Team Alberta skip Brendan Bottcher, right, and third Darren Moulding discuss strategy as they play Team Wild Card Two during the Brier curling final in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, March 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Team Alberta skip Brendan Bottcher, right, and third Darren Moulding discuss strategy as they play Team Wild Card Two during the Brier curling final in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, March 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Lacombe ice maker Darren Moulding reflects on first Brier title

Lacombe’s Darren Moudling and Team Brendan Bottcher might very well subscribe to their own version of the phrase third time’s a charm.

It was the fourth time lucky for that crew in Calgary at the 2021 Brier, Canada’s Men’s National Curling Championship.

After three straight trips and losses in the Brier final, the Bottcher rink finally got the monkey off their back with a win over Alberta rival Kevin Koe Sunday.

“It’s a lifetime of work coming to fruition. It’s a dream that I’ve had since I can remember,” said Moulding, the 38-year-old ice maker in Lacombe.

“I don’t remember ever not dreaming or wanting this. My whole life’s work – it’s overwhelming actually. It’s what I always pictured for sure.”

Read more:

Bottcher beats Koe 4-2 to win Canadian men’s curling championship for first time

Iced Out: Several teams miss out on television time at curling championship

It was a busy Sunday for the Bottcher rink, as they narrowly edged Saskatchewan 6-5 in the semifinal, picking up a deuce on an incredibly difficult angle raise, with hammer in the 10th end to earn a spot in the final against Koe.

The final was a nail-biter, with both skips curling above 95 per cent for the majority of the game.

Koe blinked first, missing a double takeout that allowed Alberta to score three in the seventh. The five-time Brier champ hit a great shot with hammer in the eighth to get his side within one.

Bottcher grabbed a single in the ninth for a 4-2 lead. With Hammer in the 10th, Koe had no shot for two – they shook hands with the Bottcher rink, handing them their first Brier title.

“When you play Kevin Koe, I never think the game is won until they look at me and shake my hand. They’re so good and they always find a way to break your heart,” said Moulding, who curled 87 per cent at the 10-day event.

“I was just trying to throw every shot as good as I can. I thought at the end of the day if it resulted in a win, I was good with it. Until we hit and stuck and I looked and we had four rocks in there and I didn’t see any way to get them out. That was when I knew we won.”

Underneath that jubilation, Moulding recalled the devastation of all three final losses and how long a road he thought it might be to get back to the final again.

“When we lost those three years, especially last year, you wonder – a lot of people never get to the Brier final. I had three cracks at it and didn’t win it. Am I going to get another chance? Is my body going to allow me?” he pondered.

“Those are all things that go through my mind. I’m going to play as long as I can. I was really upset after we lost last year.”

The group only played in three tour events during the 2020-21 curling season and as the defending champions, were selected to represent Alberta at this year’s Brier. Moudling said in what was an incredibly difficult year, the Brier was a shining light.

“It’s just been a crazy year and I’ve really been focused on balance in my life and just being a better teammate and player. Just getting that much better at everything so we can win. I feel like I’ve got a few more years left,” he said.

“You don’t know how long you have – life is fragile. These times are precious and I’m thankful every time we play.”

There will be another chance to add more hardware this week, as Moulding joins Joanne Courtney at the Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship, which starts Thursday.

Moulding will also represent Alberta and Canada in the bubble again next month at the World Men’s Curling Championship. They’ll take place from April 3-11 at the MacPhail Centre, the same ice that Alberta won the national championship on.

He said he’s over the moon at the chance to represent the country.

“This will be my first time wearing the maple leaf. I’m proud to be Canadian and I’m going to be really proud to represent our country,” he said.

“It’s truly an honour and a dream come true. I’ll do my best to make our country proud.”



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

.
3-hour paid leave for Albertans to get vaccinated in the works

The UCP government intends to introduce legislation that will ensure working Albertans… Continue reading

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Several cases of COVID-19 were reported among employees of stores at Bower Place Mall. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
COVID-19 cases reported at Bower Place mall stores

AHS said five complaints were investigated since March, and required changes made

Edmonton Eskimos' Tanner Green, right, knocks the ball from Calgary Stampeders' Romar Morris during first half CFL football action in Calgary in 2019. Green has been waiting for nearly 17 months to get back on the field with the Edmonton Football Team. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lacombe’s Tanner Green happy to finally see a CFL return to play date

CFL announced Wednesday league will return on Aug. 5

Westerner Park’s Exhibition Hall was used as a vaccination clinic on Wednesday. A steady stream of people came to get their COVID-19 shots either by appointment or as walk-ins. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
No long lineups at walk-in vaccination site in Red Deer

A steady stream of people walked into Westerner Park on Wednesday to… Continue reading

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Iran's president on Wednesday called Tehran's decision to enrich uranium up to 60% after saboteurs attacked a nuclear site "an answer to your evilness," linking the incident to ongoing talks in Vienna over its tattered nuclear deal with world powers. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
US outlines possible sanctions relief for Iran in nuke talks

US outlines possible sanctions relief for Iran in nuke talks

Activists hope Chauvin convictions are start to real change

Activists hope Chauvin convictions are start to real change

CORRECTS THAT PHOTOGRAPHS ARE OF TRANSGENDERED WOMEN KILLED OVER THE YEARS, NOT PEOPLE WHO DIED BY POLICE VIOLENCE - A backstop at Cal Anderson Park is covered, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, in Seattle, with photographs of transgendered women who have been killed in the past years. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)
Grim list of deaths at police hands grows even after verdict

Grim list of deaths at police hands grows even after verdict

FILE - This file image made from a video aired Friday, Jan. 7, 2005, by Israeli television station Channel 10, shows what the television station claims is Israel's top secret nuclear facility in the southern Israeli town of Dimona, the first detailed video of the site ever shown to the public. The Israeli military said that a missile was fired into Israel from neighboring Syria early Thursday, April 22, 2021, and that it has struck targets in Syria in response. Earlier, air raid sirens sounded in Dimona, the Negev town that is home to Israel's secretive nuclear reactor, indicating a possible incoming attack. (Channel 10 via AP, File)
Israel says it strikes targets in Syria after missile attack

Israel says it strikes targets in Syria after missile attack

FILE - In this July 8, 2014, file photo, is a sign alerting visitors to water conservation efforts at the state Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared an emergency executive order in two Northern California counties in response to drought conditions affecting much of the state. The announcement Wednesday, April 21, 2021, affects Mendocino and Sonoma counties, where Newsom says drought conditions are especially bad. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
California governor declares drought emergency in 2 counties

California governor declares drought emergency in 2 counties

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou's extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, makes an announcement regarding the protection of children from online sexual exploitation during a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Tuesday, Aug 6, 2019. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed former Liberal minister Goodale as high commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Coming G7, climate meetings will be ‘pivotal,’ says Goodale, Canada’s new rep in U.K.

Coming G7, climate meetings will be ‘pivotal,’ says Goodale, Canada’s new rep in U.K.

A Cargill sign is shown at one of its meat-processing plants in Chambly, Que., on Sunday, May 10, 2020. A vaccination clinic for thousands of workers at a southern Alberta beef-packing plant has been postponed due to a delay in a shipment of the Moderna vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Site of COVID outbreak last year: Vaccination clinic at Alberta beef plant postponed

Site of COVID outbreak last year: Vaccination clinic at Alberta beef plant postponed

Most Read