Shaun Johnson of Team Johnson

Men’s bonspiel numbers up

Eyes glued to the ice pad and boisterous conversation abounding,

Eyes glued to the ice pad and boisterous conversation abounding, it’s no wonder why folks say it’s the best way to spend a drizzly North Island weekend.

With a record 26 teams in attendance, including one bearing the name of Port Hardy’s mayor Hank Bood, the annual Hugh Fraser Memorial Men’s Open Bonspiel brings men to compete and celebrate a true Canadian pastime.

From as far away as Victoria, B.C. the event, held at the Fort Rupert Curling Club, is certainly not strictly a Port Hardy affair.

According to Port Hardy Curling Club President, Doug McCorquodale, the event grew by eight teams this year, and membership numbers for the club itself have also grown by 30 per cent.  Despite the strong local numbers, the annual men’s bonspiel relies heavily on the out-of-town teams.

“This club survives on events like this. Our locals support this so well, but we really rely on out-of-town teams, and for them to come up, it’s just such a huge, huge boost for us and they support us every year and it’s just great,” McCorquodale said.

However, this weekend bonspiel isn’t merely a pleasure cruise. At times it means real business. With a selection of prizes fit for any man cave including numerous power tools, appliances, and even round-trip tickets to Vancouver, up for grabs, the more than two dozen teams locked in sub-zero mortal combat over the three-day-long event gripping the seaside enclave in suspense.

The A event final started cautiously, with both teams trading shots before the Balcke rink scored a single point. Although early in the game, the pivotal end was the second in which Evans was forced to make a tough hit and roll which happened to slide right by the intended target and allowed Balke to steal three and take a commanding 4-0 lead.

It was a gutsy and aggressive match with the lead changing six times before the victor would emerge.  “I understand why he did it. I would have done the same as he did for the win. He could have gone the other route, gone for a draw for a single point for a tie and force it to an extra end, but he went for the win and I totally understand ‘cause I would have done the same thing,” said Balcke. The final score was 9 – 7.

The final standings were as follows:

Division ‘A’ – 1st Balcke Rink which included Mike Balcke, Lee Mitchell, John Branham; and Ray Abdai. 2nd Evans Rink, 3rd Schmeland Rink, 4th Coté Rink.

Division ‘B’ – 1st Maday Rink, 2nd Cowles Rink, 3rd Zealand Rink.

Division ‘C’ – 1st Johnson Rink, 2nd Bood Rink, 3rd May Rink

Division ‘D’ – 1st Walker Rink, 2nd Gaudet Rink, 3rd Wright  Rink.

 

Just Posted

Quarterdeck restaurant, pub temporarily closed until summer

“We have decided to close the pub until April 30, 2019,” stated the pub’s announcement.

Port Hardy’s RCMP Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen: ‘It’s business as usual’ after cannabis legalization

Local RCMP will still be on the lookout for impaired driving despite cannabis legalization.

Jay Dixon finishes top three for School and District Leadership award

“I believe it’s all of our responsibility for our schools to provide quality education,” said Dixon.

7 Mile Landfill operations tender closes October

Taxes covering the landfill have not increased over the past 15 years and are not expected to soon.

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Voters talk on Port Hardy’s municipal election

Port Hardy residents talked on local issues and reasons to vote

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

Voters talk on Port Hardy’s municipal election

Port Hardy residents talked on local issues and reasons to vote

Bushido Shotokan Karate-do Academy continues student intake until November

“Our goal is to endure no matter what you’re faced with,” said DeToro about local karate classes.

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

North Island local elections’ home stretch – let’s remember to vote, no matter what

“It’s just as much about picking a candidate than it is about exercising our right.”

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Most Read