It took one more qualifier than they would have liked, but Bryan Rindal’s Prince Albert rink has secured a spot in the Senior Men’s Provincial Curling Championships.
Rindal, along with third Cliff Selander, second Angus Hemsworth and lead Chris Bannerman, knocked off Jim Wilson’s Saskatoon-based rink 5-1 on Saturday. The victory secured one of five qualifying spots up for grabs during last weekend’s northern qualifier at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club.
This will be the first time the rink has qualified for the senior men’s provincial tournament. Afterwards, Rindal said it was a surreal moment for the team.
“It was just a relief to know that you can still do it and still throw the rocks,” he chuckled. “Everybody was happy.”
Rindal began play as the lone Prince Albert rink in a field of 14 teams. They opened the tournament with a pair of victories before meeting Brad Heidt, the 2016 Senior Men’s Provincial Champion, in the first qualifier draw.
Despite going down 4-1 after three ends, the Rindal team fought back to get within one point before ultimately falling 6-3.
The Heidt rink dominated play for most of the tournament, going undefeated without ever playing a full eight-end game. That 6-3 game was their closest of the tournament.
“We had a few bad breaks and we left a couple points on the board, and they were the provincial winners last year,” Rindal explained. “That’s a good team.”
For the rest of this story, please see the Feb. 14 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.