Locals Glen Hansen (skip), Duane Wright (third), Shaughn Lalonde (second) and Brent Fellows (lead) show off their hardware after an improbable run this past weekend to a 2020 Alberta Men’s Club Championship Provincial Open title in Edmonton.
Local foursome wins provincial curling banner
A Hinton rink skipped by Glen Hansen lost two of its first four games in Edmonton last weekend, but rebounded for an improbable five-win streak to a provincial curling title.
Not bad for a foursome – which also includes third Duane Wright, second Shaughn Lalonde and lead Brent Fellows – whose only preparation was a few ends the night before at the local men’s night.
“We didn’t go into it with a lot of expectations. I’m pretty sure Glen told his wife we’d probably be home Saturday,” said Wright, who is also president of the Hinton Curling Club.
“But we got to Sunday and we caught fire at the right time. We were curling really well, just making shot after shot.”
After being relegated to the C Event in the triple knockout format and on its last chance the team beat Slave Lake 8-3 and Calgary 6-4 to earn a berth in championship Sunday.
“That last game was all Glen, he made all his shots to get that win. He just didn’t miss,” Wright said, adding that Hansen’s experience at provincial and national championships also helped the squad throughout the weekend.
The Hinton rink was untouchable on championship Sunday, beating Vermilion 6-2 in seven ends in the quarterfinal and making short work of Saville Centre with a 7-1 rout in only four ends.
Hinton wrapped up its championship run with a convincing 7-1 win over Beaumont in seven ends.
“We knew we were curling really well but we were trying not to think about it. We sort of got hot, but we were still nervous. These were good teams and it was championship Sunday, so it was tense,” Wright said.
“When it was all over and we were celebrating it was unbelievable, we realized just how amazing that was.”
The provincial club championship process usually involves a number of qualifying tournaments around the province, but because of COVID the format changed and around 30 teams converged for the triple knockout tournament. The Hinton rink played nine games in three and a half days.
“It was a long haul with a lot of games,” Wright said.
Normally, the Hinton rink would now prep to represent Alberta at nationals, but that is cancelled this year due to COVID.
Wright said the squad will be getting the Team Alberta jackets. He said something else special is coming to Hinton in the form of a championship banner.
“They’re hard to get now, they don’t give them out for winning qualifying tournaments. It’ll be nice to hang another one at the Hinton Curling Club,” Wright said.
League play has begun at the Hinton Curling Club and the club is still accepting new teams with a prorated registration fee.
Ladies night is Tuesday, men’s night is Wednesday and mixed curling is featured on Thursday night.
Seniors curling is Monday afternoon, followed by junior curling.
For more information about the Hinton Curling Club, or to register a team, please contact Duane Wright at (780) 817-1675.