Lori Seemann from Team Anderson delivers a rock as the Kelowna team won back-to-back games to get back in contention.

Senior curling provincials setting up for exciting finish

Standings tight as Senior curling teams push for provincial playoffs

Everything got a little tighter in the standings but left the playoff-picture wide open, heading into Friday’s matches at the 2019 Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling championship.

Following Draws 4 on Thursday morning, only one of the 16 men’s and women’s teams remained undefeated.

Penticton’s Marilou Richter foursome of Dawn Everest, Cindy Curtain, and Deirdre Riley continued their solid play beating Chilliwack’s Lisa Deputan team 7-1 in Draw 3, then outlasted Team Leslie Shearer 6-5 to go to 4-0.

“It (momentum) is huge,” said Richter. “And understanding the ice is as well. The ice has been fantastic, but it always takes a couple games to see all the tracks, and the weight, and everything. The girls are really picking up on it so kudos to the ice makers.”

After a tough 6-4 loss to Team Karen Anderson from Kelowna, the Castlegar/Trail team skipped by Heather Nichol, with Marnie Matthews, Lee Bedard and Joyce Maloff, exploded against Team Joy Romeo from Cranbrook. Nichol scored two in the first end then stole six in the second on their way to a 13-1 victory and their first win.

“We really started to meld together today, in terms of throwing the right weight, being able to adjust to the weight and the ice conditions and everybody hitting the stick, and the line call was happening,” said Nichol. “I think for the other team, it was just a matter of a half-an-inch. We came out on the upside of it and the girls in front of me just threw remarkably, so it made my job pretty easy.”

Deputan bounced back Thursday with a 6-5 win over Quesnel’s Brenda Ernst rink to go to 3-1 and sole possession of second place.While Anderson beat Cowan 7-4 in Draw 4 putting both teams at 2-2 and tied with Shearer for third place. Ernst, Nichol, and Romeo are at 1-3 and still in the mix heading into the final three games of the round robin.

The Men’s standings have four teams, Wes Craig, Craig Lepine, Doug Marshall, and Steve Wright, at 3-1, with the Kootenay teams of Bill van Yzerloo and Tom Buchy at 2-2, but still with a chance to squeeze into the top three and make playoffs.

The Kimberley team skipped by Buchy, with Trail’s Rob Ferguson as third, Dave Toffolo second, and Darren Will lead, crept back up the standings with two big wins over Koffski, 7-2, and Macdonald, 8-5.

“We changed our strategy a little bit,” Ferguson told The Times following their Draw 4 win. “We played a bit too defensive the first two games. We didn’t play badly but we just had two opportunities there in the first and second games where we easily could have won. We could be 4-0 right now.”

Team Buchy has a difficult road the rest of the way, with games against Teams Craig, Marshall, and Lepine in the final three draws, but as the Senior provincials has shown, momentum can take you a long way.

“We control our own destiny,” added Ferguson. “So all we have to do is keep focused and win a few more games. Just take it one at a time and play the way we’re playing and we’ll be fine.”

Team Bill van Yzerloo plays Marshall, Craig and Koffski to complete the round robin and will need to win out after losing to Wright 7-6 in an extra end.

The Doug Marshall rink fell from the ranks of the undefeated in a 5-3 loss to Team Wes Craig, while Lepine rebounded from a loss to Marshall for wins over Macdonald and Koffski.

The top-three teams advance to the playoffs, so the final draw on Friday at 2 p.m. looms large with van Yzerloo playing Koffski, Marshall versus Macdonald, Wright taking on Craig, and Buchy facing the defending champion Lepine.

See scoreboard for standings, schedule and results.

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Trail’s Rob Ferguson kicks out of the hack in Team Buchy’s victory on Wednesday.

Team Wright’s top two sweepers finish a rock hard in an extra-end win over Team Bill van Yzerloo.

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