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Hilderman gets the big cheque at cashspiel

Team Hilderman took in the gravy on Sunday. The Whitehorse rink took first to pocket a cheque for $1,800 at the Polar Eyes Cashspiel at the Whitehorse Curling Club on Sunday.

Team Hilderman took in the gravy on Sunday.

The Whitehorse rink took first to pocket a cheque for $1,800 at the Polar Eyes Cashspiel at the Whitehorse Curling Club on Sunday.

“This is my seniors team - we’re all over 50 - and we threw this team together this year to take a run at nationals,” said skip George Hilderman. “We’re into December now and, believe it or not, as a team we’ve only played two games because of work commitments and I was on vacation for two weeks.

“This was a good tune-up for us. I felt really good about it. What I was looking for was consistency in the team and we found it.”

Team Hilderman, which includes third Doug Gee, second Doug Hamilton and lead Dale Enzenauer, captured the coinage with an 8-7 win over Team Smallwood in the final. Hilderman jumped out to a two-point lead after scoring four in the seventh end. Smallwood scored one in the final end, needing two to push the extra.

“We just tried to get a lot of rocks in play and we were looking for a mistake,” said Hilderman. “The opposing skip there was throwing a guard and it just over curled a little and it gave me an open hit for my four.

“It didn’t react like it should. It was a good break for us.”

“The game was good, everyone threw great,” said Smallwood skip Scott Odian. “We just didn’t get enough points in the end.

“We had a bit of misfortune there (in the seventh), but that’s just the way curling goes sometimes.”

The Smallwood rink, which won $1,300 in the weekend spiel, lost their skip Bob Smallwood to a business trip to Arizona shortly before the final.

So the remaining members brought in Ladene Shaw for the last game, taking over third as Odian moved to skip. Also on board was second Jody Smallwood and lead Tamar Vandenberghe.

Odian, who is from Atlin, and Bob curled together at the junior nationals and the Brier two decades ago.

Both finalist teams contained a player who helped make Yukon curling history recently.

Hamilton curled on Team Paskawski and Shaw on Team Baldwin as both Whitehorse teams became the first from the territory to reach the semifinal of the Dominion Curling Club Championships last month.

The Smallwoods and Vandenberghe competed with Adam Pleasant at the 2014 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship in Ottawa last month. The Yukon rink opened the double-elimination pre-qualifier with a 6-4 win over Nunavut, but losses to Newfoundland and N.W.T. eliminated the rink from the championships.

The Willingham team of skip Walter Wallingham, lead Ed Kormendy, second Wayne Braga and third Nelson Lepine, placed third on Sunday and grabbed $700.

B Pool winners, Team Mikkelsen with skip Ray Mikkelsen, third Dustin Mikkelsen, second Scott Williamson and lead Darrin Fredrickson, also pocketed $700.

George Hilderman will attempt to qualify for his fifth Canadian championships with the Yukon Senior Curling Championships at the end of February at the Whitehorse Curling Club.

“It was a very well run tournament,” said Hilderman of the cashspiel. “We have a new sponsor with Polar Eyes (Optometry with owner) David Rach - hats off to him because we have to keep these bonspiels going. We need this experience if we’re going to be more competitive in playdowns.”

Contact Tom Patrick at