History was made at the Truro Curling Club on Saturday.
In front of a crowd of more than 200, Chad Stevens gave Nova Scotia’s its first Canadian firefighters curling title after an 8-4 victory over Saskatchewan’s Gregg Tarasoff in the final.
“Unbelievable,” Dennis Stevens, Chad’s father, who throws third stones for the team, said after the championship game. “It’s awesome to win gold here at home in Truro.”
The gold medal is a fitting addition to the trophy case. The team, from the Chester Fire Department, won silver in 1998 in Regina and bronze in 2009 in Charlottetown.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Chad, who was playing in his eighth firefighters national. “To play with my dad, and every time we win provincials, it brings a little tear to my eye, but to win at this level, it’s amazing.”
The Stevens foursome, which also includes second Dave Richardson and lead Mike Grist, defeated Alberta 8-5 in a semifinal game on Saturday morning.
In the final, Nova Scotia led 4-3 after six ends and put the contest out of reach by scoring three in the seventh.
“We played our game and they kind of let us go with it,” Chad said. “It’s what we’re comfortable with. We kind of snuck a greasy three in there in seven, and it kind of paved the way.”
Not only was it the first national championship in the 57-year history of the event for Nova Scotia, but it was also the first time a team east of Ontario won gold.
“When I walked up over the steps the first guy to meet me was Ross Doyle, and he said he had a tear in his eye, and he’s a legend … and when you’ve got him and Ronnie Crowe coming up to you with tears in their eyes, it hits you in the heart, that’s for sure,” Chad said.
Tarasoff was trying to win his second Canadian title in four years on Maritime ice after striking gold in 2013 in Saint John.
“I guess if there’s anybody I’d rather lose to, it’s a hometown team like Chad and the Nova Scotia team,” said Tarasoff. “It’s good for them; they’ll be happy with the win, but I’m definitely disappointed with losing, that’s for sure.”
Stevens posted a 7-3 record in the round-robin before winning the 3-4 Page playoff game on Friday against B.C.’s Dean Thulin.
Read more: Pictou County brothers represented southern Ontario in national championship