Team BC demonstrated resilience and determination as they defeated Newfoundland and Labrador to win the bronze medal at the 2018 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships.
The Tunnel Town Curling Club based team of skip Darryl Neighbour, lead Janice Ing, second Gary Cormack and third Bob Macdonald, led by coach Cody Tanaka, had a successful round robin at the tournament in Leduc, Alberta, winning seven games and losing two.
Placed second overall after round robin play, Team BC progressed to the semifinals, where they faced Manitoba, a team featuring Paralympic bronze medallists Dennis Thiessen and Jamie Anseeuw. Manitoba went up by four points early in the game, and while BC would score a deuce in the third end, Manitoba scored one in the fourth and four in the fifth to take a 9-2 lead. The teams exchanged one point each in the next two ends before BC conceded, the final score being 10-3.
“We were all pretty disappointed that we weren’t playing for gold, but we were all pretty happy that we were still playing for a medal,” said Tanaka. The loss meant that they would play for bronze.
BC met Newfoundland and Labrador, a team that lost 6-3 to eventual gold medallists Saskatchewan in their semifinal, in the bronze medal game on Sunday April 1. BC entered the game hoping to rebound from an earlier 7-6 round robin loss against Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We talked before the [bronze medal] game about what we would do differently against them,” Tanaka said of BC’s second chance against Newfoundland and Labrador. “The main thing was to get a good start.”
Getting a good start was exactly was Team BC did. They started the game by taking a big lead, scoring three in the first end and four in the second end to go up 7-0.
“I think starting with the three and then stealing the big four put us in a groove for the rest of the game,” Tanaka said of his team’s early points.
While Newfoundland and Labrador secured single points in the third and fourth ends and a deuce in the fifth to make the score 7-4, BC secured the win with two points in the sixth end and one in the seventh, winning the bronze medal with a final score of 10-4.
Key to Team BC’s performance throughout the tournament was the way in which they supported and encouraged each other.
“I was really proud of how they controlled themselves,” said Tanaka. “What I like is they never got down on each other.”
Final scores and standings from the 2018 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships can be found here: http://www.curling.ca/