team cotter

Ellie Lambert

(ISN) – Vernon, BC  – Vernon’s Jim Cotter and his team will once again represent the province at the Brier after winning a dramatic extra end final at the 2015 Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championship.

The defending champions successfully retained their title after beating Team Joanisse 7-6 in the final which took place on Sunday.

It was the second time that Cotter, and his team of third Ryan Kuhn, second Tyrel Griffith and lead Rick Sawatsky, had clinched an extra end win in as many days as they also won Saturday’s semi-final against Team Pierce 7-6 in the 11th end.

The final saw a high-standard of curling from both teams, with each rink matching one another end-for-end until Cotter managed to steal one in the sixth. Joanisse bounced back by blanking the seventh, getting a deuce in the eighth and limiting Cotter to a single in the ninth to ensure that they trailed by just one going into the tenth.

Royal City Curling Club’s Team Joanisse was only able to record a single in the final end of regular play to level the score at 6-6 and force an extra end. With the last rock of the Championship, Cotter made a draw to the four-foot to secure his team’s spot at the Brier.

Speaking after the medal ceremony, Cotter said: “I’m super proud to have done this at my home club”, adding that “it means a lot to go to the Brier; it’s always a great feeling.”

Cotter will be hoping to go one step further at this year’s Brier after he, Griffith and Sawatsky took home silver at last year’s event when they played alongside John Morris.

The final was the third game that two-time BC Men’s champion Dean Joanisse, and his team of third Paul Cseke, second Jay Wakefield and lead John Cullen, had played against Cotter during the Championship. Team Cotter won the first match-up 10-9 but Team Joanisse secured an 8-5 victory in the 1v2 game of the page playoff on Saturday.

Team Cotter will now represent BC in the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier, which takes place in Calgary from February 28 to March 8, 2015.

It will be the first time that Kuhn has competed at a Brier but the rest of the team already have several purple hearts between them as Sawatsky and Cotter have both now won the BC Men’s title five times whilst this is Griffith’s third crown.

They will be accompanied on their trip to Calgary by fifth Grant Olsen, who curls out of Kamloops Curling Club, and coach Pat Ryan who won the world title in 1994.