Teams break the ice at B.C.’s

The B.C. Senior provincial championships got underway at the Trail Curling Club Tuesday, with games going throughout the week.

The men’s Kootenay rinks got off to good starts at the Senior Curling championship at the Trail Curling Club Tuesday, but the Hiram ladies’ rink dropped a tough one.

Cranbrook’s Tom Shypitka and Castlegar’s Myron Nichol both jumped out to big leads before closing down their respective matches early.

Shypitka, with third Fred Thomson, second Don Freschi, and lead Bill King, jumped out to a 7-1 lead against the 1990 B.C. Men’s champion, Craig Lepine, who would score two, but call it in the seventh end down 7-3.

“It was excellent,” said Shypitka. “You always want to get that first one out of the way, get rid of the nerves and butterflies and all that stuff.”

Shypitka blanked the first end than took two in the second, and the fourth, before stealing three in the fifth end on the way to victory.

“The last time I played Craig was in 1990 at the provincial championships.”

While Lepine took the championship in 1990, Shypitka settled for bronze, but returned a year later with Gerry Kent’s Cranbrook team and won the 1991 men’s provincial championship in Trail.

Nichol also took a huge 6-0 lead, before Wes Craig’s Victoria club answered with two in the sixth. But it was too late, despite taking singles in the eighth and ninth ends, the teams shook hands after nine, with a 6-4 Nichol win.

In other men’s matches, Rich Pughe’s Royal City team defeated the Garry Gelowitz team from Kelowna 7-2, and Mel Steffin’s Royal City rink enjoyed a 10-3 victory over the Ken Teskey foursome from Williams Lake.

In Ladies action, the Hiram rink came so close to upsetting the Debbie Jones-Walker rink.

Tied 5-5 heading into the ninth, Jones-Walker would take a single in the ninth and steal one in the 10th for the 7-5 win.

Brenda Ridgway’s Nanaimo rink squeezed by Wendy Cseke’s Salmon Arm foursome 8-7, while Kathy Smiley got off to a good start with a 10-6 win over the Cheryl Wyatt team from Terrace.

In a rematch of last year’s final, the Karin Lepine rink would exact a measure of revenge with an 8-5 victory over the Penny Shantz’s Salmon Arm club.

Games continue today with draw three and four going at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.