University of Alberta Golden Bears curling alumni Brendan Bottcher, Karrick Martin and Brad Thiessen captured the Alberta Men’s Curling Championship, this past weekend in Westlock, Alberta.
This is the first Men’s curling title for the Bottcher rink, who will now go on to represent Alberta at the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier in St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador. While this is the first appearance at the Canadian Curling Championships for Bottcher and Thiessen, it will be Martin’s second after being an alternate for his dad Kevin in his final Brier appearance here in Edmonton in 2013.
Bottcher claimed the 2017 Boston Pizza Cup with a perfect 5-0 record, including beating Ted Appelman 6-5 in the championship final. Bottcher qualified for the playoffs as the No. 1 seed after beating Aaron Sluchinski 8-5, and Appelman 9-3 in the round robin, earning a ‘bye’ into the semi-final.
The three-time Golden Bears curling MVP and 2012 Golden Bears Male Athlete of the Year earned a berth into the final by knocking out the tournament’s top seed, Charley Thomas, 8-3 in the semi-final, setting up another match against Appelman.
The team’s exchanged points throughout the first nine ends, with the Bottcher rink up 5-3 in the 10th. However, Appelman scored his deuce in 10 to force an extra end. After a clean end, Bottcher made his final shot, a hit-and-stick on the lone Thomas rock, to win the provincial title.
Current Golden Bear Thomas Scoffin also took part in the men’s provincial championship, but fell two wins short of qualifying for the playoff round.
Mick Lizmore, who curled with Martin, Bottcher and Thiessen on their 2012 CIS National Championship team, also took part in the play-downs, falling to Thomas in the 'B' side final.
Alberta teams have won nine of the past 16 Briers, with defending champion Kevin Koe winning the last three that Alberta has won, Kevin Martin winning the previous two and Randy Ferbey winning four in five years from 2000-2005.
The 2017 Tim Hortons Brier will get take place from March 4-12, 2017 in St. John’s.