Despite missing out on the playoffs, Tom Buchy and his curling team can say they did the best they could in a very tough field at the Canadian Mixed Curing Championship.
The team, which comprises Buchy, his wife, Lori, and another husband-wife duo of Dave and Robyn Toffolo, had a 5-6 record while representing B.C. in competition against other provinces and territories in Mont-Royal, Quebec.
Cory Heggestad and his team, curling for Ontario, won the tournament after defeating Nova Scotia 10-3 in the final.
It was a tough road for the Buchy team, which traded wins for losses throughout the week, ending up in eight place out of 12 teams.
“The nice thing about this team is everyone gave everything they had and no one got down,” said Buchy. “We were able to come back and win some games and not get down on ourselves and you can’t ask for anything more than that.”
B.C. started with a big 10-3 win against the Northwest Territories, but followed up with a 8-6 loss to Alberta in their next draw. Team Buchy mostly followed that pattern of winning a game and losing their next one throughout the rest of the tournament.
Ontario, the eventual winner, started out with a 1-1 record, but a close 9-8 win over Manitoba set up a four-game winning streak to set them on the path to victory.
Hitting that kind of stride and getting on a roll is what gets teams into finals, said Buchy.
“They [Ontario] were down 7-0 after two ends to Manitoba and they came back and won that game and Dave Toffolo said, ‘That just might be the one that gets them rolling,’ and he was right,” said Buchy.
“A lot of times when a team bounces back from being down that far, they just get their confidence and basically steamroll their way through.”
Near the final draws, B.C. had some tough luck, losing 10-9 in extra ends to Nova Scotia, while giving up their final game 10-4 to New Brunswick. Had those two been wins, along with some strategic losses to other teams, the Buchy team had a shot at getting into playoffs.
However, the team enjoyed their time in the tournament, as Buchy noted that every province was represented by cream of the crop in mixed curling.
“It was very tough, but it’s enjoyable when you’re playing top-notch teams,” Buchy said.
Buchy will turn his attention to the Tim Hortons Brier curling tournament, as the road begins this weekend in Trail with zone play downs. Buchy and Toffolo will join with Darren Will out of Fernie and Dave Stephenson out of Kelowna for a run at the provincial tournament in Parksville on Vancouver Island in February.
The winner of the provincial tournament earns the right to represent the province at the Brier.