Having no expectations served Jared St. John’s rink well during the B.C. curling mixed zone 3,4 and 7 playdowns as they defeated Chris Jones 7-4 and 9-4.
“We didn’t go in with any expectations because we hadn’t curled together at all,” he said. “We were just going in to have fun and see what happens.”
Held at the Penticton Curling Club over the weekend, Jones’ rink needed just one win to earn a trip to Prince Rupert for provincials on March 14, while St. John needed two. After coming from behind against the Brent Yamada rink, St. John’s carried its momentum into Sunday.
“We had a tough game the first game of the draw then got better and better,” said St. John, who went 1-1 on Saturday. “We were curling good the last day.”
St. John, who will now have to make a 19-hour journey to Prince Rupert, said the difference was that his team simply got hot.
Feeling good about their zone win, St. John’s rink now has confidence in what they can do in provincials. With eight teams competing, he feels anybody can win.
“If you curl well, you have a good chance at winning,” said St. John confidently. “I don’t expect teams to be that much better than what we played here.”
And Jones feels confident about the rink representing Penticton.
“St. John played fantastic,” said Jones, the icemaker for the Penticton Curling Club. “They had us running from the first end in both games. They have a very strong team.”
The only disappointment that Jones holds is that they only needed the one win to advance. However, he realizes his team didn’t play well enough. Jones said St. John was so strong in their positional play resulting in his rink being outplayed.
“When they missed, we didn’t capitalize,” he said. “There were two critical ends to me. In game one, I gave them four, that hurt. In the second game, in the eighth end, if I would have made my shot, we could have been down by just one. We could have continued on.”
With both skips being as familiar with each other as they were, Jones said it made it more fun. St. John’s rink has his wife Melissa, Kim Dixon and Sharon Verrier, while Jones had his wife, Lise Dixon and Cy Gladish. Jones added the teams were intermixed as Lise is the mother of Kim Dixon and skips for Jones’ wife on a ladies team. Cy Gladish curls with St. John in the men’s team. Jones has curled with St. John in previous bonspiels.