Despite losing their first shot at the provincial qualifying spot, Team Buchy rallied and overcame their frustrations to beat a team out of Castlegar to clinch the second of two spots to punch their ticket to Parksville in February.
Team Buchy, comprised of Tom Buchy, Dave Toffolo, Darren Will and Dave Stephenson, cruised through their first three matches at Kootenay zone playdowns, defeating Dean Hornig out of Trail to earn a berth into the provincial qualifying draws.
However, Team Hornig got their revenge when it mattered, downing Team Buchy 7-5 to win one of the qualifiers.
The two teams were tied 3-3 going into the eighth end, but Hornig broke the game open with a triple.
Team Buchy responded with a double, but Hornig posted a single in the final end on their way to victory.
“They got a real solid team,” said Buchy, of the curlers making up Team Hornig. “Three of the four guys on that team have been to the Brier…they’re solid.”
However, Team Buchy was automatically seeded in the draw that determined the second qualifier, with his eventual opponent being Myron Nichol, who defeated Team Shypitka, skipped by Tom Shypitka out of Cranbrook, in the semi final.
“The guys regrouped really well to get ready for that second game because the last one was over, there’s nothing we could do about it,” said Buchy.
“That was probably our best game of all, our game against Nichol. There wasn’t too many shots missed there and the nice thing is about this, is that was our fifth game and every game we played we seemed to get a bit stronger.”
The Buchy team deuced in the third and sixth ends and posted singles in three others, while limiting the Nichol team to single points in the fourth and eight ends for a 7-2 win.
Buchy handed out credit to his team members for playing very well over the weekend, which was impressive, considering they hadn’t done a lot of practice as a team, because Stephenson came in from Kelowna, while Will resides in Fernie.
“Darren Will played outstanding, the way he set up the ends was fantastic,” said Buchy. “Dave Toffolo was real solid to make sure things were going the way they needed to.”
Stephenson and Buchy go way back to the days when they curled as juniors together, and the Kimberley skip is excited to have him on board.
“Dave Stephenson fit in real well,” Buchy said. “…He’s a good player, a good asset to have on our team and knows the game real well.”
Buchy ended up facing Tom Shypitka and his team over the tournament, winning 9-3 after tripling in the fifth end and notching a deuce in the seventh.
“Tom’s got a really good team with good players,” said Buchy. “They made provincials last year, they’ve had good success in some cash spiels this year and we know we’re always in tough when we play against those guys.
“…They’ve beaten us lots and we’ve beaten them, too, so we just managed to get the win on them this time.”
Parksville, on Vancouver Island, will host the provincial tournament in February, the winner of which will represent B.C. in the Tim Hortons Brier.