HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA
Team Scoffin, Team Yukon’s boys’ curling rink at the Canada Winter Games, had a rough end to their stay in Halifax.
After starting the Games with a commanding 6-3 win over Manitoba, Scoffin went on to drop matches to Alberta, BC, Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, the eventual gold-medal winner.
Then, in their relegation crossover match for 11th and 12th – second last and last – on Friday, Yukon dropped a 1-0 fourth-end lead when PEI scored seven in the sixth, forcing Scoffin to shake.
“Really, the other team played a good end and we didn’t,” said Yukon skip Thomas Scoffin. “I had a really difficult shot on my last rock and it was an all-or-nothing shot.
“If I had two inches on two or three shots, it would have been a different game. The scoreboard doesn’t say it was that close, but it was a pretty close game.”
“It was very conservative and that’s the way we wanted to approach that in that particular game – not take a lot of chances, just be patient,” said Yukon coach Wade Scoffin. “We thought that would be best for us, and it was following its course, then, as things can turn on a dime, they ended up getting the breaks and we weren’t in the right place at the right time.”
Had Yukon taken any of the matches they lost before PEI, they would have ended in a three-way-tie (or possibly a four-way-tie) for second in their pool, leaving them in medal contention. Yukon’s best chance for this was in an 8-7 loss to BC last Wednesday, losing on the final rock.
“It was a lot of fun hanging out with the boys. They put everything they had into it, so I’m really proud of them,” said Thomas. “They’re pretty new to the sport and it was cool to see how hard they work and how hard they try.”
For their win over Manitoba, who went on to capture the bronze, Team Scoffin, which includes lead Michael Hare, second Kurtis Hills and third Andrew Scoffin, jumped out to a 6-1 lead by the end of the fifth.
“The Manitoba game stands out. It was our first game together at the competition and things clicked,” said Thomas. “They’re a good team, but we were the better team that game.”
Scoffin, who is the youngest skip to play at the Canadian Junior Championships, finished the junior nationals at the start of the month with a 5-7 record for eighth (with his other rink).
At the end of the first week, in the female division at the Games, Yukon’s Team Koltun, captained by skip Sarah Koltun, was narrowly edged out of the semifinal by Quebec, taking fifth with a commanding 6-1 win over New Brunswick.
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