It was a battle of old versus young in the final of the 48th “Bizness” Bonspiel this weekend at the Hay River Curling Club.
The Delorey rink of lead Alison Billard, second Rob Billard, third Davida Delorey and skip Paul Delorey were up against the Finning rink, which featured the Amanda Moizis rink of Moizis, Elizabeth Sperry, Amanda Roach and Olivia Gibbons. Sperry and Roach were both unavailable for the final, so spares D’arcy and Betti Delorey joined the Finning rink prior to the game.
Both teams had made it to the finals after posting identical records of four wins and zero losses in the round robin. The Delorey rink dominated play from the outset, taking a 3-0 lead after the first end. In the second, Moizis and Gibbons discussed options prior to throwing their final stone, with the Delorey rink lying three. Moizis attempted a tough draw, which was ultimately unsuccessful, leading to a 6-0 lead for the Deloreys. Following the end, Paul Delorey spent a few moments chatting with Moizis.
“I talked to Amanda about not giving up and staying in there,” he said following the game. “She took it really well.”
After scoring two in both the third and fourth ends, the two teams shook hands after four ends, with the Delorey rink winning 10-0.
Moizis and Gibbons said they always felt like they were in the game, no matter what the scoreboard showed.
“It was kind of like when we went to nationals,” Moizis explained. “We weren’t really paying attention to the score.”
Instead their on-ice conversations were about strategy and how to manage points, Gibbons added.
Amanda’s father, Roman, was impressed with the team’s never say die attitude.
“She knows she can win the game. It’s not, ‘I’m down seven, and I give up.’ She just fights back and fights back,” he said. “The whole team has that confidence. They know they can get back – which is a really unique trait.”
Tournament organizer Glenn Smith said while the numbers were down slightly from last year, the nine teams had fun during the tournament. Finning, NTPC 1, NTPC 2, Ashton, and Buffalo Fish competed in the “Drunken Hacks” pool, while Snap On, the Deloreys, Northland Utilities Limited and Ring’s Pharmacy competed in “The Bitter End” pool.
“There were lots of good laughs and energy out on the ice,” he said. “It looks like a lot of similar faces from last year, but a few new people that got out there. That’s always encouraging for us – especially at the beginning of the year.”
There was also an impressive sign of sportsmanship. While Ashton’s and Finning finished tied atop the standings in their pool, Ashton’s were scheduled to move on to the final due to the fact they had a better plus-minus, Smith explained. They asked the Finning foursome to play in their place.
“They thought they’d give the junior girls a chance to go out there and play another game, (and) give them a chance to win some money and help out their team,” Smith said, noting that the team quickly became the talk of the tournament. “They’re quite strong for a group of four young girls. They were obviously one of the better teams out there this weekend.”