Two men’s teams book tickets to belairdirect championship

Two BC men’s curling teams have booked their ticket to the 2017 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship.

Team Joanisse from Golden Ears Winter Club in Maple Ridge and Team Geall from Kelowna Curling Club have earned their berths by collecting CTRS (Canadian Team Ranking System) points.

The two teams were the top two BC men’s teams (after Team Cotter/Morris, who have a guaranteed berth because they are the defending BC champions) on the nation-wide CTRS list. The last weekend to collect points towards the berths has just passed.

Team Joanisse features Abbotsford-based skip Dean Joanisse, who is the manager of the Golden Ears Winter Club in Maple Ridge. He is joined by third Paul Cseke, of Victoria, second Jay Wakefield and lead John Cullen, who both live in Vancouver. The team won provincial silver in 2015 and provincial bronze in 2016.

Team Geall features Abbotsford-based Sean Geall as skip, with the Kelowna trio of Jeff Richard, second Brendan Willis and lead David Harper. Geall, a sales manager with a commercial truck equipment company, won provincial silver in 2016 with a different team.

The 2017 belairdriect BC Men’s Curling Championship, which will take place at Abbotsford Curling Club from February 8-12, 2017, will showcase 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.

A total of four games from the event will be televised on Shaw TV on February 11 and 12.

The winning team will represent British Columbia at the Tim Hortons Brier in St John’s, Newfoundland, from March 4-12.

The 12 teams will play a modified triple knockout with a four-team page playoff.

Defending champions, Team Cotter, will be joined by 2010 Olympic gold medallist John Morris (Canmore, Alberta) at the Abbotsford event. Morris replaced Ryan Kuhn, who did not rejoin Team Cotter this season. Morris will be calling the shots while Jim Cotter (Vernon) will throw last rocks. The team also features the Kelowna duo of Tyrel Griffith at second and Rick Sawatsky at lead.

The final nine berths will go to winners of four regional playdowns and one open playdown. The regional playdowns will take place in Trail, Enderby, Victoria and Maple Ridge from Dec. 9-11. The open event will be held at Cloverdale Curling Club in Surrey from January 6-8.

To follow the scores, and to see the teams taking part in the upcoming playdowns please visit http://playdowns.curlbc.ca over the coming days.