Team BC’s Megan Daniels (left) and Team Alberta’s Kate Goodhelpen await an official’s measurement to determine the winner.

B.C. ekes out narrow victory in finals

Nail-biting finish in girls final at Optimist International curling championships at Langley Curling Club

In the end, Sarah Daniels did not mind the dramatic finish.

Up 2-1 in the eighth end of the finals at the Optimist International U18 curling championships, Daniels was one shot away from victory in the gold medal match against Team Alberta.

But her shot came up just short, allowing Alberta to steal a point and force a ninth and deciding end at the Langley Curling Club on Sunday afternoon.

Daniels did not make that same mistake twice, as she was able to throw away her last rock and allow the officials to measure the distance between B.C’s rock and Alberta’s rock. The B.C. rock was about a half inch closer to the button, giving them a 3-2 victory.

“My last shot in the eighth end, I was so sure that I had it,” a smiling Daniels said afterwards.

The missed shot left the B.C. team visibly shaken, but they were able to regroup to finish things off.

“We are just really supportive of each other,” said Daniels, the team’s skip.

“We knew we could get through this; we just had to get one (point).”

Just the fact the team was in the finals was an accomplishment in their minds.

The B.C. rink — which curls out of the Delta Thistle Curling Club — consists of Daniels, her sister Megan (third), Megan Bourassa (second) and Heather Sinclair (lead).

Sarah Daniels is 13 while the other three are 16.

“We didn’t think we would get here (the finals),” Daniels said. “We are a really new team; this is just our first year together.”

The team had gone 3-2 in round robin play to finish second in their pool. But they beat 5-0 Saskatchewan in one semifinal while Alberta (3-2)  defeated Manitoba (4-1) in the other to set up Sunday’s showdown.

In the men’s final — held at the Cloverdale Curling Club, the co-host of the championships — Manitoba defeated Ontario 5-4.

•••••

Altogether, there were a dozen teams apiece in the men’s and women’s draws.

Canada had 16 of the teams, six were from the United States and the final two were from Japan.

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