Skip Tyler Tardi, who recently won his third Canadian Juniors title in a row, watches his rock during his team’s Draw 5 game against Team Montgomery. Montgomery won the game 7-4. Lindsay Chung photo

Wark, Brown, Gushulak, Cotter, Montgomery win Draw 5 games

Cotter and Montgomery will face each other Thursday at 9 a.m. in Quesnel to determine A qualifier

Lindsay Chung

Observer Reporter

Victoria’s Team Montgomery and Team Cotter from Vernon and Kelowna will face each other Thursday morning (Jan. 31) at 9 a.m. to determine the A qualifier in the B.C. Men’s Curling Championship after winning their Draw 5 games this afternoon.

Team Montgomery defeated Team Tardi from Langley and Victoria, who recently won the New Holland Canadian Juniors, 7-4 this afternoon (Jan. 30) in Draw 5. After falling behind 1-0 in the first end, Team Montgomery led for the rest of the game to earn the victory.

Cotter’s team beat Team Joanisse from Golden Ears, Royal City and Victoria 4-2 in Draw 5. Cotter’s team took a 1-0 lead in the second end and never looked back.

Skip Jim Cotter feels good about the win over Joanisse.

“It’s still early in the event so we’re just getting used to the ice and learning as much as we can, and so far, so good,” he said immediately following the game.

Cotter feels his team is playing well so far.

“So far, our first game, we played really extremely well, and that game, we learned some stuff about the rocks, and there were a couple boulders out there and we missed some shots, but we learned from that, and as long as you keep learning, that’s the main thing,” he said.

Cotter has been impressed with the ice at the West Fraser Centre so far.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s great to be playing in an arena with Mike, Little Merk, [ice technician Mike Merklinger], it’s going to be awesome. It’s great, a great atmosphere. So far, so good.

“He does a great job. I’d say he’s one of the best ice makers in the world for sure, and he should one day be able to do all the big events — he should be doing them now.”

Looking ahead, Cotter feels he, third Steve Laycock, second Tyrel Griffith and lead Rick Sawatsky will need to focus on strong communication.

“For us, it’s just keeping our communication going, learning, just communicating, learning about the different spots, and when we do miss, making sure we learn why,” he said. “It’s a long week, and it’s just about improving every single day.”

In the Scotties B.C. Women’s Curling Championship, Abbotsford’s Team Wark moved to 3-0 with a 9-7 win over Team Van Osch from Parksville, Nanaimo and Vancouver in a close game that saw Team Van Osch come back from a 6-2 deficit to get within one point in the sixth end. Team Wark scored one in the eighth, Team Van Osch responded with one in the ninth, and then Team Wark pulled ahead with two points in the 10th to secure the win.

Skip Sarah Wark feels really good about her team’s win over the defending provincial champions.

“We’re putting together a lot of good ends, we’re working on putting together a good complete game, and we’re learning lots every time we go out there,” she said right after the game. “We’re seeing a lot of nice throws, learning about the ice and still managing to pull out the Ws even if we struggle a little bit.”

Wark feels good about the team dynamic between herself, third Kristen Pilote, second Carley Sandwith, lead Michelle Dunn and fifth Jen Rusnell, who filled in for Dunn in the game against Team Van Osch.

“I think we’re working really well together as a team,” she said. “There’s a lot of communication going on, and when we make a mistake, we’re doing a lot of learning from it. We’re doing a lot of learning. We’re learning a lot about the ice and sharing a lot of information with each other, so the teamwork, the team dynamic, out there is really good.”

Wark is also a big fan of the arena ice here in Quesnel.

“The ice has been fantastic,” she said. “We’re getting super spoiled this week with the arena ice, the venue, the people in Quesnel and all the organizers, they’ve done a really great job, and we’re really getting spoiled. I know the ice makers have put a lot of work into this week, and I want to give them a big high five.”

Wark says being 3-0 “feels good,” but she knows there is still work to do this week.

“It still feels like we’ve had some struggles, so we are super thankful to be 3-0 right now, but we do have a lot of work to do in order to get where we need to be by the end of the week,” she said. “The field of ladies that is here this year is really, really good. Every game has been really close, and we’ve got a lot of tough teams to play this week, so we really have to buckle up and push hard through the rest of the week.”

Royal City’s Team Gushulak beat Team Thompson of Kamloops 11-6 for its first win of the competition.

Team Brown from Kamloops edged out Team Slattery from Vernon 6-5 in the other game, despite Team Slattery scoring one point in each of the ninth and 10th ends to put the victory in doubt.

READ MORE: 2019 B.C. Men’s and Women’s Curling Championship: Draw 4 highlights

READ MORE: Mike Merklinger will turn Quesnel’s West Fraser Centre into a curling rink

Lindsay Chung
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Skip Brad Cotter’s team beat Team Joanisse 4-2 Jan. 30 in Draw 5. Lindsay Chung photo

Third Kristen Pilote throws a rock as she helps Team Wark to a 9-7 win over Team Van Osch during the fifth draw on Jan. 30. Lindsay Chung photo

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