Jeff Currie and his team received a nice welcome home present this weekend.
The Northern Ontario representatives at the Tim Horton’s Brier in Kamloops claimed the Tbaytel Cup skins event with a victory over Trevor Bonot in the final at the Port Arthur Curling Club on Saturday.
They picked up $1,050 in the final against $375 for Bonot, who had won the Courtesy Freight Superspiel earlier in the year.
The event was the finale of the local curling season, bringing together the top-3 teams based on showings in significant events.
The Currie foursome earned automatic berth into the final of the event based on a compilation of their success at Major League, World Curling Tour events and provincial playdowns. It just reinforced how strong of a year they put together.
“This is a successful season,” said Currie, the first skip to lead a Thunder Bay team to the Brier since 2003. “It’s always nice to be playing competitive into March and it’s been a while for all of us.”
Bonot advanced to the final after dispatching the Bryan Burgess team in the semifinals.
Currie and his rink of third Mike McCarville, second Colin Koivula and lead Jamie Childs got off to a quick start, winning skins in each of the first two ends.
Bonot got one back in the third but Currie struck again in the next two ends, including a steal in the fifth.
With the value of the skins increasing by $25 each end, Bonot was still well within striking distance heading into the sixth until Currie stole for the second consecutive end to clinch the victory.
With total points not playing a factor, skins games are generally called more aggressively and feature plenty of rocks in play.
“It’s a lot of different,” Currie said of the difference between strategy in a skins game compared to a regular match. "You have to realize you ignore the rest of the rocks in the house. You don’t care if you give up five or six, it only counts against the skin.”
Bonot picked up his second skin in the seventh and then the eighth and final end resulted in a carry-over.
That meant each skip got to throw one rock and the closest to the button would take the most valuable end of the day, earning $300.
Currie threw first, sticking his right on top of the pin. Bonot followed with a rock that was near-perfect weight but just missed the button.
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