John Epping and his rink from Toronto played some of the best curling of their season out West this weekend to win the ATB Banff Classic, beating Kevin Koe in the final, 7-5.
Epping put up a four spot in the opening end and didn't look back to finish the weekend with a perfect 5-0 record.
The team from the Leaside Curling Club, featuring Ryan Fry at third, Mat Camm at second and Brent Laing at lead also beat Koe earlier in the triple-knockout tournament and Mike McEwen in the semi-final 5-0.
Team Epping have struggled at times this season, but now hold a record of 22-23 after a perfect weekend in Banff as they begin to prepare for the Ontario Tankard, slated to run Feb. 9-13 in Port Eglin.
With their first-place finish, Team Epping took home $9,000 out of the $23,000 purse.
Walk This Way
On the Alberta Curling Series, Laura Walker topped Casey Scheidegger in the Avonair final, 5-2.
The Edmonton rink of Walker, third Kate Cameron, second Taylor McDonald and lead Nadine Scotland lost their opener to Scheidegger before winning four straight to set up a rematch in the championship game against their provincial rival.
Kelsey Rocque finished with a 1-3 record.
Team Walker earned $2,113 out of the $4,100 purse in the eight-team tournament.
Walker, Scheidegger and Rocque will all compete in the Alberta playdowns from Jan. 3-9 in Grande Prairie.
USA Continues Olympic Prep
Team John Shuster and Team Tabitha Peterson will represent the United States in Beijing this February and both made the finals at the Curl Mesabi Classic this weekend in Eveleth, Minnesota as their Olympic preparation continues.
Team Shuster, who won gold at the 2018 Olympics, fell to Americans Team Rich Ruohonen in the men's final, 8-4 while Team Peterson edged out Team Cory Christensen, also from the United States, 5-4, in the women's final.
Peterson and third Nina Roth as well as second Becca Hamilton represented the United States at the 2018 Olympics. Roth skipped that squad and finished with a 4-5 record.