Estevan rink close three times at Tankard

Three times Brent Gedak found himself one win away from a showdown for a playoff spot. Ultimately, the Estevan curler and his team weren't able to close the deal.

The Gedak rink did not reach the playoffs at the provincial Tankard in Melfort last week, despite going deep in the tournament.

Gedak and his team of John Aston (third), Derek Owens (second) and Malcolm Vanstone (lead) reached the semifinals in the A, B and C draws but weren't able to make the final in any of them.

A win in one of the finals would have sent the rink to the playoffs.

The Brock Virtue rink from Regina would go on to win the Tankard and earn a berth in the Brier next month. Virtue knocked Gedak out of the B event on Friday.

Gedak, who advanced to the Tankard from the southern playdowns in Estevan last month, opened the tournament well on Jan. 30 with a 9-8 win over one of the favourites, Darrell McKee of Saskatoon. Gedak scored three points in the eighth end to take control of the game.

He then edged Regina's Jamie Schneider, his nemesis at last year's Tankard, by a score of 8-7. In that game, Gedak gave up a steal of one in the 10th end to send it to extras, where Gedak took one with hammer to win it.

That sent Gedak to the A semis, where he ran into a hot Josh Heidt rink from Kerrobert. Heidt won that battle 7-4.

The teams traded single points for the first six ends, but a three-spot for Heidt in the seventh end changed the course of the game for good and they shook hands after the ninth end.

That loss dropped Gedak to the B side, where he faced Jeff Hartung of Langenburg. The Estevan crew wrapped up an 11-7 win with three points in the 10th end.

That sent Gedak to the B semis to face Virtue. With the Regina rink leading 5-3 after six ends, Virtue then stole three points in the seventh and eighth ends to bring out the handshakes early.

Gedak's only C side game ended quickly, as Steve Laycock put up a five-spot in the fourth end and added two more steals to earn a 9-1 victory in just six ends.

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