. 9-7.
The final match was closely fought, but Howard established a lead during the first end and never gave it up.
It was the first Grand Slam win for Team Howard, who went into the event ranked 11th in the world.
The Howard rink left the Soo with a cheque for $30,000. Team McAulay took home $18,000.
Full linescores for the Soo event can be accessed at: http://www.worldcurlingtour.com