Final four contenders chase BC curling’s purple hearts

The final four teams in the 2017 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship, Presented by Fountain Tire, will battle for a coveted purple heart this weekend in Abbotsford.

On the hunt for a bye to the final in today’s page 1 vs 2 playoffs will be Team Morris and Team Joanisse.

Victoria’s Team Jackson and Team McArdle round out the contenders who will compete today.

The 2017 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship started on Wednesday at Abbotsford Curling Club and runs until tomorrow (Sunday, February 12).

This event showcased the top 12 men’s teams from across the province and will decide the BC team that will go on to compete at the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier.

Team Morris, with six-time BC champion Jim Cotter from Vernon throwing last rocks and John Morris from Alberta calling the shots, remain undefeated, capturing the A Event qualification spot.

The team, which also includes Kelowna’s Tyrel Griffith (four-time BC Men’s champion) and Rick Sawatsky (six-time BC Men’s champion, outscored their opponents 26-8 in the three draws they competed in.

Team Joanisse, meanwhile, captured the B Event spot on Friday afternoon, after a close-fought affair with the reigning Canadian junior men’s champions, Team Tardi. A deuce in the fourth end helped the team on the way to a 5-4 win.

Dean Joanisse, who hails from Abbotsford, but who represents the Golden Ears Winter Club, is a former Canadian Junior Champion (1989) and skipped two BC men’s teams who went to the Brier (2001 and 2007). His team is rounded out by Paul Cseke, Jay Wakefield and John Cullen. Cullen, a Vancouver-based comedian, is the author of Magical Question Fun Time for Curling Canada.

The Morris vs Joanisse match-up, today at 2pm, will give the winner a bye to the final tomorrow at 4pm.

The other playoff teams are rinks with mainly Victoria curlers. They face off at 7pm for a chance to play in tomorrow’s semis against the team that loses this afternoon’s page 1 vs 2 draw.

Team Jackson, skipped by Glen Jackson, features Andrew Komlodi, Corey Chester and Joel Cave, all from Victoria. A deuce in the first end of this afternoon’s game against Kimberley’s Tom Buchy rink helped them on the way to a 4-2 win, giving them the chance to face Team Moss in the C event qualifier. They dispatched Team Moss, of Richmond, 7-3 after seven ends, landing them a chance to compete for the purple hearts.

Team McArdle, with Port Coquitlam’s Ken McArdle skipping a team of Victoria curlers, got the second C Event spot.

The team, rounded out by third Denis Sutton, second Darren Boden, lead Glen Allen and fifth Neil Dangerfield, defeated 2013 BC Men’s champion Andrew Bilesky, 2016 BC Mixed Champion Wes Craig and 2017 Canadian Junior Champion Tyler Tardi on the way to the playoffs.

Curling fans are welcome to watch the action at the club. The games are also televised on Shaw TV and YouTube. Visit https://www.curlbc.ca/communications/tv-schedules/ for more information.

Visit http://belairdirectmens2017.curlbc.ca/teams/ for a complete team roster, including home towns of all the curlers.