The Kootenay Savings Super League playoffs started this past week with a mix of upsets and close calls.
The eighth seeded Justin Umpherville foursome was attempting to be David versus a Goliath Corvus Construction team skipped by Deane Horning. The young guns were in tight, leading 3-2 after three ends, but Horning made a perfect come around tap for two in the fourth, then stole the fifth for a 5-3 advantage. Neither team could manage to manufacture more than one the rest of the way, with Corvus leading 7-5 in the 10th, before running Umpherville out of rocks to preserve the close win.
Second seed Team vanYzerloo caught seventh seed Team Heather Nichol off guard early, putting up a large four in the first. Heather made a perfect draw to the button for one in the second and fifth, but Team vanYzerloo were on top of their game, stealing singles in the fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth ends for a 7-3 win.
The sixth seeded Team Fines squared off against third seed Team Myron Nicol, with both rinks playing cautiously to start. Fines was up 2-1 after three, then 3-2 after five. Nichols had something going in the sixth, before third Craig Fines ran a cross-ice double, leading to holding Nichol to a single. The game tilted in favour of Fines in the seventh, when skip Ken made two perfect draws that Myron couldn’t chip out, ending in a huge four ender. Nichol got one back in the eighth, but Fines blanked the ninth and ran Nichol out of rocks for an 8-5 upset.
Fifth seed Team Darrin Albo and fourth seed Team Russ Beauchamp played a high scoring, back and forth affair. Albo struck early with two deuces, before Russ did the same with two deuces of his own. Albo was forced to take one in the fifth to regain a slim 5-4 lead, before Beauchamp manufactured a three spot to grab his first lead. Not to be outdone, Albo answered with a 3 of his own. The teams then traded deuces, and the lead again, to have Beauchamp one down, coming home without.
Russ tried his magical best, attempting an angle raise double take-out to lay two, with his last rock, but only managed to knock one of Albo’s buried stones off the four foot, for an entertaining 11-9 Albo win.
All teams are back on the ice tonight at 7 p.m. at the Trail Curling Club. The finals will go on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.