A hometown women’s curling team from the Golden Ears Winter Club won the King Cash Spiel in Maple Ridge over the weekend.
The Kristen Ryan rink beat Sarah Daniels 7-4 in the final on Saturday.
Ryan and her third Shannon Joanisse retired two seasons ago, but entered a team when their hometown World Curling Tour event was one team short of a bonspiel.
They had curled together for about five years, and had great careers. Joanisse, who is on the Maple Ridge club’s management team, has been to five Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Then well-known as Shannon Aleksic, she lost in the final of the 2017 Scotties, and decided to retire.
She and Ryan joined with Megan Daniels and Dawn Mesana for the King Cash Spiel.
They lost their first game to the Diane Gushulak rink of Vancouver in a rough start to the event, but then skip Ryan got them organized.
“She needed a game to see how we were all throwing, so she could see how to ice us,” said Joanisse.
“After that we strung together more shots, and put pressure on the other teams.”
It was a close final, and Ryan needed to score two points in the last end to win. But Daniels missed a tough shot with her last rock, and Ryan scored four to take the event.
Sarah Daniels is the reigning B.C. junior champion, and Joanisse said that talented team will be heard from in B.C. for many curling seasons to come. Sarah played against her sister Megan in the final game.
Joanisse said the successful tournament has her thinking about coming out of retirement.
“I won’t lie, the fire has been re-ignited,” she said. “But I’m not sure we can make the time commitment.”
She noted that when she was an elite curler she would practice five days a week.
On the men’s side of the event, the Sean Geall rink of New Westminster, a new team on the tour, beat the reigning B.C. champion Jim Cotter rink of Vernon in the final by a score of 5-3.
The Geall rink is made up of third Jared Kolomaya, second Sebastien Robillard and lead Nicholas Meister.
The event is named for Earl King, who managed the Golden Ears Winter Club for a few years as a volunteer, and returned the club to a solid financial footing, explained Joanisse. She said the club has been slowly growing ever since.