Whitehorse’s Thomas Scoffin was on the ice with some giants of curling and helped take one down last week.
The 21-year-old played second for Edmonton’s Team Bottcher at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event, The National, in Oshawa, Ont.
The rink was in a tough pool and faced some of the best in the world. The Bottcher team went 1-3 and did not advance to the playoffs.
“It was an amazing experience to get to go play in a field like that,” said Scoffin. “Obviously we were disappointed we didn’t get the results we wanted – it would have been nice to qualify – but we were in a pretty good pool and we played three really good games out of the four. Those games could have gone either way.
“At the end of the day it’s a little disappointing, but we’re happy with how we played, considering.”
The highlight for the rink, led by skip Brendan Bottcher, was a 6-3 win over Calgary’s Pat Simmons, the two-time defending Brier champ and 2015 world championship bronze medalist on Thursday.
Bottcher scored two in the seventh and the eighth for the win.
“It came right down to the wire,” said Scoffin. “We played a really good last couple of ends. We capitalized on a couple misses that they made and that was the difference.”
Team Bottcher, which is currently ranked eighth in World Curling Tour standings, opened with an 8-2 loss to Switzerland’s Sven Michel, the 2013 European champ, on Nov. 11.
Following their win, they lost 5-3 to Ontario’s Brad Jacobs, the 2014 Olympic gold medalist, on Thursday.
The Bottcher crew then went down 8-3 to Sweden’s Niklas Edin, a two-time world champ and three-time European champ, on Friday.
“It’s the best field in the world, so there’s not a lot of room for error and you really notice it. Even when teams miss, their misses aren’t as bad – they still get something out of every shot,” said Scoffin, who was filling in for Bottcher second Bradley Thiessen. “If you miss a full shot you fall behind pretty quick, is something that I noticed.”
Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue defeated Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers 7-2 in the final on Sunday.
“I had a ton of fun being able to compete and perform well at my first Grand Slam,” said Scoffin. “It gives me lots of motivation to get back there one day and compete again against those guys.”
The previous weekend Scoffin led his regular team 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 in Alberta.
It was Scoffin’s third career appearance in a WCT final, but he is still looking for his first win.
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