Scoffin kicks off new season with bonspiel win in Calgary

Whitehorse curler Thomas Scoffin has a busy season on the sheets ahead. The 20-year-old is skip for not one, but two teams from the University of Alberta where he is in his third year of study.

Whitehorse curler Thomas Scoffin has a busy season on the sheets ahead.

The 20-year-old is skip for not one, but two teams from the University of Alberta where he is in his third year of study.

He is skip for both the senior and junior school teams – the Golden Bears and the Junior Golden Bears.

Well, so far so good.

Scoffin and his junior rink began the new season by winning the Calgary Curlers Corner Junior Bonspiel last weekend in Alberta.

“It’s awesome to get off to a good start,” said Scoffin. “It’s the first bonspiel of the season in Alberta, so it feels good to be the one team to win it, on the men’s side.

“I think we have a lot of work to do. We ended up with a good result in the end, but we dropped a game early and definitely didn’t play to our potential. Next we’re putting some time in, getting some practice done.”

The Scoffin rink opened with a loss but avenged it with a semifinal win over the same team of Kyler Kleibrink, winning 4-3 after scoring one in the eighth end.

They then clinched the title in an 8-3 win over Alberta’s Jared Scharff team in the final on Sunday.

“We got stronger throughout the week and I think that’s one of the positives we can pull out of this weekend,” said Scoffin. “The finals wasn’t our closest game, it was actually the game we won the most by.

“The semifinal was a good game. I feel we controlled the whole game. Right from the start we were playing well and always had a little edge on them and were always pretty comfortable.”

Scoffin is playing with a completely new team on the Junior Golden Bears. Well, sort of. Throwing second on the team is David Aho, who curled with Scoffin on Team Yukon at the 2012 junior nationals. Aho is one of very few curlers to make more appearances at the junior nationals than Scoffin. Last year he attended his eighth and is the only curler in history to attend the championship for three different jurisdictions – N.W.T., Yukon and Alberta.

Also on board this year is third Aiden Proctor and lead Brayden Power.

“It’s an interesting situation,” said Scoffin. “The team I played with this past weekend is the Junior Golden Bears, and then I have a second separate team with the university, the Golden Bears, and we’ll be competing later on in the year at CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) westerns and hopefully CIS nationals.

“This year I essentially have two teams.”

Last season Team Scoffin lost in the final of Alberta’s junior provincial championships, thus ending a string of seven consecutive appearances for Scoffin at the junior nationals.

Scoffin competed six times for Yukon and then for Alberta in 2013, reaching the final and taking home silver.

With this being Scoffin’s final year of eligibility for the championships, qualifying is high on his to-do list.

“Absolutely, that’s definitely our focus this year and we’re doing everything we can to get it done,” said Scoffin.

“It’s a bit of a different year for me, being on two teams. The first goal on my mind is making provincials and I want to go to nationals, represent Alberta, and play well.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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