The 2022 B.C. Junior (U21) Curling Championships which kicked off Wednesday morning at the Comox Valley Curling Club have reached the playoff matches.
The tournament consists of 10 girls teams and six boys teams. Local favourites include Team Richards, who earlier in the year won the U18 girls provincial championships, and the Parkinson rink that was runner-up in the boys division at U18s.
Skip Chris Parkinson and lead Graham Lee are both members of the CVCC. Their teammates are Jackson Nowak (third) of Qualicum and Christian Klein-Beekman of Parksville (second). The team won their Wednesday opener against the Kopytko rink of Kamloops, but lost to Team Deane and Team Fenton, both of Royal City in New Westminster, Team Deng (Royal City, Nanaimo and Kamloops) and Team Kent (Royal City, Port Moody).
Team Richards consists of skip Gracelyn Richards, Keelie Duncan (third) — both members of the CVCC — Grace McCusker (second) of North Vancouver and Duncan’s Carley Hardie (lead). The girls lost Wednesday to Team Bowles — whose members are from Tunnel Town in Tsawwassen, Royal City and Delta Thistle in Delta — but rebounded that evening to beat Team Woike of Duncan. Thursday morning they beat Team Wilson of Victoria and Salmon Arm, but lost their afternoon game to the Buchy rink (Kelowna, Victoria, Royal City and Kimberley).
Richards rebounded Friday with an 11-4 win over Team Brissette of Chilliwack/Victoria, and a 10-0 sweep over Royal City’s Team Wong.
Richards and company then beat the Buchy rink 8-7 in a Saturday playoff.
“The tension in the Extra End Lounge was palpable as Gracelyn made the shot of the tournament with a ridiculously tough draw in the ninth to stay in the game, and then see Buchy roll out in the tenth tied up,” the CVCC website says. “Richards steals the win in a crazy back and forth battle.”
Their next opponent was Team Bowles, who lost 6-5 to the Hafeli rink of Kamloops in the other Saturday playoff. Richards prevailed 11-5 to reach the final against the undefeated Hafeli. The game begins at 2 p.m.
In the boys final Sunday morning, the Deane rink defeated Team Fenton 7-5 to remained undefeated for the entire tournament. Fenton had beaten Team Kent 8-7 Saturday to reach the final.
Fans are allowed at the CVCC. Up to 80 people will be allowed in the lounge. Attendance is free or by donation.