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Update: Masters provincials brought entertaining curling to Estevan

Tournament brought 15 teams to Estevan for four days of curling.
The Bill Kapiczowski rink made it to the semifinals at the masters men's provincials in Estevan.

ESTEVAN - The local curling season began in style, as the men’s and women’s masters curling provincials were held at the Power Dodge Curling Centre from Thursday to Sunday.

Nine of the top over-60 men’s teams and six elite over-60 women’s teams in the province were in Estevan.

In the women’s division, the Bev Krasowski rink, competing out of Saskatoon’s Nutana Curling Club, defeated Moose Jaw’s Lorraine Arguin 6-5 in the final. The Krasowski entry scored once in the eighth end to win.

Krasowski and Arguin were tied for first in the round robin at 4-1, but Krasowski was slotted in first place on the tie breaker and advanced directly to the final. Arguin had to go through the semi-final round.

Meanwhile, Gordon Bell won the men’s event, defeating Bill Weppler 10-8 in the final in a battle of two teams from Regina’s Highland Curling Club. Bell was down 8-4 with two ends to play, but scored two in the seventh and stole four in the eighth.

It wasn’t his first big rally of the weekend. In the semifinal, he defeated Eugene Hritzuk of the Nutana Curling Club 7-6. Bell scored three in the eighth to tie, and stole one in the extra end.

There were a couple of local teams entered. Estevan’s Bill Kapiczowski opened the tournament with two wins on Thursday and two more on Friday to sit atop the round robin at that point with a 4-0 mark. The wins were 8-5 over Rod Quintin, 7-2 over Mark Walter, 8-6 over Weppler and 8-7 over Francis Schmeichel.

Then he lost 6-5 to Max Kirkpatrick and 5-1 to Hritzuk on Saturday, and 7-0 to Weppler in a semifinal on Sunday.

“We had a pretty good run of four games there on Thursday and Friday. Saturday wasn’t quite as good. I thought we played well in the fifth game, but the sixth game against Hritzuk, we had some bad breaks and we just got behind and we couldn’t get back,” said Kapiczowski.

In the semifinal against Weppler, Kapiczowski said they made a mistake in the second end that allowed Weppler to steal one and it snowballed from there.

He noted the last time they competed in the event was in Whitewood in 2019 and they didn’t win a game.

“To go 4-3 and finish second in the [round-robin] standings, we’re pretty satisfied.”

They were able to make some crucial shots in their four wins, Kapiczowski said, which carried them to victory. But they weren’t making those shots in the final games.

“There are no gimmie games in this one,” he said. “They’re all experienced curlers. I know there are some teams that went 1-4 or 2-3, but any one of them was capable of going all the way. You had to curl really well to stay in there and even have a chance.”

Other members were lead Lawrence Hansen, second Ron Rittaler and third Gary Cheney.

The Walter rink, competing out of the Lampman Curling Club, finished with a 3-3 record, which put them in a tie for fourth with Bell and Kirkpatrick at the end of the round-robin. Bell was awarded fourth on the tie breaker.

Walter opened with a 10-5 loss to Kirkpatrick and the defeat against Kapiczowski, but recovered to win 7-0 over Bell and 7-5 over Brad Heidt. He picked up a 6-5 win over Schmeichel to move to 3-2, but then lost 7-4 to Quintin in his final game.

Other members of the Walter rink were lead Gerald Clark, second Jim Brown and third Dave Wetsch.  

The masters competition was supposed to be held in Estevan in March 2020, but it was called off late in the first day of play due to COVID-19 restrictions that were coming into place. Then it was to happen this past spring, but it was called off just days before it was to start.

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