New team, same old winning ways for Fort St. John’s Sterling Middleton.
Middleton and Team Gauthier won the 2023 B.C. Men’s Curling Championship 8-5 Sunday in Chilliwack, beating Team Pierce of New Westminster and finishing the tournament undefeated.
With the win, Middleton and the Victoria-based team will represent Team BC at the 2023 Tim Horton’s Brier in London, Ontario, in March.
Middleton played with Tyler Tardi until last season when the skip decided to disband the team. This year he joined Winnipeg skip Jacques Gauthier, who led a new foursome with team lead Alex Horvath and former Dawson Creek curler Jason Ginter rounding out the team.
With the B.C. men's championship final tied 5-5 heading in the ninth end on Sunday, Curl BC reported, "the intensity was at an all time high."
"Some precise hits from Team Gauthier, paired with some key misses from Team Pierce allowed the team from Victoria to go up by three points headed into the closing end," Curl BC reported. "Well-executed gameplay in the last end pushed Team Gauthier to victory."
The Brier runs from March 3 to 12, and Curling Canada continues the 18-team fields for its men's and women's national championship in 2023 after two years of the format.
Wild-card entries increased from one to three in 2021, and are determined by the top three non-qualified teams in Curling Canada's ranking system.
The Brier's three wild-card entries will be named next month when all provincial and territorial reps will have been determined.
Ontario, Northern Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador conclude their men's provincials Jan. 29 and Nova Scotia on Jan. 30.
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories and New Brunswick hold their men's provincial and territorial championships in February.
The Brier champion will represent Canada at the world men's championship April 1-9 in Ottawa.
— with Canadian Press files