It was a season where everything came together at the right time for Ralph Courtnage and his rink.
He and his team of Dennis Lowes, Brian Mohns and Tyler Krupski sealed their 11-5 season with the Super League Pool B title, including their names on a plaque and $800 for their efforts on Wednesday evening at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre.
“It is terrific. We’ve come close several times, but this is the big one,” said Courtnage. “It was a good game.”
After an up and down season, the Keons rink finished sixth in the standings. However, they upset the third-ranked Easy Care Living in the semi-final and pushed Courtnage in the final. They just couldn’t hold on, despite stealing one in the eighth end, it just wasn’t enough as they were edged 5-4.
“We came back from the bottom last year and we did the same this year too, going from the bottom to the final,” said Keons skip, Warren Marcotte. “We’ve had a couple good games and this was a good game too…just a couple ends where we misread the ice.”
Courtnage opened the scoring with a point in the first end, but Keons scored a point in the second end to tie the game. A two-point third end helped extend the lead for Courtnage, but Keons cut the lead with another point in the fourth end. Courtnage scored points in the fifth and sixth ends before Keons battled back for points in the seventh and eighth end to keep it close.
“We had a chance for three, but we overthrew it and misread the ice and that was the game,” said Marcotte. “We’ve played hard and we did last year too.”
For the Courtnage rink, to finish in first place in the regular season and to cap it off with the title and championship winnings was a great way for the redesigned team.
“Brian and myself have been curling for 20 years or so and Dennis came on this year and we were thrilled,” said Courtnage. “We just had a good, strong team in all the positions. We were fortunate that we got Tyler, who is an excellent, young curler. That balanced the team out well.”
For the Keons rink, this is the second year in a row they have made it to the final game, but haven’t been able to bring home the plaque. Disappointing for them, but the team used their late season momentum to get to the final.
“We lost some close games throughout the year and some extra end games. We lost some last shot games…we could have easily been in the top, but that’s the way the league goes,” stated Marcotte.
For Courtnage, there were some tense moments in that final end when this last rock got away from him, allowing Marcotte to steal one, but was happy it was only one point.
“I like to win…in my heart, I’m very competitive,” he said.
The Pool A final between Seaborn Insurance and DFA Transport was postponed due to prior commitments on both teams. A new date has not yet been set.