Skip Darren Albo held on for a playoff win over Team van Yzerloo on Thursday in Kootenay Savings Super League curling action at the Trail Curling Club. Jim Bailey photo.

Kootenay Savings Super League: Lepine knocks off top seed

Kootenay Savings Super League playoffs continue Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Trail Curling Club

This past week in the Kootenay savings Super League showed that it doesn’t matter where you finish in the regular season, just get to the playoffs, as both top seeds were knocked off in early upsets.

Team Les Lepine was playing Team Myron Nichol, and showed no fear against the top seeded team. With a 2-1 lead, Team Nichol thought they had a steal wrapped up in the third with a stone buried behind five guards, before Skip Les executed a fantastic angle double-raise take-out for a big three, followed by Lepine’s third Larry Kotyk perfect draw behind cover, leading to a steal of one in the fourth.

Team Nichol could only manage one in the fifth, then stole the sixth to close the gap to 5-4. Team Nichol was looking to steal the seventh before Skip Les made a straight back bump, followed by a longer angle raise for a huge deuce. Team Nichol was laying three when Skip Les came to throw his last rock. Ignoring the open shot stone, Les froze to the two Nichol stones buried behind a corner guard, eliminating any chance for a Team Nichol game tying three, and preserving the 7-5 Team Lepine upset.

Team Ken Fines and Team Desiree Borsato played an entertaining back and forth affair. Team Fines jumped out to a 4-2 lead after three, but Team Borsato chose to blank the fourth, then were forced to take one with a hit-n-stick in the fifth. Facing three opposition stones, Skip Fines drew for one in the sixth, restoring his two point lead. Skip Des made a perfect hit-n-roll freeze to Team Fines shot stone with her first, then drew for her two to tie the game after Skip Ken’s attempt at peeling out the shot stone, jammed.

After Team Fines front end executed the center guard tick, then peeled away any guard after that, Skip Borsato had no where to hide her last rock draw, allowing Fines an open hit for one, and a thrilling 6-5 win.

Riding the stellar play of Darrin Albo and third Dennis Schlender, Team Albo took down second seeded Team Bill van Yzerloo. There was some rust in the whole van Yzerloo team after their bye week, leading to numerous missed shots that Team Albo capitalized on, stealing three in the first two ends. Team van Yzerloo scored two in the third, then were laying three, with one of them buried touching the button in the fourth, before Skip Albo, more known for his take-out prowess than draws, drew to the edge of the button to hold van Yzerloo to a steal of one.

A Schlender double led to a Team Albo deuce in the fifth, followed by another perfect Albo draw, this time a freeze, holding Team van Yzerloo to a single in the sixth. Albo were forced to one in the seventh to be up 6-4 coming home without. Team van Yzerloo were laying two guarded when Albo again drew to the top of the shot stone, leaving Skip Bill a difficult angle in-off for a possible three, which he made, only to see his thrown stone slowly spin up, across and out of the house, settling for a two to tie it.

In the extra end, Team Albo ran three doubles, eliminating any guards, to give Skip Darrin an open draw to the shot stone at the back of the 4-foot, and an exciting 7-6 victory.

Team Nando Salviulo always seems to play Team Nathan Small tough, and tonight was no exception. Skip Nando made an amazing cross-ice double for one in the first. Team Small chose to blank the second, then gave up a steal of one in the third when Skip Nate’s last rock draw came up short. Small rebounded with a lovely double angle raise to knock shot stone off a buried button for one in the fourth.

Team Salviulo scored two after Skip Nando executed a peel weigh flat double in the fifth. Skip Small responded with two perfect draws for a deuce in the sixth, then held Team Salviulo to one in the seventh to be two down coming home, with hammer. Skip Nando chose to try and block off entry through a small port, Unfortunately his last rock guard overcurled allowing Skip Small to draw for the tie. Sometimes the curling Gods smile on you, or frown on you, depending on which team you are on, as Skip Small’s last rock draw attempt was wide and heavy, ticking off a wider guard, to change speed and direction, settling buried on the 4foot, that Salviulo couldn’t remove, for a Team Small steal of one, and a 6-5 win.

Team McKenzie Remax, skipped by Deane Horning, and Team Brian Lemoel had the bye week.

The Kootenay Savings Super League Playoffs resume this Thursday in the Trail Curling Club at 7 p.m.

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