A 10-5 victory by Alberta’s Kevin Koe rink over the John Morris-skipped Team B.C. prevented Metchosin’s Jody Epp from making a curling trip of a lifetime to Beijing.
Epp, the alternate player on the “hometown” B.C. rink competing at the Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men’s curling championships, was on the sidelines for Sunday’s final in Kamloops. After spotting B.C. a 2-0 lead after the first end, Team Koe scored three points in the second, fifth and seventh ends to make it 9-4.
“Being there with a great group of guys who were 100 per cent focused on the end goal, and we came up just a couple rocks short of winning it all was amazing,” Epp said, noting the big ends by Koe could have gone either way.
While slotted in as the alternate, Epp did see action in the championships, in a round robin game against Ontario. He spent a lot of his time in between games, however, as the de facto team manager, “herding cats” and making sure the team got where it was supposed to go on time.
Heading into the final, the heavily partisan packed house at Interior Savings Centre created the level of noise that “sent chills through your spine,” he said. “It was deafening. And the crowd was in it the whole game, regardless of the score.”