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Kootenay Express earns silver at BC Masters curling championship

Castlegar’s Team van Yzerloo fall in final to Team Sieg after going undefeated through tournament
Team van Yzerloo aka the Kootenay Express earned silver at the 2023 BC Masters Curling Championship in Parksville. From left: Richard Faunt lead, Garry Beaudry second, Myron Nichol third, and Bill van Yzerloo skip.

A Castlegar curling team skipped by Bill van Yzerloo took home a silver medal at the BC Masters Men’s Curling Championship in Parksville on Sunday (Feb. 26).

Team van Yzerloo, with third Myron Nichol, second Garry Beaudry, and lead Richard Faunt of Trail, went undefeated through the qualifying rounds, cruising to the final with a 4-0 record through the five-day event.

“We curled well all week,” said Faunt. “The speed of the ice was quite fast, a lot quicker than we were used to. We all came deep on a few of key guards through the week, but kept control of all the games until the last three ends of the final.”

Van Yzerloo faced Team Lyle Sieg from the Cloverdale Curling Club in the final. The two teams had already faced each other once in the Page 1-2 playoff game where van Yzleroo won 4-3 in an extra end.

But Sieg made his way to the final by beating the Carey Sulz rink 6-5 in the backdoor qualifier.

Team van Yzerloo, also known as the Kootenay Express, quickly earned the reputation of being the best hitting team in the event and Sieg would have to play more aggressive to get a miss out of the hard hitting Kootenay team.

In the final, van Yzerloo was counting four in the third end, but Sieg made a draw to the button to save the game.

With the game tied 2-2, Sieg settled in and stole one in the sixth after van Yzerloo’s rock picked, and two in the seventh, then ran van Yzerloo out of rocks in the eighth for the 5-2 victory.

“Bill’s first rocks in the seventh and eighth ends got caught on a slower slide path, coming up short of the house,” explained Faunt. “This was the first time the ice reacted that way for the whole week, caught us off guard.

“But the Sieg rink played well, a worthy champion.”

On the way, van Yzerloo defeated the Bruce Feltham rink from Parksville 7-4, the Sulz rink also from Parksville 6-5, and former champion Team Wes Craig from Comox-Duncan, 3-2.

Team Penny Shantz of Qualicum/Parksville won the women’s event beating Team Mychaluk from Royal City 10-5 in the final.

Team Shantz and Team Sieg will represent Team BC at the 2023 Canadian Masters Curling Championships from April 2-9 at the Thistle-St. Andrews Curling Club in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Read: van Yzerloo wins berth to BC Masters curling championship

Jim Bailey

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