Both local teams competing in the B.C. junior curling provincials here in Vernon are in control of their own destiny heading into the last day of round-robin play Sunday.
For Megan McGillivary and her team of third Jaelyn Cotter, second Katelyn McGillivray and lead Cassidy Schwaerzle, the path looks to be lined with gold after their extra-end, last-shot 5-4 win Saturday night against Heather Drexel from Delta.
McGillivray managed to make the clutch come around rub/draw to the button papering guards on her way to paydirt.
“I think it’s one of those that’s a real team shot, lots of communication, especially when it’s so precise,” an emotional McGillivray said seconds after making the highlight-reel throw.
“I still can’t even believe that it ended up there. That’s exactly how we called it.”
It was a see-saw affair that had steals in six and seven by McGillivray and nine and 10 by Drexel.
“I think it was just, after a long day, it was good to be able to come back, especially with a shot like that. It was a close game, and we’re going to have close games from here on out. All of the women’s teams here are at a very close level, so you can’t get too high and you’ve got to stay level-headed and just play your game,” McGillivray said.
The skip and her charges have little time to celebrate, as they are back at it at 9 a.m. Sunday morning against the 3-2 Jensen Taylor team from Royal City/Tunnel Town. Their final round-robin game is against the 5-1 Sarah Daniels squad from Delta. For McGillivray, it’s about staying true to the singular focus.
“You can never get away from yourself so you’ve got to make sure you’re playing your best,” she said.
You can often tell a lot about a game’s progress by the body language of the players during the fifth-end break.
Vernon men’s team meeting was very subdued after skip Erik Colwell scored his first point of the game, as he sailed his last draw attempt through the house leaving a single counter, making it 4-1 for the opposition.
He whapped his broom on one of the steel supports next to the sheet after the miscue, showing the high frustration level. He said after the game that he couldn’t get his mind back to centre after that miss.
“I was pretty upset with myself. I gave away a free draw for two, and it was tough to reset. I don’t think I fully recovered. It was probably one of my worst games, I really struggled that game,” Colwell said.
There was too much to overcome after a tough first five, and Hayato Sato and his Royal City team cruised to an 8-6 win in 10 ends. Sato moved to 4-1 and within reach of the 5-1 Team Tardi from Langley/Victoria.
“They play really well when they are up. They are really hard to beat when they are up because they don’t really make mistakes so it’s tough to come back against them. They’re a really smart team,” Colwell said of Sato.
“In eight, when we stole two, that was really big. I just overcurled on an open hit in nine and that gave them two and that kind of put the game out of reach. We were just trying to blank nine but it just couldn’t come to fruition.”
Colwell placed the blame for the loss squarely at his own feet and tipped his cap to the opposition for a well-played game.
“We were confident coming into the game and we’ve been playing really well. My team played well tonight, I just couldn’t capitalize on some of the ends and that was the difference. Hayato played really well.”
Heading into the final two games of round-robin play, Colwell knows what lies ahead.
“We control our own destiny. If we win both tomorrow we’re in the playoffs and that’s just what we’re focused on. Hopefully, we come out playing well tomorrow,” he said.
Colwell will face the 2-4 Yamada squad at 9 a.m. and finish against the 3-2 Umbach team at 2 p.m.
The standings heading into Sunday:
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