Brendan Bottcher Wins His 1st Career Brier
Brendan Bottcher has won his very first career Brier. Bottcher on Sunday night finally ended a three-year silver drought when he helped Team Alberta deny Kevin Koe a fifth career championships title at the Canadian men’s curling championship at the Tim Hortons Brier.
Bottcher knew it would require a near-perfect performance to do what he needed to do, at by shooting at 97 per cent, he did exactly that on Sunday evening, leading his Alberta side to a 4-2 victory and forcing Koe’s Wild Card Two to a game-tying concession.
By the time there remained only about 30 seconds left on the clock, team Koe, faced with three stones and not a snowball’s chance of equalling the playing field, finally decided to call the competition a night.
The Mighty Push To Concede
Teammates Darren Moulding, Karrick Martin, and Brad Thiessen shared a celebratory hug with Bottcher in front of a spectator-free stand at the Markin MacPhail Centre. But a lack of spectators clearly did nothing to take away from the foursome’s marvellous win.
Although every player experienced winning in an ultimately different way, said Bottcher, winning the gold meant a whole lot to every member of the team on Sunday evening. And the way in which team Alberta won would definitely have added to that experience.
The game progressed in blank fashion at first, with team Alberta forcing Wild Card Two to a single in the third. But the game did finally open up in the seventh end when Koe flashed a stone after it had picked. He then went on to miss a double-takeout, which eventually set Bottcher up for a draw for three.
Team Bottcher “Held On”
Bottcher had continued to keep on the pressure all throughout, which push eventually left Koe with no choice but to enter damage control mode by making a tough double-takeout against five to scoop a single in the eighth.
Even so, Bottcher had been well aware of what he would be up against in Koe, saying after the win that if ever there was going to be guy to deny anyone a win at the very end, then that guy was going to be Koe. Hanging on was going to be non-negotiable.
And hang on team Alberta certainly did, as was doing what needed to be done, which was something Bottcher said he had been most proud of.
The Brier was number two of seven competitions to be staged in the Canada Olympic Park bubble, after the women’s championship kicked off the proceedings in February.