It’s high season for on-ice sports around the Capital Region, whether you’re a hockey fan or an aficionado of the rockin’ sport of curling.
While Victoria might be known more for its love of hockey, it’s curling that has the upper hand in upcoming events.
Starting Wednesday (March 20) at the Esquimalt Archie Browning Sports Centre, the Victoria rink of Neil Dangerfield will be out to earn some respect from some of the top names in Canadian curling, during the eighth Victoria Curling Classic.
With the Classic draw winding up Sunday on the hockey ice, the high-flying Victoria Cougars will start their Vancouver Island Junior B championship final in Courtenay on Saturday against Comox Valley. The teams resume the series in Esquimalt next Tuesday, giving local fans a chance to cheer the Cats on.
Meanwhile, the Victoria Royals, who beat Everett twice to end the regular season, open the Western Hockey League playoffs Friday in Kamloops. However, the boys in blue-and-white took a scheduling nose hit from the 2013 Ford World Men’s Curling Championships.
The Ford Worlds are back in Victoria for the first time since 2005, when the competition helped christen the newly opened Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The event gets underway March 30 and promises plenty of exciting action, with Brad Jacobs’ Northern Ontario rink representing Canada.
With the worlds scheduled through April 7, the Royals’ first-round playoff games, March 26 and 28, and April 1 if necessary, will be played at 2,780-seat Bear Mountain Arena. It’s a fine venue in its own right, but a far cry from the potentially thunderous 7,000-seat Save-On Centre.
If the Royals can get by the Blazers – the teams went 4-4 in head-to-head games this season – they can hope for a return to the familiar confines of Save-On for round 2.
Regardless, we encourage Greater Victoria fans to get out and enjoy the games, whatever your fancy. It’s a chance to be part of the greater community and support local sporting events.