Fans in the Parksville Curling Club’s arena bleachers look on as Victoria’s Jason Montgomery, left, delivers a shot in his match against Jim Cotter of Vernon during the 2018 belairdirect B.C. Men’s Curling Championships in Parksville Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. — J.R. Rardon photo

Defending champ moves into BC Men’s curling playoffs

Team Cotter ekes out two wins at Parksville Curling Club

Defending champions Team Cotter of Vernon became the first rink to punch a ticket to the semifinals while Team Medford of Cranbrook became the first casualty on Day 2 of the 2018 belairdirect B.C. Men’s Curling Championships at Parksville Curling Club Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018.

Skip Jim Cotter overcame a four-point steal by Victoria’s Jason Montgomery in the second end of their afternoon match to recover for a 9-7 win. Team Cotter returned in Thursday’s evening draw and rode a tiebreaking point in the 10th and final end to edge Team Geall of Kelowna, 7-6.

“Every game in this event is critical, and it was no different in that game” Cotter said after his win over Montgomery in what turned into a see-saw match. “We had to come out tough, and we battled back. It was a good character win for us.”

In the evening match against third-seeded Sean Geall, Cotter and rinkmates Catlin Schneider, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky forged a 6-2 lead on the strength of a four-point fifth end. But Geall and teammates Jeffrey Richard, Andrew Nerpin and David Harper rode the hammer to a single point in the sixth, then stole points over the next three ends to give Cotter the hammer in the 10th end of a 6-6 match.

The wins gave Cotter (3-0) the top spot in the A Event and clinched the team a berth in the four-team Page Playoff that begins Saturday, Feb. 3. The other three playoff entries will be decided in Friday’s draws, scheduled for 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The tournament is being played in a converted hockey arena in the heart of Parksville’s downtown Community Park, the only dedicated arena curling club in B.C., according to club president Ron Boag.

It has hosted eight provincial championships since 2009, including back-to-back B.C. Men’s Championship events in 2012-13.

“Parksville is one of our go-to communities for provincial events,” said Paul Addison, CurlBC chair. “You look at their wall and they’ve got seven other provincial plaques up there because, first of all, they have an unbelievable cadre of volunteers. But also, the facility itself is very valuable. I think people underestimate it, being an arena. But when you think of it, all the (curling) nationals are in arenas, too.”

More than 200 fans looked on from the arena bleachers, while approximately 50 additional spectators watched from a new, two-tiered viewing platform in the lobby, which is equipped with close-circuit TV monitors that provide overhead views of each circle on the ice.

The highlight match in Friday’s 9 a.m. draw will pit Geall (2-1) and Victoria’s Glen Jackson (3-1), with the winner moving into the 2 p.m. B Event final. Wes Craig (2-2), the third entry from Victoria Curling Centre, remains in the hunt for a playoff spot in the C Event, as is Montgomery (2-2), who followed his loss to Cotter with another heartbreaker against Brent Pierce of Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster.

Montgomery led early, but needed a one-point pickup in the 10th to force an extra end. Pierce, however, turned his hammer into a two-point 11th for an 8-6 win. Pierce will face Dean Joanisse of Golden Ears Winter Club in the other B semifinal at 9 a.m.

Penticton’s Wylie Eden (1-2), Vernon’s Mark Longworth (0-2) and Kelowna’s Chris Baier (0-2) were still in the hunt for a playoff berth at the end of play Thursday. But Longworth and Baier will square off in Friday morning’s draw, with the loser bowing out.

Medford dropped his third straight game to open the tournament in Thursday’s 2 p.m. draw and was eliminated from the triple-knockout tourney.

To follow results, visit curlbc.ca//web/Comp?compid=2699.

Send story tips to: editor@pqbnews.com

 

Jay Wakefield, left, and John Cullen of the Dean Joanisse Golden Ears Winter Club rink sweep during their contest with Kelowna’s Sean Geall during the 2018 belairdirect B.C. Men’s Curling Championships in Parksville Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. — J.R. Rardon photo

Just Posted

Alberni Valley schools celebrate First Nations culture

First Nations Spring Festival hosted by SD70 and NTC

Celebrate with Cycle Alberni for Bike to Work and School Week

Celebration stations kick off at Jumping Slug Community Cyclery

Two Alberni Valley hockey players win bronze at NAHC finals

Team BC male awarded a bronze medal after controversial decision

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Port Alberni to hold Walk for Dog Guides on May 26

Fundraising event one of 300 across Canada

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read