It all came down to the very last rock for skip Colin Hunko during the A Final of the Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Mixed Bonspiel on Sunday.
The Hunko Rink found themselves trailing the Baker Rink 6-4 going into the eighth and final end of the game, but they had managed to set themselves up with a few good rocks that were in position for the exact three points needed to win entire the tournament.
Hunko bent down, slid the rock down the ice, threaded the needle with a blast and performed one last jaw-dropping takeout on the lone Baker Rink rock that was blocking the game-winning point.
His teammates cheered in celebration and the Baker Rink graciously conceded defeat by shaking hands like true sportsmen/sportswomen.
After the game, Hunko, who has been curling for roughly 15 years, said it felt great to win the entire tournament, adding, “It was nice to see I made it (the final shot).”
Hunko and his teammates won three straight games to make it to the final, and each of the games “were all relatively close, pretty much to the wire, but this one was the closest of the bunch.”
The game up to that point had been a back-and-forth two hour long chess match between master curlers, with both teams trading points all the way until the eighth and final end.
Skip Tom Baker managed to score two points in the first end, where the rocks ended up being so close the teams had to measure the distance to be sure.
Hunko and his talented crew came back in the second, scoring two points of their own to tie it back up.
In the third, the Baker Rink once again took the lead by two, thanks to a couple perfectly positioned rocks from the Port McNeill based team.
Hunko refused to lay down and quit, answering back in the fourth end by leaving one rock the closest to the circle to make it 4-3.
Baker had the chance to pull ahead in the fifth, but his shot missed the mark, conceding the game tying point to the Hunko Rink.
That wasn’t the end of the world for the Baker Rink, though.
They scored points in both the sixth and seventh end to take a commanding 6-4 lead.
That was when Hunko and his squad took over, setting up and executing a brilliant strategy to score the three points needed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Hunko confirmed he will be playing in the FRCC’s Men’s Tournament in March, and also pointed out the Baker Rink were class acts in defeat.
“We know they’re tough and they always play really good,” he said. “It was a great game.”