Provincial Curling Live: Bottcher retains Alberta Boston Pizza Cup

Men’s provincial curling championships were underway Sunday from coast to coast to determine reps for the upcoming Tim Hortons Brier.

Here’s a rundown of news, scores and results from all the action.


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ALBERTA

Brendan Bottcher has made it back-to-back Alberta Boston Pizza Cup titles.

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

Sturmay stole one in the second to score first in the all-Edmonton match 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 and score four and take 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 7-6 win over Sturmay in Saturday’s Page A-B playoff game. 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.


B.C.

Kelowna’s Sean Geall scored two in the extra end to edge Vernon’s Jim Cotter 9-7 for the belairdirect B.C. men’s championship Sunday in Parkville

Geall captured his second provincial title and first since 2009.

It was back and forth to start with the teams trading singles in two and three and deuces in four and five. Cotter was held to a single in six and limited Geall to one in seven.

Cotter added another deuce in eight and Geall finally took the lead with a three count in nine. The seven-time B.C. champ Cotter was held to just another point in 10 to force the extra end where Geall prevailed.

Earlier, Geall stole two in the eighth during a 6-5 win over Victoria’s Jason Montgomery in the semifinal.

Cotter, who had won four consecutive B.C. championships, advanced straight to final with a 6-2 victory over Geall in Saturday’s Page 1-2 playoff game. That dropped Geall into the second-chance semifinal against Montgomery, who beat Dean Joanisse of Maple Ridge 7-4 in the Page 3-4 playoff game.

Cotter returned to skipping the squad with John Morris getting ready to represent Canada in mixed doubles at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Catlin Schneider moved up to third with Tyrel Griffith returning to second and Rick Sawatsky back in the lineup at lead.


MANITOBA

Reid Carruthers is heading back to the Brier at Team Manitoba.

Carruthers, who plays out of West St. Paul, captured the Viterra Championship after defeating Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen 7-6 in Sunday’s final in Winkler.

After a blank to start, Carruthers hit and stuck around for a deuce in the second end and McEwen matched with a pair in three. Carruthers counted another couple in four but McEwen couldn’t keep the pace and settled for just a single in five.

Carruthers hit for a point in six and stole one in seven to extend his lead by three. McEwen drew closer with another deuce in eight and erased the deficit stealing in nine as Carruthers hit and rolled away.

Carruthers made no mistake on his last in the 10th hitting for the win.

B.J. Neufeld had been skipping with McEwen hospitalized after falling ill with chicken pox Thursday following their first victory of the tournament. Team McEwen pushed forward as a trio with vice Neufeld shifting up to last stones and second Matt Wozniak and lead Denni Neufeld each throwing three rocks. With Neufeld in charge, the team went on a four-game winning streak before losing to Carruthers 7-3 in the Page 1-2 playoff game.

Team McEwen moved into the championship game after defeating J.T. Ryan 6-2 in the morning semifinal. McEwen was released in time for the final and threw third stones with Neufeld remaining at fourth.