TYSON WHITNEY PHOTOS                                From left to right, Steve Janusz, Carl Wilson, Doug McCorquodale, and Ryan Sirges pose for a team picture after winning the Hugh Fraser Men’s Open Bonspiel at the Fort Rupert Curling Club.

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTOS From left to right, Steve Janusz, Carl Wilson, Doug McCorquodale, and Ryan Sirges pose for a team picture after winning the Hugh Fraser Men’s Open Bonspiel at the Fort Rupert Curling Club.

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

“This was the one that was hanging out there that I hadn’t won”

It took eight ends of back and forth curling warfare before Doug McCorquodale and his crew managed to force Comox Valley’s Norm Cote to admit defeat.

After roughly 15 years of trying to win the Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Hugh Fraser Men’s Open Bonspiel, McCorquodale had finally pulled off what must have felt like an impossible mission at times.

“This was the one that was hanging out there that I hadn’t won,” said McCorquodale. “Brad (Zealand) just kept on winning it — so yeah, it’s nice to finally get it.”

As for taking out the defending champs from last year’s Men’s Bonspiel, McCorquodale noted “It felt good,” adding, “They’re a great team — Norm I’ve played against for years, and this time I beat him.”

The road to the Hugh Fraser trophy was a long weekend for McCorquodale and his team. They had to defeat the Shaun Zealand Rink, the Macredy Rink, the Firemen Rink, and the Maday Rink to make it to the A-Final, whereas the Cote Rink took down the Cadwallader Rink, the Baker Rink, and the Brad Zealand Rink.

The A-Final was held on Sunday afternoon at 2:45 p.m., with a large crowd enjoying some adult beverages while watching the curling action from up above in the loft. Both teams came out firing early and often, taking out each other’s rocks, which forced a blank round in the first end.

In the second, McCorquodale had the hammer and managed to barely nudge one of his rocks past Cote’s to give them a 1-0 lead. McCorquodale kept pushing in the third, adding another point thanks to Cote’s shot coming up just shy of what was needed to get closest to the circle.

Cote stormed back in the fourth. With two rocks already in place, Cote sent the hammer straight down the centre of the ice, finding the middle perfectly to score three big points, giving them a 3-2 lead.

McCorquodale refused to back down in the face of adversity. He set up a beautiful trap in the fifth that forced Cote to miss two crucial shots in a row, before sending a rock right down the middle to score three big points of his own, taking the lead back 5-3. The sixth end saw McCorquodale squeak by with another point, thanks to Cote’s rock just not curling enough to hang around.

In the seventh end, with both teams feeling the nerves, McCorquodale requested the Gazette leave the ice. Cote, however, ignored the pressure and went on to pick up one more point to cut the lead to 6-4 before the eighth and final end.

With the Hugh Fraser trophy on the line, McCorquodale team member Steve Janusz came up clutch halfway through the end with a huge double takeout, forcing Cote to shake hands and admit they were done.

In what turned out to be an awesome weekend of curling that featured over 10 teams battling it out to see who would be in the A, B, C, and D finals, Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood (who played in the tournament for the Larsen Rink) summed it up best, stating the Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Hugh Fraser Men’s Open Bonspiel is “like no other in terms of atmosphere and spunk — it’s just a really good place to be for a weekend.”

Bood added when you live in a rainforest, “you absolutely need these kinds of facilities, especially to keep working professionals with kids living here, because they need something to do.”

 

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

McCorquodale forces Cote to concede defeat in eight end thriller at Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel