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Canora Grade 9 foursome wins B event at Town & Country Bonspiel

Big win by teenaged foursome shows the future looks bright for curling in Canora and the surrounding area.

CANORA - Curling against teams with years, in some cases decades, of curling experience, a rink made up of Grade 9 students from Canora Composite School skipped by Jordan Zbitniff beat the odds and won the B event of the Canora Town & Country Bonspiel, held from Jan. 25-28. Rounding out the team with Zbitniff were: Owen Ostafie (third), Josh Prychak (second) and Jackson Palagian (lead).

Canora Curling Club president Terry Wilson, whose rink finished second in the A event, said the win for the Zbitniff foursome “was a highlight for the club. We are trying to promote curling to the next generation of curlers and seeing their participation and success is a big part of that. It is no surprise to us though, as we see them in the rink every week working on their game.”

A event final

The A Event winner was the Ken Newell foursome of Norquay, the same rink that won the 2023 Saskatchewan Firefighter Curling Championship. Joining Newell were: Evan Rostotski (third), Jason Lukey (second) and Jared Lukey (lead).

The Newell foursome got off to a quick start in the A final against Wilson, scoring a pair in the first end and stealing another in the second, eventually building a 5-1 lead at the halfway point after four ends. In the fifth, things started looking up for the Canora foursome. With his first rock, Wilson made a clutch double raise takeout to lie one behind cover. Newell could not remove the counter with his last rock, so Wilson made a draw for a pair and cut the lead in half, followed by a steal of two in the sixth to tie the game. But those were the last points for the Wilson foursome, and Newell scored in the last two ends to seal the victory.

B event final

In the B event final, the Zbitniff foursome hooked up with the Brendan Hlasychak rink, also of Canora. Hlasychak scored two in the first end, but Zbitniff bounced right back with a pair in the second to tie the score at 2-2. There obviously wasn’t a lot to choose from between these two foursomes, as other than a blank by Zbitniff in the fifth, the two rinks traded single points back and forth through the seventh, resulting in a 4-4 tie coming home, with last rock belonging to the Hlasychak team. With his first rock, Zbitniff drew to the four-foot behind cover, which turned out to be the winning point, as the Hlasychak foursome was unable to remove it.

C event final

Top spot in the C event went to the Canora foursome skipped by Aaron Herriges. Other team members were: Sheldon Derkatch (third), Calvin Zrymiak (second) and Merrick Derkatch (lead).

Challenging Herriges in the C final was the Yorkton rink skipped by Cayne Worobetz. There was plenty of scoring and lead changes in this matchup. Herriges had a 2-1 lead after two ends, but Worobetz scored a big three in the third to take a 4-2 lead. The teams traded singles in ends four and five, and it looked like the Yorkton foursome could be on its way to victory. However, the sixth end turned the game around completely. Herriges and his teammates grabbed control with a score of four massive points, and after a single by Worobetz in seven, Herriges had a one-point lead with last rock coming home. The Worobetz rink applied plenty of pressure in the last end, and forced Herriges to draw against two on his final shot. He made the big shot and drew to the four-foot to seal the win.

Bonspiel a ‘success’

The bonspiel featured a total of 16 teams, the remainder of which included: Bob Kolodziejski, Don Probe, Vern Schick, Nick Dmitruik and Zeno Gulka of Canora; Greg Zuk and Tim Olson of Preeceville; Merv Secundiak of Sturgis; Dennis Bymak of Good Spirit and Carson Ebert of Norquay.

Terry Wilson said the Town & Country Bonspiel was “a tremendous success. We had a 16-team event with competition for all skill levels, great food and great prizes. The guys from Prairie Comedy entertained us on Saturday night and the all three final games had exciting finishes.

“The Bonspiel could not be possible without the support of local sponsors who come through for us time and again to ensure the club will survive for the foreseeable future.

“The recent success of the Senior Bonspiel, Town and Country Bonspiel and our robust Thursday night curling league shows that curling is alive and well in our community.”

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