Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Provincial run ends early for Bantam rinks

But for one more win, a trip to Sault Ste. Marie could have ended so differently for two local rinks.
Hailey Beaudry and Chris Silver came within a victory of making the playoffs at the Tim Hortons Bantam provincial championships this past week.

In the end, though, they had to settle for 3-4 records and a tie for fourth place in their respective divisions.
Both rinks got behind the eight-ball early—winning their first games and then losing three-straight, which left them having to try and rally to make the top three to advance to the playoffs.
Beaudry, whose team included third Nicole Hartlin, second Erin Tomalty, and co-leads Tory and Anika Beaudry, opened with a 9-2 win in seven ends over Cassidy Romyn (Sioux Lookout), scoring eight-unanswered points from the fourth end on, including steals of two in the sixth and four in the seventh.
The next game was an opportunity lost for Beaudry, who led Calli Barclay (North Bay) by a 3-1 margin after five.
The Fort rink gave up three in the sixth, but got the lead back with a deuce in the seventh to move in front 5-4.
Beaudry held Barclay to one with the hammer in the eighth to force an extra end, but let the win slip through her fingers when Barclay stole one to escape with a 6-5 victory.
Another extra-end affair in her next outing against Megan Smith (Sudbury) saw Beaudry rally from a 5-2 deficit after five ends—capped by a steal of two in the eighth to tie the game.
But Smith benefitted from last rock in the extra end to score one and earn a 6-5 triumph.
A meeting with Katie Rutledge (Sault Ste. Marie) in Beaudry’s fourth game turned out to be pivotal to the Fort crew’s fate.
Rutledge stole a key single in the sixth to jump out to a 5-2 lead before Beaudry was held to one in the seventh.
Needing a steal of two to force a third-straight extra-end finale, the Fort only came away with one to fall 5-4.
That pretty much ensured Beaudry couldn’t slip again to have a realistic shot at getting into the top three.
She started on the right path by edging Emma Landry (New Liskeard) 8-7 in a wild game.
The roof fell in on Beaudry, though, in a 10-3, seven-end loss to Tiana Gaudry (Thunder Bay), which saw Gaudry steal four in the fourth and then score three in the sixth to put the game out of reach.
The loss eliminated Beaudry from further contention.
The Fort squad didn’t leave the Soo with their heads hung low, though—finishing with a flourish in a 9-1, four-end romp over Hayley Horton (Blind River) in their final round-robin game.
Smith beat Rutledge 5-4 in Sunday’s final to lay claim to the crown.
In boys’ action, Silver, whose team included third Reece Jones, second Kurt McGuire, and lead Jason Bazylewski, was looking to improve on his fourth-place showing at last year’s provincials.
He got off to a promising beginning with a 6-3 victory over Doug Goodmurphy (Thessalon).
But Felix Lasalle (Timmins) poured a bucket of cold reality on Silver in his second game, thrashing the Fort crew 12-3 in six ends.
Jaron Hoppe (Keewatin) then jumped all over Silver for a 7-1 lead after four ends en route to a 9-5 victory.
Holding the lead was a problem for Silver against Sam Cull (Sudbury), who ignored a 3-1 deficit after four ends and then broke a 4-4 tie after six with a pair in the seventh and a steal of one in the eighth to win 7-4.
Silver’s team gritted their teeth and bounced back to even their record with a 7-4 win over Christopher Perozak (Thunder Bay) and a 9-5 defeat of Brendan Acorn (Sault Ste. Marie), which gave all three teams a 3-3 record heading into the final draw of the round-robin.
With Perozak and Acorn playing each other, Silver was assured of being in a tie-breaker with a win in his final game.
Alas, that task involved trying to hand Tanner Horgan (Sudbury) his first loss after six-straight wins, with Horgan still needing a win to clinch first place ahead of Cull.
There would be no Hollywood ending for Silver, as Horgan notched three in the first and then stole five over the next three ends to build an 8-0 lead.
Silver broke the shutout with one in the fifth, but decided not to prolong the inevitable and shook hands to cap an 8-1 defeat.
The most bitter pill for Silver to swallow may have been the aftermath of his demise from the event as one of his victims from the week wound up as king of the mountain.
Acorn beat Perozak 8-4 to make the semi-finals, then downed Cull 6-4 before upsetting Horgan 6-5 in Sunday’s final to earn the boys’ crown.

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