TRURO – Peter Burgess’ Truro rink picked a pretty good time to play it’s best curling of the year.
Burgess, along with mate Craig Burgess, second Jared Bent and lead Todd Burgess, defeated Mayflower’s Shea Steele 5-3 Friday night to punch their ticket to Saturday’s playoff round at the Molson Coors Tankard provincial men’s curling championship at Truro Curling Club.
Burgess moves on to a quarter-final matchup at 2 p.m. against the winner of a 9 a.m. tie-breaker between Mayflower’s Mark Dacey and CFB Halifax’s Alan O’Leary.
“It feels pretty good,” Peter, who was met with plenty of smiles and handshakes from the hometown fans as his team came off the ice, said. “We’ve just got to keep the ball rolling now and see what we can do.”
Friday night’s win was the second of the day for Burgess, who entered play with a 2-3 record and very slim playoff hopes. However. Burgess beat CFB Halifax’s Alan O’Leary 7-5 in Friday’s afternoon draw and now has three consecutive wins after downing Dacey Thursday.
In other action defending champion Jamie Murphy, of Lakeshore, defeated Dacey 7-2 to finish the round-robin at 6-1 while Lakeshore’s Paul Flemming eliminated Mayflower’s Chad Stevens 9-3. O’Leary nipped Mayflower’s Ian Juurlink 7-6.
The results leave Burgess, O’Leary, Dacey and Flemming all knotted at 4-2 while Murphy sits alone on top and advances to a 2 p.m. semifinal against Flemming. The loser of that game takes on the winner of the Burgess/tie-breaker draw at 7 p.m.
Burgess said he feels his team is finally playing to its potential after a rocky start to the tournament.
“Our last two games we played really well, easily the best two games of the year we’ve played,” he said. “This last one, it got a little sloppy in the middle but you can’t play perfect every game and you’ve got to win the sloppy ones too.”
Burgess took a 1-0 lead in the second end and there was no more scoring until Steele equalized in the fifth. Steele then stole a pair in the seventh for a 3-1 lead to put Burgess on the ropes.
“But we stayed calm and said lets get our two back,” Burgess said.
That, they did in the eighth end and set themselves up for a pair and the win in the 10th to the delight of the packed gallery, which could be heard from the ice shed celebrating.
“Everybody made their shots in front of me in the 10th end,” Burgess said. “We set the end up really well, had good rock positioning.”