Deane Horning’s and Tom Buchy’s respective rinks are headed to the Men’s B.C. Curling championship after qualifying at the Kootenay playdowns in Sparwood on the weekend.

Curling playdowns: Trail curlers headed to B.C.s

Some tense final matches at the Kootenay playdowns in Sparwood on the weekend.

Following some tense final matches at the Kootenay playdowns in Sparwood on the weekend, two Kootenay teams emerged with berths to the Men’s B.C. Curling championship in Vancouver in February.

Team Tom Buchy from the Kimberley Curling Club is back for another shot at the B.C. title. Skip Buchy, with third Fred Thomson of Nelson, second Dave Toffolo and lead Darren Will, return to the B.C. championship after coming in fourth place at last year’s event in Parksville.

Meanwhile, skip Trevor Perepolkin and second Tyler Orme of Vernon were imported to play for Deane Horning’s Castlegar Curling Club and earned the B-event spot at the playdowns by beating out Trail’s rink skipped by Rob Ferguson. Horning threw third stones, with lead Don Freschi, alternate Kevin Nesbitt, and coach Terry Bublitz, all from Trail, filling out the ranks.

Horning, a three-time provincial champion, has played with the two Vernon curlers for most of this season so chemistry wasn’t a problem as the team battled, winning three in a row, after losing it’s opening match to the Ken McHargue rink of Elkford 8-6.

Buchy was perfect during the tournament, beating the Chris Ducharme rink from Creston in his first match 9-5, before icing the Ferguson rink 6-3, to make it to the A final on Saturday. Buchy rolled to a 7-2 victory over McHargue who also went undefeated in round robin play, with the win over Perepolkin and a 6-3 victory over Castlegar’s Myron Nichol.

But McHargue would stumble in the page playoff losing to Creston’s Josh Firman foursome 7-5.

Perepolkin then seized the advantage beating Firman 9-4, while Ferguson came through the back door with a 10-5 victory over Nichol. Ferguson then faced Perepolkin for the final berth and had to beat the Castlegar rink twice in order to advance.

In the first match, it was a tight 2-1 Perepolkin lead heading into the seventh when Ferguson scored three then stole one in the eighth to take a seemingly insurmountable 5-2 lead with two ends to play. Yet, the Vernon shooter scored two in the ninth and stole one in the tenth to tie it and force an extra end. Ferguson steadied himself, and after Perepolkin’s final stone floated long, Ferguson drew in for the win, forcing an extra game.

The Ferguson rink, skipped by Trail’s Rob Ferguson, with third Brian LeMoel, second Joey Ferguson, and lead Marcus Partridge put in a valiant effort in the final match, but fell behind early 3-1 in the third end. They would trade singles until the seventh when Perepolkin scored three to make it 7-3. However, Ferguson wasn’t done as he scored two in the eighth and stole one in the ninth to cut the lead to 7-6 heading into the 10th end. Perepolkin kept it clean and tapped Ferguson’s final rock off the button for the 8-6 win and a berth to the B.C.’s.

Perepolkin is a four-time B.C. Junior Men’s champion, but has never won a men’s provincial championship.

Six other men’s curling teams also secured berths to the provincial curling championship at regional qualifiers held over the weekend, and a seventh team has secured a berth based on Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) points. Team John Morris, from Vernon and Kelowna curling clubs, is in due to top CTRS points. The team just missed a berth to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in a 7-4 final loss at the Roar of the Rings to Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs on Sunday.

They will join Team Andrew Bilesky, nephew of Trail legend Andy Bilesky, from the Royal City Curling Club, who has automatic entry into the championship for winning last year’s event. Also qualifying is Bill Cameron’s Prince George rink, Team Dean Joanisse from Royal City, Team Grant Dezura from Golden Ears Winter Club, and Brent Pierce’s rink from Royal City.

A further two regional playdowns will take place this weekend and a final open event will take place in January to decide the final eight berths.

The 2014 B.C. Men’s Curling Championship will take place at the Vancouver Curling Club from Feb. 5-9, and will be televised on Sportsnet.

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