Southern comfort for Okotoks curlers

Curling: Taylor Ardiel and Kyle Morrison sweep to provincial berth

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Dec 04, 2013 06:00 am

Okotoks' Taylor Ardiel, here coming out of the hack at a practice session, won the A-event with Team Lautner at the Southern Playdowns to qualify for the Junior Provincials.
Okotoks' Taylor Ardiel, here coming out of the hack at a practice session, won the A-event with Team Lautner at the Southern Playdowns to qualify for the Junior Provincials.
Remy Greer/OWW

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A pair of Okotoks curlers made a statement by blowing away the field of provincial hopefuls on the weekend.

Okotoks curlers Taylor Ardiel and Kyle Morrison helped the Carter Lautner rink sweep its way to the A-side title at the southern playdowns in Lethbridge to book their ticket to the Junior men’s provincials in style.

“We put three really solid games together and kind of sent a message, saying we’re not just a flash in the pan,” said Ardiel, the third on Team Lautner. “The ice was really fast, one side was really straight, the other really swinging.

“You just had to properly place your rocks and we were able to put them exactly where we wanted them most of the time. Carter was really clutch I don’t think the kid missed a draw all weekend.”

Team Lautner used a five-point seventh end to turn a 3-3 deadlock into a convincing 8-3 win over Medicine Hat’s Dustin Rafa in Saturday night’s A-event final.

“We switched gears on him and started playing a little dirtier,” Ardiel said. “He threw the out-turn and tried to play it really skinny and it just didn’t curl and tapped us in to sit four and a free draw for five and then that just solidified the game.”

The team solidified its place in the final after getting through a marquee semifinal in the A-event featuring the top two rinks on the Alberta Junior Curling Tour in Lautner and Airdrie’s Michael Roy.

After Roy posted a three-point eighth end, Team Lautner picked up two in the ninth to seal the 7-5 victory.

“Both teams played pretty well, we played just that little bit better,” said Ardiel, a former member of Team Roy. “Not the best performance by both teams, but it got us through to where we needed to be.”

Team Lautner opened the weekend ‘spiel by edging Okotoks’ Kyler Kleibrink 5-3, picking up singles in five ends to take the narrow victory.

“Last week we said if we all come out and do our jobs we’ll get through the weekend,” said Morrison, the team’s lead. “We all came out, we did what we were supposed to do and it showed.”

Team Kleibrink followed up its opening loss in Lethbridge by dropping a narrow 10-8 result to Calgary’s Tyler Lautner to fall down into the C-event. In an elimination game, Nanton’s Jeremy Harty picked up a single in the 10th end to edge Kleibrink 6-5, eliminating the Okotoks team from provincial contention.

The Junior men’s provincials are Dec. 26-31 at the Leduc Curling Club. The other provincial qualifiers through Southerns were Calgary’s Scott Smith, who won the B-final, and the Tyler Lautner rink out of the Calgary Winter Club.

Roy, the points leader on the Alberta Junior Curling Tour, was eliminated in the C-event by Rafa to remove one of the top contenders from the provincials.

“It looks a little bit better now that we went through the A and we don’t have to worry about Mike (Roy) being there,” said Ardiel, on his provincial hopes. “It’s shaping up pretty nice for us right now, but who knows.

“Anyone can be beat on any given day and we’ve just got to go and make sure we do the same thing and perform to the best of our ability.”

After making their presence felt at a stacked Southerns, Morrison said he’s encouraged with the prospects of provincial glory.

“If we play like we have been playing we have a very good chance,” Morrison said. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to. It’s definitely promising and we’ve just got to keep practicing and keep improving our game.”

In the Junior women’s division, former national Junior champion Jocelyn Peterman led her Glencoe Curling Club rink to a perfect run through to the A final championship. Medicine Hat’s Morgan Krassman won the B event and Airdrie’s Selena Sturmay qualified through the C final.

For more information on the provincials log on to albertacurling.ab.ca


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