Brier getting B.C. rookies

New West rink off to its first national championship after big victory on Sunday at B.C. Mens' Curling Championships in Parksville

Skip Andrew Bilesky’s rink from the Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster won the Canadian Direct Insurance Men’s Provincial Curling Championship Sunday in Parksville and will now represent B.C. at the Brier.

Skip Andrew Bilesky’s rink from the Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster won the Canadian Direct Insurance Men’s Provincial Curling Championship Sunday in Parksville and will now represent B.C. at the Brier.

Ah, the enthusiasm of youth.

The smiles really did say it all Sunday as Royal City skip Andrew Bilesky and his young rink knocked off Brent Pierce 7-4 to win the 2013 Canadian Direct Insurance B.C. Men’s Curling Championship in Parksville and advance to the Brier.

“Wow,” a beaming Bilesky marvelled in the moments after his final shot in the 10th end to nail down the win, played out in front of a good-sized appreciative crowd. “We’re going to the Brier.”

Team Pierce, also out of Royal City, lost to Kelowna’s Jim Cotter rink in a close one here in Parksville on the exact same sheet of ice in last year’s final.

The disappointed foursome left the rink immediately after the final rock and skipped the closing ceremony and medal presentations.

Bilesky and the boys on the other hand enjoyed every minute of it, earnestly excited and savouring the moment with family and friends.

“To be honest I thought they were the best team out there ­— from start to finish,” team coach Neil Houston from Port Moody said after.

Along the way, Team Bilesky beat the two-time defending champion Jim Cotter twice in the preliminary rounds to help end their run.

“It’s what I said earlier, right,” tournament chair Penny Shantz confirmed after the game, referring to an earlier prediction. “They were unstoppable.”

As much a win of attrition as clutch shot-making, Bilesky had to come out of the C Event “so they came the tough way, that’s for sure.”

Bilesky and the boys lost out of the A Event, then lost out in the B Event, but third time was the charm as they went unbeaten down the stretch. The team played 10 games from Wednesday morning on.

“They came the tough way but they just kept gaining momentum, and you could kind of feel that,” said Shantz.

According to the stats board, at one point late in the game Bilesky was shooting in the 90 per cent range.

Pierce was in a position to score in the sixth when Bilesky made a great shot, drawing against three of Pierce’s rocks and parking it right on the bottom to go up 5-1.

“It would have been a totally different game had he missed that,” said Shantz. “It would have allowed Brent back in the game, but he didn’t let him back in the whole game.”

“It’s really nice to see that for B.C.; a nice young team like that. It shows that we have some good young curlers.”

This is only the team’s second year together. Bilesky (New Westminster), third Steve Kopf (Coquitlam), second Derek Errington (New Westminster) and lead Aaron Watson (Surrey), “have been working towards this game since the day we teamed up,” Bilesky said between hugs and high fives.

“Everybody played great — everybody,” he said.

Bilesky and Errington have both been to a national competition as juniors, but this was their debut at the B.C. Mens’.

Bilesky and the boys now shift their attention to the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier in Edmonton March 2-10 where they’ll be playing alongside and against the likes of Canadian curling legends Kevin Martin (Alberta), Jeff Stoughton (Manitoba) and Glenn Howard (Ontario).

Just Posted

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read