With only six points separating the top half of the field of 26 rinks, curlers in Canadian Tire Sportsman’s Bonspiel once again had to made every end count.
But that’s exactly how the spiel, held at the Whitehorse Curling Club over the weekend, is designed to be.
For the third year in a row, organizers utilized two methods to keep the rankings tight. Not only were rinks split into divisions with similar skill levels, providing more opportunities for wins and preventing lopsided scores, points won in matches were not calculated into ranking points. Instead, rinks were awarded two points for each end they won and one point for each they lost.
“So the actual amount of points scored by the rocks doesn’t matter – that’s to prevent blowouts,” said bonspiel organizer Bernie Adilman. “We put the teams in four different divisions, trying to get them as even as possible.
“So you can win the bonspiel from any division, it’s just all points.
“We’ve done it the last two years here.”
Team Menzies, headed by skip Mike Menzies, won the bonspiel overtaking second-place Team Luciuk in its final match. It finished with 51 points, one more than Luciuk.
Team Luciuk tied Lee Malanchuk’s rink, Team Malanchuk, with 50 points, but the tie was broken before it was reached. Skips of every participating team threw one rock in a closest-to-the-button skills contest at the start of the spiel to break ties at the end.
Taking fourth was Team Scoffin, headed by Whitehorse’s Thomas Scoffin.
At the end of January, Scoffin competed at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec with his regular rink, finishing with a 5-7 record. However, the rink he competed with at the sportsman’s bonspiel is the rink he will be taking to the Arctic Winter Games, which include Caleb Lane, his brother Andrew Scoffin and Mitchell Young, who curls on both Scoffin rinks.
The next big event at the Whitehorse Curling Club will be the 58th Annual International Bonspiel March 25-28 featuring men’s and women’s teams from throughout the territory, Alaska and possibly BC and the Prairies.
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