Jim Cotter tuned up for the $100,000 Canadian Open of Curling with a 6-5 comeback win over Mark Longworth’s Sladen-Moore in Baron Insurance Super League play Wednesday night at the Vernon Curling Club.
Cotter’s Woodland Equipment crew, with Aron Herrick taking a turn at skip, drew four-foot for a deuce in the final end to complete the comeback.
Tied 1-1 after two ends, Longworth (4-6), returning from injury to skip his first game of the year, made a great run-back double for a triple in the third end. He tuned up for the match by filling in as a spare for Jack Gilroy’s Thursday night bowling league team.
Woodland (6-3) replied with a deuce in four. The rinks swapped singles in the sixth and seventh ends.
Herrick, Sladen Moore’s Jamie Sexton, Canwest Propane’s Darren Heath and TJ Perepolkin will be skipping Vernon rinks at the men’s Okanagan playdowns this weekend at the Kelowna Curling Club. Up for grabs are two berths to provincials, Feb. 5-10, in Parksville.
In other Super League action Wednesday, the Heath family battle resumed, with son Darren shading mom Sherry 10-9.
Canwest, now 8-2, opened with a deuce in one, only to watch Sherry’s De Vine Vintners (1-9) pull ahead with a triple in two and quadruple steal in three. Darren kept pace with a triple in four, followed by a swap of singles in five, six and seven.
Down by three heading home, Canwest front enders John Slattery and Dave Harper dropped shots behind corner guards to get rocks in play. Facing four propane stones, Vintner fourth Sandra Jenkins was heavy with her final freeze attempt.
Robbi Kuhn’s North Enderby Timber made short work of Darrell (Heavy D) Houston’s Nufloors, needing just five ends to secure a 9-4 win.
Houston, slipping to 5-5, faced challenging shots at each end as Dave Poggemoeller, Doug Smith and Ryan Kuhn placed key rocks in good positions. Smith never missed a takeout and was named 5-5 NET’s game MVP.
Meanwhile, Cotter’s competition team of third Jason Gunnlaugson and front enders Ty Griffith and Rick Sawatsky begins Open play against Calgary’s Kevin Koe Wednesday (7 p.m.) at Prospera Place in Kelowna.
The Vernon club has organized a pair of buses (sponsored by Sportsnet) to the final round-robin draw on Friday, Dec. 14. Cotter will be in action against Toronto’s John Epping, with other big-name skips including Edmonton’s Kevin Martin, Winnipegers Mike McEwan and Jeff Stoughton and Ontario’s Glenn Howard.
The $15 ticket includes bus fare and game admission. Bus departs the Vernon club parking lot at 6:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. draw.
Contact club manager Dave Merklinger at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot.
The Open is one of the World Curling Tour’s Grand Slam events.