The 2012 GNCC Arena Club Championships took place June 22-24 in Woodstock, VT and Charlotte was well-represented with the team of Jeremy Hozjan, Stacie Pinnavaia, Sue Mitchell (Triangle CC), and Dawn Hozjan finishing as the Lake Placid (4th) Event Runners-up. Charlotte came charging out of the gates in their first two draws on Friday beating Anthracite 8-0 and Woodstock 9-2; both games called after 6 ends. On Saturday they ran into a curling buzz saw in the form of a team from Bucks County and dropped the semifinal match, placing them into the Lake Placid semifinals.
Sunday morning saw a return to winning form with a 7-end victory over Ocean State to place them into the Lake Placid Final against a very formidable Green Mountain team. The Final started just 20 minutes after the end of the first draw, posing a challenge to both teams. Green Mountain charged out to what seemed to be a commanding 7-1 lead, only to see Charlotte roar back to tie it up going into the last end. It was Charlotte’s house and victory was at hand but Green Mountain put the hammer to good use and stole the game on their final shot.
Skip Jeremy Hozjan was still upbeat afterwards and expressed his gratitude for the team’s play. “We all made some great shots and our team communication was outstanding. We let the first end in (both) the First Event Semis and the Fourth Event Finals get away from us. We battled back strong and in the end left with some pretty cool hardware. Woodstock hosted an excellent event.”
Hozjan’s other concern over the weekend was the local Woodstock authorities. “Everyone was warned about speeding over 25 mph because the police love to nail people,” he said. So he decided to nominate Stacie as the team’s driver. It was an easy decision to have the Motor City native behind the wheel. “Stacie was a fantastic driver,” he said. “Two (other) teams still ended up with (speeding) tickets.”
We’re extremely proud of our Charlotte curlers for their showing over the weekend. Making the 4th Event Final is still a great accomplishment this club takes pride in. This is the second year in a row Charlotte has been in at least one Final at this competition (in 2011, Charlotte teams appeared in both the Main and 4th Event Finals). That Bucks County team they lost to in the semis? They ended up beating 2-time defending champion Pittsburgh to win the Main Event. You don’t have to win anything to claim a victory, and this team showed the country (again) what a winning club we have here in Charlotte.