Bottcher successfully defends Alberta Boston Pizza Cup

Brendan Bottcher has retained the Alberta Boston Pizza Cup to book a return trip to the Tim Hortons Brier.

Bottcher successfully defended the provincial title with a decisive 9-3 victory over Karsten Sturmay in Sunday’s final in Spruce Grove.

The team of Bottcher, third Darren Moulding, second Brad Thiessen and lead Karrick Martin won their first Boston Pizza Cup a year ago and went undefeated once again with a 5-0 record.

Sturmay, a three-time Alberta junior champion, scored first in the all-Edmonton match with a steal in the second but it was all Bottcher from there.

Bottcher hit for two in the third and got his stolen point back in four when Sturmay over-curled and clicked a guard with his last. Sturmay pulled off the high-pressure draw for one in the fifth.

The game-breaker came in the sixth when Bottcher hit off his own to get in and eliminate Sturmay’s shot rock for four points and a commanding 7-2 lead.

Sturmay blanked seven and hit on the nose for one in the eighth. A circus quad attempt was Sturmay’s Hail Mary to try and close the gap in nine, but only three disappeared and Bottcher drew for two bringing out handshakes.

Bottcher reached the final following a dicey 7-6 win over Sturmay in Saturday’s Page A-B playoff game thanks to a deuce in the final frame. Daylan Vavrek of Sexsmith edged Edmonton’s Charley Thomas 7-6 in the Page C-C game.

Sturmay eliminated Vavrek 7-5 earlier Sunday in the semifinal.

Kevin Koe’s Calgary club did not compete in the Boston Pizza Cup as they prepare to represent Canada at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The Tim Hortons Brier runs March 3-11 in Regina with the winner playing for Canada at the world championship in Las Vegas, March 31 to April 8.