George Hilderman will take a new team to the Canadian Senior Curling Championships next month in Yellowknife, N.W.T.
The Whitehorse skip and his team of third Doug Gee, second Doug Hamilton and lead Dale Enzenauer earned the spot at nationals with a pair of wins at the Yukon Senior Curling Championships last Saturday at the Whitehorse Curling Club.
Next month will be Hilderman’s fifth time at the national championship. His rink defeated Whitehorse’s Team Zealand – skip Gord Zealand, third Herb Balsam, second Bob Walker and lead Clarence Jack – for the spot.
“It was hard fought games and my hat’s off to the opposition, they are true gentlemen of the sport,” said Hilderman.
Team Hilderman produced two straight wins in a best-of-three championship between the two teams entered.
The Hilderman rink won 9-5 in the morning, scoring three in the ninth end to force the handshake. It was closer in the afternoon with Zealand drawing to the button to force an extra end before falling 6-5 in the 11th.
Yellowknife will represent the first time the four compete together at the senior nationals, but they are nonetheless an experienced squad.
Gee, who is in his first season as a senior, has competed at two Brier championships in the past.
Enzenauer is going to his third senior nationals with Hilderman. He was on Ray Mikkelsen’s Yukon team at last year’s senior nationals, but didn’t advance past the relegation rounds.
Hamilton, who curled with Hilderman last year, also played for Pat Paslawski’s team this season, winning the Yukon Men’s Curling Championships in January.
Hilderman competed at the senior nationals in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He had his best results in his first three appearances with three wins in each, but was held to one win in 2012 in Abbotsford, B.C.
“I’m hoping to get better this time around,” said Hilderman. “I’m looking for more wins, that’s for sure.”
Team Hilderman will need to advance past relegation rounds to reach the main draw at the senior nationals. They will face Northern Ontario, Nunavut and Newfoundland, with the two top teams advancing into the main draw.
“Our first game will be against Northern Ontario and it’s going to be a tough opposition,” said Hilderman. “I understand Robbie Gordon, a Brier representative, is representing Northern Ontario for the seniors this year.”
The relegation rounds will take place March 20-21 followed by the main draw March 22-30.
The Yukon Senior Women’s Championship was supposed to have taken place this past weekend as well but was scrubbed due to a lack of entries.
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