By Sean Rooney on February 8, 2018.
Was there a bit of money at stake? Sure.
Did the host team want to repeat as champions? Absolutely.
Did they let up a bit when presented with an opening? Not a chance.
But in the final of the Gas City Senior Bonspiel, tensions weren’t high and even the losers were full of smiles despite being on the wrong side of a 9-1 score.
“The boys in the final that we played against were pretty tough, a nice rink,” said Battleford, Sask. skip Garry Flichel. “We’re here for some friendly competition.”
Fichel’s last shot in the sixth end crashed out front, giving Medicine Hat’s Lloyd Robinson and crew a steal of three and the 9-1 win. Robinson won the bonspiel last year too, and was second each of the two years before that.
“We’ve had good luck at it,” said Robinson, who had Terry DeValter throwing skip stones and Kraig Kohls and Kenny Bachmeier on board as well. “The guys come out and they curl well for us. You put the broom down and it’s right there.”
The skips chatted with each other throughout, emblematic of the light, casual atmosphere of the bonspiel. All told there were six winners in Wednesday’s final draw, from the masters division (where all players had to be at least 65 years young) right through to the E event of the main draw.
Robinson’s team made “two freeze draws and a hit and roll” to score four in the fifth end and set up the early handshakes. No doubt some home-ice knowledge helped.
“We get to know the rocks as well,” noted Robinson. “We thought we knew them really well but when the Scotties (Alberta women’s provincials) was in they dusted them up a bit, we had to re-learn some of these rocks.”
Flichel’s all-Saskatchewan side including third Dwain Finlay, second Barry Flichel and lead Rick Pervical was at the Gas City spiel for the first time and figure they might be back again, despite the rough finish on the scoreboard.
“We plan on it,” he said of a repeat next year.
He paused and laughed for dramatic effect.
“Except for the last game; we don’t really want to curl those guys again.”
In the B event the team of Ray Aman, Dave Panabaker, Don Knutson and Gary Mauch got by Jackie Schell’s team of Sheila Rumberg, Vivan Moch and Lorraine Hilgendorf 10-6. Harvey Moch’s team including son Leon, Ed and Ron Gertner won the C event 7-1 over Dale Wood’s team. In D, Bing Sulz (with Wayne Baum, Dale Drefs and Cal Hauserman) won 8-3 over Garth Seitz’s foursome. And in the E, Dee Cowan (with Bonnie Isberg, Arlene Seitz and Janet Macgregor) won over Carol Eisenbarth’s squad.
The masters division final saw Doug Uyesugi’s team of Harry Noel, Don Grasley and Ken Beierbach win 10-5 over the Vern Herter team. John Elton, Stan Aberle, Helen Aberle and Jim Noon combined for the consolation win, 10-2 over Bob Eisenbarth.
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