(ISN) – Maple Ridge, BC – Patti Knezevic has won the BC women’s provincial curling title – a decade after she first made the final.
Knezevic claimed the crown after winning a tense extra end in the final which took place at Golden Ears Winter Club in Maple Ridge.
The Prince George restauranteur and her team were tied 3-3 with Team Wark after 10 ends but managed to hold their nerve to win the extra end, and the Championship, by two securing a 5-3 victory.
Team Knezevic, which includes third Kristen Fewster, second Jen Rusnell and lead Rhonda Camozzi, went into the final in a strong position as they were unbeaten all week and had already recorded two wins over Team Wark.
The game, which was broadcast live on Sportsnet Pacific, was an extremely close match-up which saw several blank ends and each team only able to record singles, creating a scoreboard that resembled binary code.
The tense game appeared to be reaching a climax in the tenth end when Knezevic’s final rock was a little too heavy and left the house open for Sarah Wark to make a draw for two to win the game. The skip from Duncan was unable to make the shot and recorded a lone single, therefore taking the game to an extra end and handing Knezevic the hammer.
Speaking after the game, Knezevic said: “At the start of the 10th our aim was to force the game to go to an extra end and that happened so we were pleased. Before the 11th I felt quite calm and was just focused on ensuring we made our shots which we did.
“Sarah’s team is very tough and they curled really well so we were glad to get the win”, she added.
The Island rink of Sarah Wark, third Simone Brosseau, second Michelle Allen and lead Rachelle Kallechy booked their place in the final with a dramatic semi-final win over six-time provincial champion Kelly Scott earlier in the day.
The team, who play out of both Victoria Curling Centre and Juan de Fuca Curling Centre, had trailed Scott for much of their semi but the score was tied going into the final end. Scott had delivered several game-winning shots throughout the competition but on this occasion she was unable to make the draw and Wark picked up a single and a place in the final. It was the second time week that Team Wark had beaten the Kelowna skip and her team of third Shannon Aleksic, second Karla Thompson, lead Sarah Pyke and fifth Kristen Reckseidler.
Knezevic had reached the BC Scotties finals three times before but never got the gold, losing to Kelly Scott in 2005 and 2013 and Kelley Law in 2007. When interviewed after the final she jokingly said: ‘I was just relieved that I didn’t have to play a Kelly in the final.
The team will now go on to represent BC at the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts where they will be part of field that includes Olympic gold medallist Jennifer Jones and two-time defending Scotties champion Rachel Homan. The nationals will be familiar ground for Knezevic as she attended as fifth for last year’s BC champions Team Van Osch and was required to step in as skip when Van Osch caught the flu.
The 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts takes place in Moose Jaw, SK, from February 14-22.