Curlers punch ticket to provincials

Team Buchy wins qualifying berth into provincial tournament that determines representation at the Brier.

Kimberley curler Tom Buchy and his team punched their ticket to the provincial tournament this past weekend, winning one of two qualifiers at zone playdowns in Trail.

The Kimberley skip, along with fellow Kimberlite Dave Toffolo, and Fernie’s Darren Will and Dave Stephenson, out of Kelowna, won their berth in the final draw of the eight-team tournament on Sunday evening.

Team Buchy had a bit of a scare, losing one of the qualifying spots to Deane Hornig, who curls with the Trail Curling Club, after the foursome went through regulation without a loss, which automatically gave them a bye into a draw with a provincial berth on the line.

Despite Team Hornig stealing the moment, the Buchy team’s loss automatically gave them a berth into the second qualifying draw, where they faced Myron Nichol and his team representing the Castlegar Curling Club.

Buchy and his team doubled in the third and sixth ends on the road to a 7-2 victory over Team Nichol to clinch the second provincial qualifier.

Buchy cruised through the round-robin portion of the event, winning three draws to earn his place in the first qualifying match.

Another team of locals, skipped by Tom Shypitka, fell one draw shy of making it into the second qualifier draw, which would have pitted them against Buchy and his team.

Team Shypitka, represented by Tom Shypitka, Kimberlite Steve Tersmette and Josh Firman and Greg Terrill out of Creston, fell 9-7 to Team Nichol in the second-last draw that determined Buchy’s opponent in the second qualifier game.

Team Shypitka took the long road to the playoffs, with a 4-3 record over the weekend, however, they clawed their way back into contention before falling just shy against Team Nichol in the semi-final.