Tankard draws thousands to Affinity Place

By Corey Atkinson / Estevan Mercury

February 7, 2018 12:01 AM

                                                                                                                 Oh, what a week.

                                                                                                                 SaskTel Tankard organizers had little time after the Tankard trophy was                                                                                                                          presented to exhale before turning the rink back to its former home as a                                                                                                                        hockey and figure skating facility. But the week of Jan. 31- Feb. 4, 2018                                                                                                                        won’t be forgotten quickly thanks to the efforts of organizers, volunteers and                                                                                                                  the curlers.

                                                                                                                 On the ice, Steve Laycock’s team defeated Colton Flasch’s team 9-7 in an                                                                                                                    exciting final Sunday afternoon, putting a bow on five outstanding days of                                                                                                                      curling and curling-related activity.

                                                                                                                 “I think that overwhelming is the first word,” said Tankard co-chair Helen                                                                                                                        Fornwald. “What just happened blew our expectations out of the water                                                                                                                          completely. Our goal, our journey along the way. The community came out                                                                                                                    and supported it. The patch, the young kids supported that. Our 50-50s                                                                                                                        were well-attended and we had a great finish here. We welcome the                                                                                                                              Laycock team to represent our province.”

                                                                                                                 For five days, the best men’s curling teams in the province took over Affinity                                                                                                                  Place. Nary a complaint was heard from the teams about the city and the                                                                                                                      stands had a wide range of age from schoolkids to adults of all ages.

                                                                                                                 “Right from the building, they have it in, it’s a beautiful building,” said                                                                                                                            winning skip Laycock. “They had great icemakers for it, the hotel was                                                                                                                            amazing. We had nothing but a great time here this week.”

Laycock will wear green as team Saskatchewan at the Tim Hortons Brier in Regina next month, but there were a few teams that had really good weeks leading up to the playoff round – including Estevan skip Brent Gedak’s team from the Power Dodge Curling Centre.  

“There was some fantastic shotmaking all week by these guys,” said Leah Moriarty, Tankard co-chair. “Our hometown boy gave it a good run but I think we’ve got a really good representative heading to Regina.”

The event was run so successfully, organizers are dropping strong hints that there may be more big time curling events in the future. First comes the rest after five intense, long days at the rink.

“We’re going to decompress here for a little bit and let this settle in,” Moriarty said.

“I think we’re going to do volunteer appreciation because without those volunteers, we couldn’t have done that without them,” Fornwald said. “We’re hearing from all around the fans that have come about the beautiful facility, the clean facility. Thanks to the city for allowing this. The city staff worked so hard.  Our committee, everyone involved. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work.”

“I don’t think we’re done though,” Moriarty added. “Keep that in mind for the future.”

“I think this is just the beginning for curling events for us,” Fornwald said.

The next step will be a little bit bigger event here, and discussions have already started with CurlSask, the provincial body in charge of curling in the province. 

From the outside things looked to be running smoothly, with events going on as scheduled, no significant ice issues and curlers having little issue navigating where they were supposed to be and when.

“That means our committee behind us did an excellent job in organizing,” said Moriarty. “There’s a few things, obviously that we could change but overall it did really, really well.”

The support from volunteers and the city went over and above the expecations of Fornwald and Moriarty.

“We weren’t sure, when we started planning this, how it would go over in the city,” Moriarty said. “The numbers of attendance, the volunteers, it’s blown our minds.”

“CurlSask said that we’d just need about 100 volunteers, and we had over 160 volunteers,” Fornwald said. “Those volunteers didn’t just work one or two shifts. They worked multiple shifts. They were coming for one shift and staying for 10 hours. It was their heart and soul put into this.”

With the Tanakrd now in the memory banks, one can only wonder what’s next from these organizers.

“We’ll see what comes and go from there,” Moriarty said. 

Tankard opening: The Brent Gedak team was part of the opening ceremony Wednesday evening. From left are Brent Gedak, Clint Dieno, Derek Owens, Shawn Meyer, coach Bob Doerr and Future Stars curler Kristen Carlson 


Written by Danny Ewen on Monday, 01 December 2014

Steve Laycock's rink from Saskatoon are the winners of the 2014 Weatherford Curling Classic.
Laycock's team defeated Kelowna, BC's Brent Pierce 6-3 in 8 ends in the final on Monday

afternoon at the Power Dodge Curling Centre in Estevan.
It was a low scoring start to the final game. After two blank ends, Pierce struck first. However, it

was on a missed opportunity as Pierce

missed on his last shot and had to settle for 1 in the 3rd End. Laycock immediately made him

pay and took the lead grabbing a double in the 4th.
Pierce would bounce back in the 5th end, scoring 2 and reclaiming the lead now up 3-2.

