For the third time in as many seasons, Whitehorse curler Thomas Scoffin has led his team all the way to the final of a World Curling Tour event.
Team Scoffin reached the final game of WCT’s Original 16 at the Calgary Curling Club on Sunday in Alberta.
It was the rink’s fourth WTC event of the season, but the first in which they rink advanced past the round robin.
“We finally broke through this year,” said Scoffin, 21, the team’s skip. “We’ve struggled a little bit and we’ve obviously played against a lot of really high caliber teams. So this weekend we finally figured it out, got on a roll and it kind of worked out for us.”
Team Scoffin was denied their first WCT title with a 6-2 loss to Calgary’s Team Thomas, led by two-time junior world champion skip Charley Thomas.
Team Thomas scored three in the fourth and two in the fifth to secure the win in six ends.
“They played a really good game,” said Scoffin. “We played well as well, we just didn’t get our rocks in the right spots sometimes and they really capitalized on our mistakes. Charley, their skip, made an amazing shot for three in the fourth end that we didn’t even think was there.”
Team Scoffin, which includes third Evan Asmussen, second Jason Ginter and lead Andrew O’Dell, produced five straight wins to reach the final.
A couple were lopsided – 8-1 over Korea’s Team Kim to start and 7-1 over Alberta’s Team Lizmore in the semifinal – and two were close – 8-7 over Alberta’s Team MacAlpine in the round robin and 4-3 over Alberta’s Team Park in the quarterfinal. Scoffin also defeated Team Konschuh of Alberta 5-2 to finish the round robin.
“We did a good job at controlling the scoreboard and putting ourselves in a good position to win,” said Scoffin of the one-point wins. “All I had to do was draw to the four-foot for the win in both. Whenever I’m looking at an open draw to the four-foot I’m pretty happy.”
His performance over the weekend is no doubt a good confidence builder as Scoffin prepares to hit the sheets in the biggest event of his career this week.
Scoffin will play the second position for Alberta’s Team Bottcher at the Grand Slam of Curling event, The National, in Oshawa, Ont., beginning Wednesday.
“It’s obviously good to perform well right before a big event,” said Scoffin. “I’m feeling good about how I’m throwing so hopefully I can carry that momentum through to this week.”
The Edmonton-based Bottcher rink is currently ranked eighth in the world. Skip Brendan Bottcher won the junior nationals and junior worlds in 2012.
Scoffin will fill in for Bottcher second Bradley Thiessen who has committed to playing in a different event. Two years ago Scoffin played as alternate for Bottcher at the CIS championships.
Scoffn and the rest of Team Bottcher will begin the Grand Slam (which has a $100,000 purse) against Switzerland’s Team Michel on Nov. 11, Alberta’s Team Simmons and Ontario’s Team Jacobs on Nov. 12, and Sweden’s Team Edin on Nov. 13.
The bonspiel will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet.
Scoffin is currently in his fourth year at University of Alberta where he curls for the school’s Golden Bears team. Last March Scoffin and the Golden Bears claimed the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s curling title.
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