Senior curling title won by a hair in extra end

They say curling can be a game of inches. Sometimes it’s a game of quarter-inches.

They say curling can be a game of inches. Sometimes it’s a game of quarter-inches.

Less than a centimetre determined the winner in the final of the Yukon Senior Curling Championships at the Whitehorse Curling Club on Feb. 19.

Following the last shots in an extra end of the final, a measuring device was used to determine winner and runner-up.

“In the extra end there were lots of rocks in play and it came down to a measurement. There were two rocks biting the button and ours happened to have been a quarter inch closer,” said skip Pat Paslawski.

Team Paslawski took the win with a 6-5 extra-end win over Team Mikkelsen. Having recently turned 50, it was Paslawski’s first senior playdown.

“(It wasn’t) just my first try, my teammate Terry Miller, who just moved up from Vancouver, it was his first try at any Yukon championship. So he’s particularly thrilled as well,” said Paslawski.

Team Paslawski opened the championship with a 9-5 loss to Mikkelsen, led by skip Ray Mikkelsen, after dropping a 5-2 lead.

They then beat Team Zealand, with skip Gord Zealand, 8-2.

The Paslawski rink then beat Mikkelsen 8-6 after leading 7-1 by the end of the fourth end.

In the final Paslawski jumped out to a 5-1 lead after four before Mikkelseon scored individual points in the next four to push an extra end.

Dropping leads against Mikkelsen was a trend over the weekend.

“We had a big lead and then, like in all three of our games against Ray Mikkelsen, they clawed back,” said Paslawski. “They came back to beat us but in the last two we managed to hang on.”

Though his first senior trophy, it wasn’t Paslawski’s first Yukon title. He won the men’s title in 2014, going on to play the Tim Hortons Brier. He has also claimed two mixed titles and multiple Travelers Cup ones over the last decade.

Paslawski second George Hilderman has a number of senior and masters titles under his belt. He and Zealand will also play on the team representing Yukon at the masters nationals (60-and-over) this April in Guelph, Ont.

McPhee played at a junior nationals a while ago. “I don’t want to age him too much, but it was just around the time rocks were invented,” said Paslawski.

Miller, who is new to Yukon, didn’t see too much ice time during his first territorial championship. He took a spill on the ice during their first game, suffered bruised ribs and sat out the rest of the championship. The team managed to find a spare in Herb Balsam.

“Herb filled in really, really well,” said Paslawski. “It was really gracious for Herb to donate his weekend to us and play well enough to get us off to the nationals.”

While three teams entered the men’s playdown, on one registered for the women’s and was acclaimed champion.

A team of skip Darlene Gammel, third Val Boxall, second Maureen Birckel and lead Francis Taylor will join Team Paslawski at the 2017 Canadian Seniors Curling Championships March 18-25 in Fredericton, N.B.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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