Laycock would take the lead for good in the 6th end, putting up 3 and going up 5-3. Pierce had

another opportunity to get closer in the 7th, but grazed his own rock on a soft take-out shot. The

result was a steal for 1 and a 6-3 lead for Laycock after 7. It was academic in the 8th as Laycock eliminated rocks until the game was over.
The customary handshake between the two teams followed as both rinks congratulated each other on a well-played championship.
It had been a slow start to the tournament for Laycock as he and his teammates had trouble getting used to the ice at the Power Dodge Curling Centre.
"I think we just got tripped up on how the speed was different," said Laycock. "It wasn't as different as we thought it was going to be. There was a few picks early in the tournament where the ice was a little bit softer. That kind of made us lose confidence in our draw weight."
"Once we zeroed in on what the ice was actually doing, we started to play really well."
Laycock's first match was in Draw 4, where he fell 6-3 to Brent Gedak, who was one of 7 rinks from Estevan in the tournament. The loss would drop Laycock down to the 'B Event', where he would bounce back in Draw 5, beating Kindersley's Drew Heidt 5-2.
It would be a preview of the final in Draw 7, as this time Brent Pierce defeated Laycock 5-2. The second loss would drop Laycock to the 'C Event' and push him to the brink of elimination. But Laycock responded in a big way with an 8-2 victory over Josh Heidt from Kerrobert, qualifying Laycock for the playoffs.
In the quarterfinals on Sunday night, Laycock would get revenge on Brent Gedak by edging out the hometown product 8-6.
"The game on Sunday night against Gedak was one of the best games we've been involved in all year." said Laycock. "The shot making was just incredible so obviously coming out of that game with a win was very rewarding."
The win would send Laycock to the semi-finals where he would defeat Regina's Randy Bryden in a close match 5-3. In the other semi-final, Pierce defeated Saskatoon's Kevin Marsh 7-1 before coming up short in the final to Laycock.
Complete details of every game at the Weatherford Curling Classic can be found on this link:

The event held a $32,000 purse. The cash payout was distributed accordingly:
1st Place - Steve Laycock - $10,000
2nd Place - Brent Pierce - $6,000
3rd/4th Place - Kevin Marsh/Randy Bryden - $4,000 each
5th/8th Place - Clint Dieno/Ryan Hyde/Brent Gedak/Braeden Moskowy - $2,000 each

Laycock entered the weekend 9th on the World Curling Tour money list at $30,500 while Brent Pierce was 18th at $15,900.


By David Willberg

                                                     The next five months will once again be very busy for the Power Dodge Curling Centre.
                                                     The first rocks are slated to be thrown on October 28 and 29, during the club's open house. League play will                                                             begin on Sunday, November 2 with the Timbits program, which will continue until the Christmas break.
                                                     Other leagues this year include the women's league on Mondays, the competitive league and the youth program                                                       on Tuesdays, the recreation league on Wednesdays and the open league on Thursdays.
                                                    Registrations are still being accepted for all leagues.
                                                    Afternoon curling, which is popular with seniors, shift workers and drop-in curlers, will be on Mondays and                                                                 Wednesdays, and possibly Tuesdays.
                                                    "Last year we had a growth in a lot of shift workers," said Estevan Curling Club manager Pauline Ziehl-Grimsrud.                                                        "We also had different people coming in, such as competitive curlers who were using that time on a sheet of ice                                                        for practice."
                                                    Several special events are scheduled. The World Curling Tour will come to Estevan for the second straight year                                                        from November 28 to December 1. A total of $32,000 will be available in prize money.
                                                    Ziehl-Grimsrud hopes the number of teams will increase to 20, from 16 last year.
                                                    "It's a bit of a rebuilding year in the curling world," said Ziehl-Grimsrud. "It typically is after an Olympic year, and                                                        there seems to be some movement among the teams. So we're hoping that will mean there will be a lot of people                                                      who want to get their legs under them, and they'll want to come to this event."
                                                    Local favourite Brent Gedak is entered. So are several other prominent Saskatchewan teams, including Josh                                                              Heidt, Drew Heidt, Jason Jacobson, Joel Jordison and Jeff Hartung. Ryan Hyde from Manitoba is also schedule                                                        to compete.
                                                    A novice-juvenile camp will happen November 21 and 22. And the dominion regional playdowns, which cover                                                         the southeast corner of the province, will be March 6 to 8, 2015.
Several bonspiels are scheduled for the new year as well. The Kudu youth bonspiel is January 16 and 17; the Roy's Transmission and McComb Automotive men's Bonspiel and the A&A Jewelry women's bonspiel will be January 30 to February 1; a corporate bonspiel will be March 13 and 14; and the year-end Oilfield Technical Society Oilmen's bonspiel will be March 26 to 29.
Upgrades for the rink include the installation of overhead cameras for the far end of sheets 2 to 5. Accompanying monitors will be added to the lobby and the lounge. Spectators will have a better view of what's happening on those sheets, Ziehl-Grimsrud said.
They are also working on the serving area in the upstairs lounge.
The club also has a new icemaker: Owen Hayward from Vancouver. Hayward is a former Saskatchewan resident who has had family in the Kipling area. He is a former student of Dave Merklinger, who handled the ice-making duties at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Hayward has eight years of experience making curling ice.
"My goal is to make the ice at least as good as Bill (Kapiczowski) did," said Hayward, giving a nod to the long-time ice-maker in Estevan.
Hayward said he wants keen, arena-like ice that offers at least four feet of curl.

