Cotter rink rolls into Page Playoff at 2016 Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championships
Earlier in the week, Jim Cotter expressed that the goal of every team at the 2016 Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championships was to “make the playoffs.”
Cotter grabbed the top spot in the Page Playoff Thursday night, holding off Michael Johnson of New Westminster 5-4 in the A-Final at the Nelson Curling Club.
The defending BC Men’s Champ took control of the game from the opening end, scoring the deuce in the first end.
Cotter, third Ryan Kuhn, second Tyrel Griffiths and lead Rick Sawatsky, then took a commanding 4-1 lead after three ends with another pair in the end en route to the top prize in the triple-knockout elimination round.
The Okanagan rink out curled their opponents during the contest 89 percent to 78 for Johnson, with Ryan Kuhn having a stellar game at the third position, finishing at 93 percent.
Johnson came into the contest on a roll, with victories over pre-playdow favourite Dean Joanisse Wednesday 6-3 and Wes Craig 6-4 earlier Thursday.
In other action Thursday, the next rink looking to book a spot in the Page Playoffs appears to be the Sean Geall rink of New Westminster.
After arriving earlier in the day from Vancouver due to the birth of his child, Geall cruised to another dominating victory, this time a 10-3 pasting of Kimberley’s Tom Buchy in B-event action.
Geall, third Andrew Bilesky, Steve Kopf and lead Mark Olsen broke open a close game by scoring eight points from ends three to six — including a fiver in the sixth.
Earlier in the day, Geall thrashed another Kootenay rink, Chris Ducharme of Creston 9-3 in seven ends.
Geall now meets Johnson Friday morning in B event play.
The winner plays in the B Final Friday at 2 p.m. against the survivor of the Glen Jackson/Jeff Richard contest and the two seed in the Page Playoff.
Richard doubled Wes Craig of Victoria 6-3 Thursday evening while Jackson edged out Daniel Wenzek 6-4.
Kootenay rinks Ducharme and Buchy now must look to qualify in the C event today.
Ducharme, fresh from knocking out Will House of Richmond 7-4 Thursday night — the rink’s second win of the day — now waits for the winner of Wenzek and Jason Montgomery of Victoria.
Buchy meets Neil Dangerfield of Victoria today at 9 a.m.
The Page Playoffs begin Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. with Cotter facing the B-event winner.
At 7 p.m. the final two qualifiers face off in the 3-4 contest for the right to meet the loser of the 1-2 Page Playoff Sunday morning at 11 a.m.
The 2016 Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Final, matching the 1-2 Page Playoff winner against the semi final victor, is set for 4 p.m. at the Nelson Curling Rink.
Both games Sunday will be televised live by Sportsnet.
The overall winner of the event will represent B.C. at the Tim Hortons Brier in Ottawa March 5-13.