What was meant to be a conjoined men’s and women’s curling bonspiel ended up as a men’s event that included one women’s rink… that ended up as the best team of the weekend.
After a disappointing 16 teams showing up last year — with the same lone women’s foursome joining the men — the club was hoping for a stronger showing. Instead, it got worse, said the club’s long-term iceman, Roman Petryk.
“We only had 12 teams,” said Petryk on Sunday evening. “That’s the fewest we’ve had since we’ve been having bonspiels. We used to average 32 teams or more for 25 years. I don’t know what’s going on — but other places are having trouble, too.
“We had seven teams from Hope, one from Squamish, one from Langley and three from Chilliwack,” added Petryk.
The small number of teams meant the preliminary rounds were finished early and the finals could start by 11:30 on Sunday morning, giving everyone time to get ready for the Super Bowl.
In the C-final, Petryk’s team beat out Hope’s Don Wiens rink, leaving Wiens with no chance after a big seventh-end by Petryk’s foursome.
The B-event was all-Chilliwack, with Steve Baye’s four besting the Bobby Neid rink.
Ken Campbell, Tom DeSorcy, Lou Kraszlany and Dave Lane met the women’s team in the A-event, with Hope residents Deb McKinney and Rosalee Floyd joining Kelly Jones and Barb Kroeker of the Chilliwack Curling Club.
McKinney said, “Kelly and I play in a competitive league in Chilliwack that is mostly men.”
She said, from her experience, there is a difference in the way men and women approach the game.
“Men usually play a much more aggressive style, which makes us step our game up and try shots that we normally wouldn’t attempt. Men are also able to throw hits a lot harder and more accurate than women – so that makes us change our game strategy as well.
“We really appreciate the opportunity to play against men’s teams. They treated us very well,” said McKinney. “Hopefully they will let us come back next year to try and defend our title!”
Campbell said, “We definitely didn’t bring our A game — and they sure did. We held in for four or five ends… but we gave up after seven. They beat us last year, too, and knocked us into the C-event.
“We’ve got a score to settle with them, at some point!” added Campbell.
The club’s men’s and mixed nights will continue until the middle of March, said Petryk, who is also at the rink on Tuesday nights after 7 p.m. to offer free lessons for people interested in getting into the sport.
The mixed bonspiel runs on the Feb. 27 to March 1 weekend, with 10 teams already on the sign-up board, said Petryk.