West Kootenay curlers come up short at BC Seniors Championships

Three members of last year's BC Champion rink, from left, lead Fred Thomson of Nelson, third Stephenson of Kelowna and second Don Freschi, lost out in the final of the  2017 BC Senior Men’s Curling Championships Sunday in Salmon Arm. — Photo courtesy Facebook
Three members of last year's BC Champion rink, from left, lead Fred Thomson of Nelson, third Stephenson of Kelowna and second Don Freschi, lost out in the final of the 2017 BC Senior Men’s Curling Championships Sunday in Salmon Arm. — Photo courtesy Facebook

The phrase, “Three Strikes You're Out” is generally association with the game of baseball.

However, Sunday in Salmon Arm, the phrase took on a whole new meaning for the Rob Koffski rink of Kelowna.

The rink whiffed on the final chance at capturing the 2017 BC Senior Men’s Curling Championships, losing 8-4 to Craig Lepine Langley.

Lepine, third Stan Walker, second Craig McLeod and lead Mike Pelech, advance to the Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championships next month in Fredericton, NB.

Meanwhile the Koffski rink, with lead Fred Thomson of Nelson, second Don Freschi of Trail and third Dave Stephenson of Kelowna — three of the members of the 2016 BC Senior Men’s Championship squad — will ponder the “What if” game for the next few weeks.

Especially after the rink played the week without regular skip Bob Ursel, who was overseas coaching in South Korea.

Ursel skipped the rink during the zone qualifying tournament but had to missed the provincials.

Sunday was the Koffski rink’s third kick at the Lepine foursome.

After losing 6-5 during the final round robin game Friday to finish second in the standings to Lepine 7-0, Koffski had a chance to go through to the final with a victory in the 1-2 Page Playoff game.

However, Lepine scored three in the third end, snapping a 1-1 tie, to take control en route to a 7-3 triumph.

The loss sent Koffski into the semi final Saturday night against Wes Craig of Richmond.

The game was a rematch of a round robin contest won 8-5 by Craig — one of the two losses by the Koffski rink, which finished 5-2.

This time around things were different at the defending champs put a five-spot on the board in the fifth end, followed by a three in the sixth to win 10-2.

However, in the final Lepine jumped all over Koffski from the outset, scoring three in the first end and two in the third to lead 5-1 after three ends.

Koffski cut the margin to 6-4 after six ends but Lepine slotted another deuce on the board in the seventh to secure the win.

EXTRA END: The Gerry Kent rink of Cranbrook, with second Garry Beaudry of Nelson on the squad, finished out of the playoffs with a 2-5 record. The Kent rink started strong, going 2-1 in the first three games. But the foursome faltered down the stretch, losing five straight games.

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