Jim Blackstone had a choice in the third end of the 63rd Annual Prince Rupert Marine Bonspiel and it was a classic choice — risk versus reward.
He took the risk but wasn’t rewarded.
Prince Rupert’s Blackstone rink and Terrace’s Chad Sallenback exchanged singles in the first two ends of the A Event Final on Sunday.
When the smoke cleared in the third, Sallenback had all but locked up his fourth title.
Sallenback, who had the hammer in the third and lying four, made a choice to cut off a runback attempt and instead played into Blackstone’s strength by forcing Blackstone to attempt a risky freeze draw to Sallenback’s shot stone at the back of the button.
“We had two choices and we couldn’t block all of them” Sallenback said.
“I guess we played right into his strength from what we heard … I knew if he made it we were pretty much done and he’d steal on us.”
Halfway down the sheet, Blackstone’s freeze attempt was just slightly too heavy and refused to curl up. His stone bumped off the shot stone and rolled to second shot.
But Blackstone’s stone was wide open and lonely with five other Sallenback rocks in the rings.
“He had that freeze to the back button, but it just hung out there and stayed straight. We were able to double it back and get a little inside roll … the rest was history. It was a pretty big end for us,” Sallenback said.
Blackstone picked up a single in the fourth before taking off the gloves, shaking hands and handing Sallenback a 7-2 victory.
This was Sallenback’s third title in four years and fourth overall dating back to 2005. He was the B Event champion in 2013. Sallenback’s rink consisted of Lead Dave Reniero, Second Shane Dejong and Third Mike Dahms.
In the B Event Final, Al Parker of Smithers picked up three in the first and stole two in the fourth on the way to a 8-6 win over Dan Fisher of Terrace.
In the C Event Final, John Evans of Terrace fought back from an early 3-1 deficit with a steal of two in the fifth to defeat Al Bowles, also of Terrace, 7-4.
In the D Event Final, Prince Rupert’s Travis Bernhardt picked up three in the first end and then added steals of one in the second and third ends to double up Jun Yamamoto of Prince Rupert 6-3.