Three rinks with local connections took part in the Saskatchewan Players Championships in Swift Current over the weekend.
The defending provincial championship Adam Casey rink featured Cabri’s Shaun Meachem skipping the team and Swift Current’s Chris Haichert playing second for the event.
The Casey rink defeated Unity’s Drew Heidt 5-0 in the opening draw on Friday. They added a 7-6 win over Saskatoon’s Dale Craig in the second draw. Saturday, the Casey rink clinched a spot in the Championship Event with a 6-2 win over Estevan’s Brent Gedak.
The Casey rink defeated Gedak again 7-4 in the semi-final. They took on Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock in the final and won 6-5 after registering a trio of two-point ends.
“The guys played really good,” said Meachem. “They played well and it was a tight game both ways. The scoreboard didn’t really show how it went. We were fortunate to be ahead as they had a couple chances for deuces in the first half and they were super hard shots and he only missed them by a millimeter.”
The Casey rink actually opened the event with only three players for the first game before getting reinforcements for the rest of the weekend on their way to an unbeaten record.
Haichert is a former World Junior champion who has been out of the competitive curling scene for a while, but was filling in for Casey on the weekend.
“It was good for me. It brought back a lot of old memories and competitive juices in me from the game. Playing with guys on the team that are this talented makes it real easy,” he said.
Meachem curled in his first Tim Horton’s Brier last March in St. John’s NL and the team is hoping to earn a return trip to the 2018 event in Regina.
“It has been an up and down season. We haven’t played great all year. Similar to last year we have really started to look sharp since Christmas. Hopefully we will put a good run together and make a great showing at provincials.”
A rink skipped by Ryan Deis reached the championship event with three wins over the weekend. The Fox Valley rink was comprised of lead Kalin Deis, second Jason Barnhart, third Scott Manners, and fourth Ryan Deis.
The Deis rink opened the tournament with a 7-4 loss to Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock on Friday. They also lost 9-2 to Saskatoon’s Michael Armstrong on Friday evening.
The Fox Valley rink rebounded in the C Event with a 6-0 win over Drew Heidt. They added a 6-2 win over Kronau’s Jeff Hartung and then reached the championship event with an 8-4 win over Michael Armstrong.
Deis was eliminated in the quarter-final in a 6-4 loss to Gedak on Sunday morning.
A Swift Current Curling Club rink featured lead Jason Senicar, second Justin Senicar, third Reagan Hadden, and fourth Jeff Chambers.
The Chambers rink opened the event with a 6-5 win over Saskatoon’s Michael Carss. They were bounced from the A Event with a 6-4 loss to Gedak in the second draw.
Chambers was back into the win column that evening with a 10-0 win over Unity’s Drew Heidt. They were knocked out of the B Event on a 7-3 loss to Saskatoon’s Michael Armstrong.
Chambers defeated Lashburn’s Ryan Armstrong 6-2 on Saturday afternoon before losing 6-5 to Craig to conclude the weekend.