The first step is complete for the Chris Silver rink in their quest to capture the Northern Ontario provincial boys’ Bantam curling crown.
The Fort Frances Curling Club foursome, which includes third Reece Jones, second Jason Bazylewski, and lead Kurt McGuire, advanced after posting a 4-1 record at the regional playdowns in Stratton over the weekend.
The provincials will be held Feb. 7-10 at the Longlac Curling Club.
Silver fell 9-8 to Jason Hoppe (Keewatin) in their opening game Friday afternoon but quickly bounced back by rattling off four-straight victories, starting with a convincing 10-3 win over Jory King (Sioux Lookout) that night.
They defeated fellow Fort Frances curler Matthew Grant 8-3 on Saturday morning, and then gave Hoppe his only setback of the weekend with a 6-3 triumph in the afternoon draw.
A 12-1 rout of the King rink Saturday night assured the Silver rink of a provincial berth, which also meant they didn’t have to play their final round-robin game against Grant as the two qualifying spots already had been determined (Hoppe earned the other one).
The Grant rink, which included third Mathew Nowak, second Cameron Penny, and lead Daniel VandenBrand, finished in third place at 2-3, with both of their wins coming against King.
In the women’s regional playdowns, which also were held in Stratton, Karleigh Wright’s Fort Frances rink finished in a tie for third with a 1-4 record to miss out on a provincial berth.
Wright, who was joined by third Hailey Beaudry, second Nicole Hartlin, and lead Elyssa Hughes, earned her lone win Friday afternoon with an 11-6 triumph over Sarah McDonald (Keewatin).
Jenna Poirier (Sioux Lookout) and Hannah Bazinet (Atikokan) nabbed the two spots to the provincials, which will be held Feb. 7-10 in Sioux Lookout.
In other curling action from the weekend, Stratton native Trevor Bonot, who now lives in Thunder Bay, went 4-1 to top the men’s West regional qualifier at the Port Arthur Curling Club.
Bonot, along with third Al Macsemchuk, second Chris Briand, and Devlin native Mike Badiuk at lead, now will compete at the men’s provincial showdown Feb. 6-10 at the Nipigon Curling Club, where a berth to this year’s Tim Hortons Brier is up for grabs.
Seven of the 10 teams have been determined so far for the provincial playdowns, which is headlined by defending champ Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, who has won the last three titles.