Hope’s curling season wrapping up

Local curler makes it to Canadian Firefighters Curling Championship

Shelley Empey lines up a shot for her team-mate

Twenty-three foursomes will be heading to Hope this weekend for the annual Mixed Bonspiel, which starts on Friday evening at 5:00. The visiting teams will join seven local rinks for the final spiel of the local season.Roman Petryk, who has been the club’s ice maker for the last 27 years, said 32 teams would have been ideal for a four-sheet event but he had to cut off registration by Monday to get the draw made up. “Most of our teams are coming from down the valley,” said Petryk. “There’s only one rink from Chilliwack. The others are from Delta, Surrey and Vancouver. There are lots of first-time teams but others are coming back because they’ve had a good time in Hope before.”The last draws on Friday and Saturday nights start at 11:00 and the championship  finals commence at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. The public is welcome to check out the action, with no cost for admission.Petryk and club president Galen Toy will both be competing on the weekend. Toy said on Monday that the club will have one more week of league play following the bonspiel, then the ice plant will be shut down and the ice removed until next fall.“We usually do a little event upstairs to wrap up the league and hand out trophies to the winning teams from the Men’s, Ladies and Mixed leagues,” said Toy.“We’ll also be having our annual ‘Franco’s Spring Fling’ dance on Saturday, April 16th, in memory of our former member, Franco Talarico,” he added. It’s a fundraiser for the club and it runs from 9:00 p.m.  until 2:00 a.m. Music is by Appaloosa, the same band we’ve had for the last two years. Doors open at 8:00.”Tickets are available for $15 at various businesses around town, including Toy’s Pharmacy. Proceeds help defray the cost of repairs and maintenance to the building and ice plant, said Toy.While the Hope ice won’t make it past mid-March, one local player will be sweeping well into April, at the Canadian Firefighters Curling Championship in Calgary. Doug Marshall — who was a career firefighter in North Vancouver — joined a group of Victoria-based firemen, who curled their way to the top of the B.C. event. The Brad Clarke rink, with Marshall playing third, will travel to Calgary for the national championships, March 31 to April 10.  Hope’s squad of John Linza, Evan Empey, Tom DeSorcy and skip, Al  Trick placed sixth in the province this year, with a 2-and-2 record. “They held it at the Tunnel Town Curling Club in Tsawwassen this year,” said DeSorcy, Fire Chief for the District of Hope. “There were 28 teams, curling on six sheets. We won our first two, then lost our next two and we were out.”Hope has hosted the B.C. event several times and when they were hosts in 2005, the local rink ended up as winners.“Al Trick, Don Druet, Glenn Wejr and myself went to the Nationals, which were hosted in Yellowknife that year,” said DeSorcy. “We came third overall.“It was really well organized,” he added. “We had a driver that drove us around town and we were piped onto the ice for every draw. It was quite an experience!”To follow Doug Marshall’s progress at the 52nd Hydrant Championships, go to www.cffca.ca and follow the appropriate links.

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