OC Curling 2011MOPAC Team
The Orange County Curling Club sent a team to the US Curling Association (USCA) "Club National" playdowns (or qualifying tournament) for the Mountain Pacific (MOPAC) region. The USCA has ten regions and one men's team qualifies from each region to play in the Club National Championships.
The playdowns were held at the Granite Curling Club in Seattle, WA, January 15 to 17th, 2011 The Granite club is the only dedicated curling ice on the U.S. West Coast.
The OCC team is:
Skip - Justin McBride
Vice Skip - Ken Millar
Second - Richard Ramirez
Lead - Gordon Harder
MOPAC mens teams were from Phoenix, San Francisco, Portland, Hollywood and Orange County.
The Orange County Curling club started up in February 2010 and they were unknown longshots.
In the first game OCC played an experienced Phoenix team, and lead 7-5 going into the last end. Phoenix's third threw two perfect freezes to the button in the eighth end and put the game into an extra end. In the extra end, Phoenix had two rocks in the 4 foot ring and they were well guarded. On the last rock, OCC's Skip, Justin McBride peeled off a stone in the far left 8 foot ring and took out the two Phoenix stones to record a miracle 8-7 win.
In the second game San Francisco got off to a 3-0 lead after two ends. By the 5th end the score was tied 4-4. OCC started to roll and won 9-4.
Hollywood and OCC played a tight, tense match, in each end only one point was scored. OCC prevailed 5-3.
Portland (with an 0-3 record) played a fun game, but OCC won 11-3.
In the round robin, OCC was 4-0, San Francisco; 3-1, Phoenix; 2-2, Hollywood, 1-3; and Portland, 0-4. This is a double elimination tournament, so on January 17, OCC faced San Francisco. If OCC won they would qualify for the USCA Club Nationals.
OCC had a slow start after 4 ends, down 5-1. Justin McBride called a team meeting the scores were:
5th end 5-4 San Francisco
6th end 7-4 San Francisco
7th end 7-6 San Francisco
In the eighth end, OCC was sitting three after a great angle shot by Ken Millar to a guarded position and two draws by McBride, but San Francisco had the last shot and a lane to the button. Their shot was right on line, looked good on speed, but slid about 18" too far. OCC won 9-7, went undefeated and qualified for the USCA Club Nationals.