Sunday, 30 March 2014 00:00

Al Hackner

Allan A. "Al" Hackner (at left in picture, with his rink) was born in 1954 in Nipigon, Ontario. As an adult, Hackner moved to Thunder Bay, where he enjoyed his greatest curling successes. Nicknamed "the Iceman", Hacker is a Canadian Hall of Fame curler, and two-time Brier and World Champion skip. He is of Ojibwa descent and is a member of the Red Rock Indian band.

Hackner has skipped the Northern Ontario team in 9 Briers (1980, 1981, 1982, 1985. 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995 and 2001). He won the Brier in 1982 and again in 1985. In 1982, he defeated Brent Giles of British Columbia to win his first Brier.

In 1985, he defeated Pat Ryan of Alberta to win his second Brier. To win the game, Hackner had to make a near impossible double-take out, which would later go down in curling infamy as the "Al Hackner double".

In addition to playing for Northern Ontario, Hackner also represented Alberta at the 1972 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, playing second for Darrel Sutton.

In 2006, Hackner won the Canadian Senior Curling Championships which he followed up with a silver medal at the World Senior Curling Championships in 2007.

Published in 2004 Inductees
Sunday, 23 March 2014 20:00

Russ Howard

Russell W. "Russ" Howard, (born February 19, 1956 in Midland, Ontario) is a Canadian curler and Olympic champion, based in Moncton, New Brunswick, but originally from Midland, Ontario. His home club in Moncton is Curling Beausejour. Known for his gravelly voice, Howard has been to the Brier 14 times (8 as Ontario, 6 as New Brunswick), winning the title twice (both as Ontario). He is also a 2-time world champion, winning in 1987 and 1993. He has also participated in two Canadian Mixed Curling Championships.

In 2005, he called the shots for Brad Gushue's team at the Canadian Olympic Trials, while he threw second rocks. Howard, along with Gushue (who throws last rocks), lead Jamie Korab and third Mark Nichols went on to win the trials, giving them the right to represent Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics, where they won the gold medal, defeating Finland 10-4 in the final match. The gold medal was the first time that a Canadian team had won the gold medal for men's curling. Howard, who turned 50 during the Olympics, is also the oldest Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal. The oldest person ever to win a gold medal was Robin Welsh, aged 54, who won gold at curling in the 1924 Winter Olympics.

As a skip, Howard has been in four previous trials, but never went on to the Olympics. Howard is also the innovator of the "Moncton Rule", which evolved into the "Free Guard Zone", part of international and Olympic rules. This makes his 2006 medal particularly significant, as it is likely that without the excitement this rule adds to the sport it would not have become an Olympic event in the 1990s.

In the 2009-10 curling season, although he played in bonspiels throughout the year, Howard did not curl in the New Brunswick Tankard due to his broadcasting commitments with TSN. Howard has been commentating curling events for TSN since 2001.

In 2006, he was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame.

As of the end of the 2009 Brier, Russ had appeared in more Briers than any other player (14), and played more games at the Brier than any other player (174).

Published in 2011 Inductees
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 20:00

Werenich, Savage, Kawaja, Harrison Rink

Skipped by Ed Werenich, this curling team dominated in all levels of curling winning provincial and national titles and capping off their team record with World Championships in 1983 and 1990.

Skip: Edward “the Wrench” Werenich

Ed Werenich was born in Benito, Manitoba in 1947. After he finished school Ed moved to Toronto and joined the fire department where, in addition to his commendable duty, he won National Firefighter and Ontario Curling Championships.

Known as "the Wrench", Ed became one of curling's most flamboyant and exciting players, sometimes being compared to Arnold Palmer of golf, as they both brought their respective sports to the forefront.

Mr. Werenich is a member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

3rd (Vice skip): Paul Savage

Paul as born in Toronto, Ontario in 1947, Paul is possibly the best left handed curler ever in the game. He established himself early as an extraordinary player and skipped his own rinks to many provincial and national titles.

Mr. Savage is a member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

2nd: John Kawaja

John was born in Chandler, Quebec in 1961.

After moving to Ontario at an early age John Kawaja, over the years, has become known as one of the premier curlers in the country. He has skipped many of his own title winning teams but many say that he became the link that tied the Werenich World Championship team together.

Mr. Kawaja is a member Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

Lead: Neil Harrison.

Neil was born in Peterborough, Ontario in 1949,

A career Fire Fighter Harrison began curling at age 12, and has become recognized as an outstanding curler in his own right and has teamed with Ed Werenich winning many National Fire Fighter titles, provincial and national championships and instrumental as lead curler in the winning of the Worlds Curling Championship.;

Mr. Harrison is a member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

Published in 2009 Inductees