(L-R) Owen Hayward and Bill Kapiczowski have been preparing the ice at the Power Dodge Curling Centre. October 16, 2014


October 18, 2013
David Willberg 
Posted with permission from Estevan Lifestyles

Power Dodge and the Estevan Curling Club have officially celebrated Power Dodge

purchasing the naming rights for the curling rink's building, as a brief ceremony was

held on October 15. 
Representatives of the City of Estevan, Power Dodge and the curling club were on

hand. Power Dodge has pledged $250,000 for the next 10 years - which means

$25,000 a year - to own the naming rights. 
"We thought it was a great idea for the community, and just another way to show our

support,"said Power Dodge dealer principal Trevor Knibbs.
The building will be known as the Power Dodge Curling Centre, but the Estevan

Curling Club will still be the name of the operating organization.
Knibbs said that the arrangement has worked out well thus far. He is pleased with the signage on the exterior of the building and inside the lobby, as well as the Power Dodge logo that was painted on one of the rings for Sheet 3. 
"They have been a great supporter of curling in Estevan for quite a few years now," said curling club president Rico Tomsha. "They have now made a large commitment to curling in this community." 
Power Dodge's support will help keep the club alive and active for years to come, Tomsha said. 
The curling club decided to sell the naming rights for the building so that they could raise some money, Tomsha said. After the club received the go-ahead from the City of Estevan, they sent letters to some of their top supporters. 
"Power Dodge ... jumped on board right away," said Tomsha. "As soon as they saw the pamphlet, they phoned us and they were interested." 
The $250,000 figure was chosen based on what other buildings in the community were sold for. Tomsha cited the Icon Centre (formerly the Lignite Miners Centre) as an example; he believes it was sold for $250,000. 
Rink manager Pauline Ziehl-Grimsrud said the arrangement with Power Dodge seems like a good fit. 
"It's very much the norm in our community, with buildings or fields being named after companies or individuals" said curling rink manager Pauline Ziehl-Grimsrud. 
Ziehl-Grimsrud said that Estevan is likely one of the first curling rinks in the country to sell the naming rights for its building, and they have received nation-wide recognition and interest. She expects that it will become a trend for the sport.


(January 25-27, 2013)

                                                                        Layne Hawrylak and team makes Chay Kitts, Jeremy Godfrey and Taylor Marcotte were in Alameda                                                                            January 25-27 for an open bonspiel. The team won their first two games before giving up a loss to                                                                              move them to the C side of the competition. After winning the C-semi-final they played the C-final                                                                                where they stole points in ends 2 through 6 before giving up a point in the 7, going on to win the                                                                                  game 7-1 in 7 ends.


(January 18-20, 2013)

Estevan's Brent Gedak faced off with Moose Jaw's Joel Jordison in one of 2 C - final events, Sunday January 20. After blanking the first two ends Gedak would score four in ends 3-5 and enjoyed a 4-0 lead halfway through the game.
It would end up being 5-3 heading into the 9th end. Gedak made a open hit for three and won the match 8-3 in 9 ends and a spot in the Tankard.
The other C Final saw Chris Busby defeat the Jason Krupski rink from Whitewood 9-4. Busby was leading 5-4 heading into the 7th end but scored a pair in back to back ends to win in it 9.
Advancing along with Gedak and Busby to the Provincial Tankard will be Brock Virtue, Jeff Hartung, and William Coutts.
The Tankard begins next Wednesday, January 30, in Melfort. The Estevan Curling Club wishes Brent Gedak and his teammates Good luck at the Tankard!! 

  • Estevan Curling Club

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