Team Habkirk sweeps way to bronze medal
Team Habkirk wowed fans during round-robin play at the junior men’s provincial curling championships in Coquitlam but came up short in a crucial playoff match.
The misstep occurred in the first playoff draw of the tournament, when Team Habkirk, skipped by Kyle Habkirk, with Nicholas Umbach as the third, Ryan Harbrink as the second and Kento Sato as the lead, lost 7-3 to the lower seeded Team Tardi.
The Tardi rink lost in the finals to Team Klymchuk of Langley, who went a perfect 7-0 at the tournament.
Habkirk’s crew, the only Tri-City team at the tournament for curlers 20 years old and younger at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex last weekend, had to settle for a bronze medal.
In the semifinal matchup, the rink fell behind early, surrendering a point in the opening end before tying things up in the second end.
But Team Tardi added three in the third end and two more in the fourth to pull away from Habkirk, who only managed to score in the fifth and eighth. At the end of the draw, the Coquitlam club was down 7-3.
Team Tardi did not have a strong draw in the final against Langley’s Klymhuck rink, which scored four in the second end and did not look back, prevailing 9-4 to win the gold medal.
Skip Tyler Klymchuk said the championship rewarded a rink that had worked hard in the months leading up to the tournament. The team separates its time between Langley, where most of the players live, and Victoria, where coach Todd Troyer resides.
“That is definitely one of the goals that we set for ourselves at the start of the year,” Klymhuck said. “We have put in a lot of hard work, a lot of ferry trips, and it definitely feels good to win.”
But there is more travel in the Klymchuk rink’s future.
With Sunday’s victory the team will travel to Fort McMurray, Alta., next month, where they will take part in the junior national curling championship, which will be held Feb. 2 to Feb. 10.
“We will keep doing our practices, tweaking a few things, making minor adjustments and just make sure we are ready to go when February rolls around,” Klymchuk said.
This will be the second time he has represented B.C. at the junior nationals, having also attended in 2010 with a different rink. They went 6-6 that year to finish in the middle of the pack.
-with files from Gary Ahuja
WOMEN'S SIDE SEES BROWN TAKE GOLD
Curling skip Kalia Van Osch was a perfect 7-0 in round-robin play of the junior women’s championship at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex last week but came up short in the playoffs.
The club lost the finals to Team Brown, skipped by Corryn Brown, third Erin Pincott, second Samanta Fisher and lead Sydney Fraser, all 17, in the finals of the 20 and under tournament.
“This is high above all our other juvenile wins, for sure,” said Brown after the tournament. “It’s a totally different feeling because we’re so much younger than these girls.”
Their ever-growing resume is impressive, to say the least.
Included on the list of accomplishments, along with the junior title, are gold at the Canada Winter Games in 2011, gold at the Optimist International under-18 bonspiel in Toronto in April and three provincial juvenile titles, from 2010 to 2012. Brown also won bronze for Canada at the Youth Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, in February.
-with files from Marty Hastings