Throwback Thursday (TBT) digs through the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling archives to bring you historical moments of the series. This week we rewind to the inaugural Humpty’s Champions Cup men’s final: May 1, 2016.
They just didn’t want the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season to end.
Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers and Toronto’s John Epping faced off in the final game of 2015-16 in the Humpty’s Champions Cup men’s final in Sherwood, Park, Alta. It was a match that required not one, but two extra ends to solve.
While 10-end games are the norm in other curling events like nationals and world championships, it’s quite rare for games in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series — normally eight-end matches — to go up to 10.
Even more bizarre is it wasn’t even Epping’s first 10-end game in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling that season! It happened to him at the previous event during a round-robin game against David Murdoch at the Players’ Championship (Murdoch won).
Carruthers opened the Humpty’s Champions Cup men’s final with the hammer and blanked the first few ends before settling for a single in the fourth. It was evenly matched back and forth as Epping pulled ahead with a deuce in the following frame, Carruthers blanked again in six and took a two-spot of his own in seven to reclaim the lead 3-2.
Epping counted one in the eighth to force extra(s) and set up the thrilling finale.
Carruthers looked to hit and stay for the win in the first extra end, but his shooter rolled out of the house. A couple rocks sat just at the edge of the 12-foot circle, but a measurement determined they were on the porch and not actually in the building, so neither one counted and a blank went on the board. The match must continue!
Reid Carruthers reacts after his last shot of the first extra end hits and rolls out. (Anil Mungal)
Are they in or out? Team Epping and Team Carruthers decide to measure the rocks left on the ice in the first extra end. Spoiler alert: they’re out. (Anil Mungal)
With Epping sitting three counters in the house, including shot rock in the four-foot circle, there wasn’t going to be a cumbersome third round of OT. Carruthers drew for winner, although it looked a little heavy at first. Third Braeden Moskowy, calling the line from the house, dropped to his knees as it appeared Epping was going to steal the title.
Carruthers’s rock stopped dead just in time for him to capture his first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title as a skip. For Moskowy, second Derek Samagalski and lead Colin Hodgson it was their first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling trophy ever while Carruthers had won the National playing second for Jeff Stoughton in 2013.
Colin Hodgson, Derek Samagalski, Braeden Moskowy and Reid Carruthers celebrate with the Humpty’s Champions Cup trophy. (Anil Mungal)
Team Carruthers will be back to defend the title, however, they’ll have to do it without their skip. Carruthers and Team Homan’s Joanne Courtney are off to represent Canada at the world mixed doubles championship, which conflicts with the Humpty’s Champions Cup. The other members of Team Carruthers are moving up one spot each in the lineup — with Moskowy skipping, Samagalski at third and Hodgson at second — and new alternate/adviser Craig Savill making his debut with the squad at lead.
The 2017 Humpty’s Champions Cup runs April 25-30 at WinSport Arena in Calgary. Tickets are available, visit Ticketmaster.ca or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase your tickets today.