No breaks for curling team

Penticton rink endures tough breaks and personal adversity during Dominion Curling Club Championship

Blaine Black

Things didn’t go as hoped for Blaine Black’s Penticton rink during the Dominion Curling Club Championship.

Black’s team with Doug McCrae, Kim Dixon and Shaun Everest finished the championship with two wins in six games in Thunder Bay.

Black said they could only afford to lose one in their pool that featured Alberta, which defeated Saskatchewan 5-2 for the championship, Yukon, New Brunswick, Northern Ontario and Manitoba. Their final game was an 8-5 loss to Northern Ontario on Nov. 21.

Against the eventual champs, Black’s team was locked in a 4-4 tie in the seventh end. Black unsuccessfully tried to make a play to only give Alberta one point. Instead, they collected three from an easy draw.

“There was just no coming back from three under with those guys,” said Black of their first loss. “Then it kind of slid down hill a bit.”

Their second loss came against the Yukon, 8-2 in seven ends. Black said the Dominion Curling Club Championship had top notch players, some who have competed in the Brier. Black also found the ice in the Fort William Curling Club to be fast, a few seconds quicker than the Penticton Curling Club.

“It was tough to put the broom in the right spot,” he added.

Members of Blacks team also faced adversity with family illnesses.

Despite not getting the results they hoped for, Black said it was an awesome experience in Thunder Bay.

“They treat you like curling royalty, that’s for sure,” said Black. “You just can’t say enough about the host committee.”

Black said he would like to try to return but will have to talk to his teammates about it. He’s unsure what the team will look like as it takes a lot of commitment.

Black’s team advanced to the Dominion Curling Club Championship when they won the Pacific International Cup last April in Richmond. The won by defeating a Washington team 6-4.

“It was pretty amazing for us to win B.C. and then to win the international side is a huge bonus,” said Black at the time. “The calibre of curling is very good. A lot of these guys have been to the Brier in the past.”

To advance to the PIC, Black’s rink won their club, then the region.