The road to a provincial curling title often includes speedbumps, potholes and detours.
The Vernon reps hosting the Curl BC Junior event this week have already encountered their share, yet they both have solid 3-1 records after their first four games.
On Friday afternoon, the women’s rep encountered all three at once when third Jaelyn Cotter suffered a severe muscle spasm in her arm in the seventh end which required treatment, and some emergency potassium from a banana.
“Jay’s muscle started to spasm there just after that hard sweep at the end but she pushed through it,” confirmed Vernon team skip Megan McGillivray after the game.
It was an intense scene: Cotter immediately exited the ice into the coaching area where she was met by coach — and dad — Jim Cotter. She was in severe distress, sobbing and screaming from the intense pain. It was difficult not to react emotionally from the injury, but her team rallied thanks to their strong bond and previous work together.
Still, Cotter’s return to performing at a high level after a scare like that was impressive to behold. After giving up the steal in seven, they took one in eight, stole one in nine and took several without the last rock thrown in 10 for the 7-5 win.
“Having that break in the game and being able to go back and throw, and then she took a break from sweeping as well… We were able to get back to our pre-shot routines even though that was a bit of a distraction but you want to make sure she’s OK first,” McGillivray said.
“Obviously, she comes first, and then the game. We were able to have that little huddle after to make sure we got back on track and we were able to pull it out. She composed herself, and she was definitely hurting a little bit even after that first sweep after it spasmed but she just kept going with it.”
It’s a long week so being able to look after each other and knowing when one person might be feeling a little bit down or tired is critical, McGillivray said.
But their start in game one downing the reigning champs in Reese-Hansen was an important moment along the road.
“It was big, and we wanted to send a message. Even after our loss, coming out and winning the next game… we talked about how it shows a lot when you come out and win the game after in a bounce-back.”
The standings after six draws were:
The teams return to the ice at 2 p.m. today with Daniels and Reese-Hansen the marquee matchup.
McGillivray returns tonight at 7 p.m. to face Drexel.
On the men’s side, Vernon’s Erik Colwell took a 3-0 record into their game against Jackson Marshall from Duncan/Parksville in the 9 a.m. draw Saturday but their last-second magic ran out in a 6-5 loss in an extra end.
In their 2 p.m. game Friday, Colwell struggled mightily with draw weight but like in their first two games, they managed to battle through adversity and find a way to win.
“That was a battle, to say the least. I’ve never struggled so much with draw weight before in my life,” Colwell said after his 7-5 win over Duncan Silversides of Victoria/Vancouver.
“We really battled that game and didn’t play our best curling and to get wins like that when we’re not playing our best really feels good. We need to win those. We finished and we pulled it off, just barely.”
The standings after four games feature a three-way tie for first with the expected contenders emerging.
Tardi hits the ice at 2 p.m. today facing McCrady, while Colwell and Sato face off at 7 p.m. tonight.