The Kootenay Zone team curled to a bronze medal at the BC Masters Curling Championships in Duncan on Sunday.
The team made up of Castlegar skip Bill van Yzerloo, third Myron Nichol, and second Garry Beaudry, along with lead Richard Faunt from Trail competed in the event, throwing rocks against the top Master curlers in the province.
Team van Yzerloo finished second in the round robin with a 5-2 record, while the reigning 2019 Senior champs, the Wes Craig rink, went 6-1 in the eight-team event.
However, it was the Craig Lepine team that took gold after going 4-3 in the round robin. The team features former Brier winner and Olympian Neil Houston at third. Lepine was the 2018 senior provincial winner, 2018 master provincial champion and Canadian silver medalist. He also won the BC Senior title in 2016, 2013 and 2009. His team from Langley/Royal City/Penticton/Cloverdale is rounded out by second Craig McLeod and lead Kevin Jeannotte.
Lepine had to go through a tie breaker with the McHargue and Hoffman teams, all tied for third with 4-3 records. Lepine eked out a 5-4 win over McHargue in the tie breaker. Van Yzerloo had beaten Lepine on Friday, 6-5, to wrap up the round robin, but the veteran Langley skip broke open a close semifinal match against the Kootenay Savings Super League team with a steal of two in the final end for an 8-4 win and berth in Sunday’s final against the Craig rink.
Craig had beaten Lepine in an extra-end thriller at the 2019 Senior Curling Championship in Trail last February. But this time, Lepine broke a 4-4 tie with a big deuce in the seventh and stole two more in the eighth for another 8-4 victory.
Chilliwack’s Team Janet Klebe won the women’s Masters, defeating Team Cindy House from Royal City in the final 7-3.
Team Klebe and Team Lepine will travel to nationals in Rothesay and Saint John, New Brunswick, from Mar. 30 to Apr. 5.
Team Craig, from Victoria/Kerry Park was awarded the silver medal, with Wes Craig as skip, third Ron Schmidt, second Tony Anslow and lead Blair Cusack. Team vanYzerloo from Castlegar/Trail/Nelson was awarded the bronze.
The provincial event was originally slated for Lake Cowichan and Duncan. However, after an ice plant failure at the Glen Harper Curling Centre in Duncan, some draws had to be moved to Kerry Park Curling Centre in Mill Bay.
Trail’s Richard Faunt was also the recipient of the event’s inaugural sportsmanship award.