Chris Silver’s rink acted like a vehicle that hadn’t been plugged in this past weekend.
But once his quartet warmed up, they got up to full speed in a hurry.
Silver, along with the rotating second/third combination of Daniel Vandenbrand and Jason Bazylewski and lead Griffin Garuk (Atikokan), motored through the three-team field to win the Region 1 Bantam boys’ curling championships in Sioux Lookout.
After going 4-0 to claim the double round-robin event, Silver and Co. will head to Sault Ste. Marie for the provincial Bantam playdowns Feb. 25-28.
“The four guys hadn’t curled together at all before the weekend, so it took the first game to feel each other out,” coach Ron Silver said about the rink’s tight 8-7 victory over Andre Morin (Red Lake) in their first draw Friday.
But it was all systems go after that for Silver, who first thumped Bradley Grennier (Sioux Lookout) 11-2 in six ends.
The Fort crew then rocked Morin 9-1 in five ends in its first draw Saturday before clinching top spot with an 8-0
whitewashing of Grennier in six ends in the evening draw.
But it was a different story for the two Fort rinks participating in the three-team Region 1 Bantam girls’ qualifier in Sioux Lookout.
Anika Beaudry and her team of third Tory Beaudry, second Jillian Cousineau, lead Katrina Slomke, and fifth Ashley Payne won their first two games at the event.
But Beaudry split her last two games to fall into a first-place tie at 3-1 with Cassidy Romyn (Sioux Lookout) to force a tie-breaker yesterday afternoon.
Romyn put home-ice advantage to good use—stealing every end from the second to the fifth en route to a 9-1 victory in six ends.
“This was the first weekend they curled together with that combination,” noted Bantam girls’ coach Kim Beaudry, who team was victimized by multiple picked rocks that ruined consecutive ends for them against Romyn.
“They did very good and just need some time and a little more practice together,” she reasoned.
The Beaudry rink opened play by dumping fellow Fort skip Maggie Lemesurier 10-0 in six ends, then downed Romyn 7-4.
After a 6-4 victory over Lemesurier, Beaudry was only one win from nailing down the title.
Instead, Romyn shocked her with an 11-2 win in six ends late Saturday, then earned a spot in the tie-breaker by beating Lemesurier 9-3 in six ends yesterday morning.
Lemesurier and her rink of third Mackenzie Taylor, second Daffni Chabot, and lead Emma Bassett had lost 9-2 earlier to Romyn to finish at 0-4.
Beaudry and Lemesurier both still can qualify for the provincials in Sault Ste. Marie if either can win the last-chance West qualifier Feb. 5-7 in Nipigon.