Curlers taking a second shot at provincials

After beating the top team in B.C. senior provincials last year, a ladies curling team from Terrace B.C. is taking another shot.

Terrace Provincial curling Team Bulleid includes

Terrace Provincial curling Team Bulleid includes

After beating the top team in B.C. senior provincials last year, Terrace’s curling Team Bulleid is taking another shot at the provincial championships.

Skip Lisa Bulleid, lead Joan Kucharyshen, second Kathie Simpson and third Sylvia Griffith already won zones, a best-of-three battle with the Freeman team in Quesnel on Jan. 14-15.

As the skip, Bulleid directs the team strategy and throws the last two rocks and said the zones series was closely fought by both teams. Team Bulleid won the first game 9-7, and Team Freeman clinched the second 8-6.

The battle came down to that final game, a game that didn’t appear to be sweeping the right way for Team Bulleid.

“We were down six points after the fourth end,” Bulleid said. “But we came back to win 9-6.”

The ladies managed to score a point in the fifth end and climb to 2-6, but that still left a fairly large gap to overcome.

It also meant the other team would get the hammer (final rock) so the locals would have to steal points from here on.

But the ladies delivered a solid finish, scoring two in the sixth end and another two in the seventh to tie it up 6-6.

Pressure was on in the eighth and final end, which actually worked to their advantage. The opposing skip made a heavy mis-throw with her final rock, actually knocking an extra Bulleid rock into the house.

That clinched the victory for team Bulleid, who scored three points for an overall 9-6 win.

Sylvia Griffith said it was a fun and tight zone final, and the team felt good about the recovery in the last four ends.

“It was a hard fought battle to come back,” she said. “To steal the last three ends is quite a feat.”

Now the four ladies, are gearing up for provincials in Salmon Arm Feb. 20-26, where they will throw rocks with the best eight teams in B.C.

Last year was the first time the team played together, and they won zones and  finished fourth in B.C. to gave them a taste for the higher competition.

“We placed third overall in the round robin and we ended up beating the team that represented B.C. in nationals last year,” Griffith said, explaining how that sparked the team to sign up again this year.

Taking another shot also means the team will be a bit more familiar with the other teams on the ice this year.

Griffith says her goal is to win, and she is both nervous and excited. “I want to do well. It’s kind of hard when you know people are watching… you don’t want to let your town down… but it’s exciting too,” she said.

There’s a thrill to competing with the top B.C. teams, she said, adding that many of them regularly compete at a much higher level than what is available in the north.

“When you can hold your own, its a good feeling,” she said.

Bullied added that she enjoyed the friendly atmosphere at provincials last year.

“I was really surprised when we went down there, how friendly everyone was,” she said. “All the teams, they’re all competitive, but they really helped you off the ice and when you had any questions and stuff,” she said.

The team is brushing up their skills at the Legion Bonspiel here this weekend, an open competition here with 38 teams including 10 from out of town.

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