Official Windy City Curling Uniforms

Get your official Windy City Curling uniforms including jersey and/or jacket!

We will be placing our initial order on April 3, 2017 so please submit your order by Sunday, April 2 to get yours this season.  We are hoping to distribute during our end of the year banquet on April 23 at Top Golf (if you haven’t registered yet, please do so today!).

 

Package ($120)

Our package deal gets you both the white and blue jerseys (#1 and #2) and your choice of one jacket (either #3 or #4).

Jersey ($40/ea)

Performance style / dri-fit polyester type shirt – not form fitting)

#1 White 

#2 Blue

Jacket ($50/ea)

Polyester full zip jacket.  White is preferred official jacket for national events, but your team can decide.

#3 Blue

#4 White 

 

Your last name will appear on the back of all items.  You must be a member of the club to place an order.  Prices are applicable for up to 2x.  Please add $5 for sizes 3x-5x and $10 for 6x or 7x.

To place your order, please email Dan McIntyre or Matt Galas.  You can also use the contact form to submit your order. Please specify the item number and provide the correct spelling of your last name.

Thanks!

 

New Home & Open House

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Windy City Curling recently moved from Rocket Ice Arena in Bolingbrook to Seven Bridges Ice Arena in nearby Woodridge. In order to celebrate the move (and to give the ice a whirl) we hosted an open house for the public last Saturday.

New Ice Houses

 

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To start things off, some ceremonial “first stones” were thrown.

 

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6 (4)

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After that, some members played pick-up games, while others helped teach the game to first-timers…including several members of the Seven Bridges staff.

 

6 (5) 7 (3)

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A big thank-you to Seven Bridges for all their hard work and hospitality. We look forward to working with you, and we can’t wait for our new season to start!

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philC

Phil Darin is Windy City’s resident armchair curler who even plays from time to time. He often loses on the ice, but he always wins at broomstacking. Would you like to hear more about curling, whisky, or gambling? Are you Eve Muirhead?

Want to contact Phil directly? Do you need a restaurant recommendation in Vegas?

prdarin@gmail.com 

Celebrating Our First Year In Style

WC Curling

We held our first annual spring banquet last Saturday, and the event was a big success! Members, family, and friends joined together for drinks, food, and fun as we celebrated our first year together as a club.

Image Credit: Taphouse Grill

Image Credit: Taphouse Grill

Our event was held at Taphouse Grill in Westmont. Some members arrived early to watch the Kentucky Derby, many cheering on Keen Ice…son of Curlin’ no less! How can you not like a horse with a name and a pedigree like that? Anyway, after the race we officially kicked off the evening with cocktails, appetizers, and socializing. Our usual ice time is around 9:30-10:00 on Thursday nights, and we broomstack beforehand, so it was nice to be able to have a few drinks and socialize at a more “normal” time.

After an hour or so it was time to eat. The food was excellent, and enjoyed by all. Many compliments to the chef! As we finished up eating our president, Jeff Sampson, had a few remarks.

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After that, Team Richardson was presented with their trophy for winning the first Club Championship!

L-R: Josh Richardson, Chuck Justis. (Not pictured: Dan Mulka, Dan Burrows)

L-R: Josh Richardson, Chuck Justis. (Not pictured: Dan Mulka, Dan Burrows)

You can read about their championship run here.

After dinner, it was time to draw the winners in our big spring banquet raffle! We enlisted the help of some of the waitstaff to draw names, and they were happy to oblige. Our own Josh Richardson won the grand prize of $1000, while several other members and their spouses won some of the other prizes. All in all the raffle was a big hit.

Following the raffle, we had a drawing for our door prizes. Matt Galas had some packages from Dollar Shave Club, while four-time Olympian Debbie McCormick sent us a miniature curling stone and a signed Team USA shirt…very cool.  Afterwards, the evening started to wind down. All in all it was a great time.

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First and foremost, on behalf of Windy City Curling Club a big and hearty thank you to everyone who came out for the banquet. Our members make our club, and we can’t thank you enough for all that you do on and off the ice. It’s been a great first year, and here’s to many more!

Secondly, a big thank you to everyone who bought and/or sold tickets for our raffle! Your efforts and contributions will help us to one day get our own dedicated ice, and we can’t thank you enough for helping us towards making that dream a reality.

Furthermore, thank you to Matt Galas, Dollar Shave Club, and Debbie McCormick for the door prizes! Your generosity is greatly appreciated, and the prizes were a big hit!

Finally, an extra special thank you to Taphouse Grill Westmont for the service, hospitality, and excellent food! We had a great time, and look forward to coming back again next year.

Dollar Shave Club is a great place to get all your shaving supplies. Why pay retail prices? Check them out here.

Debbie McCormick runs a Goldline Mobile Pro Shop in Wisconsin. Goldline makes outstanding curling gear at reasonable prices, and Debbie provides excellent service. Check out her website here.

Taphouse Grill has locations all throughout the suburbs. Their beer selection is top notch, their food is outstanding, and their service is excellent. Definitely better than your usual pub food, I can’t recommend them enough. Check out their website to find your nearest location.

philC

 

Phil Darin is Windy City’s resident armchair curler who even plays from time to time. He often loses on the ice, but he always wins at broomstacking. Would you like to hear more about curling, whisky, or gambling? Are you Eve Muirhead?

Want to contact Phil directly? Do you need a restaurant recommendation in Vegas?

prdarin@gmail.com 

Congratulations To Team Galas – 2015 Playdown Winners!

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Image Credit: USA Curling

Last Thursday, April 30th, Team Galas secured their spot as Windy City’s representative to the 2015 Arena National Championships. This year’s event will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from July 16-19. A newer event, Arena Nationals is open to teams from clubs (such as Windy City) that do not play on dedicated ice. Curling is growing in the US, and most of this growth is coming from arena clubs. As such, Arena Nationals is growing as well, with this year’s event featuring one men’s and one women’s team 16 arena clubs in total.

As is tradition with curling, Windy City held playdowns to determine which team would earn the right to represent the club in Cedar Rapids. The following four teams faced off against one another, round-robin style:

Team Galas: Matt Galas, Jeff Galas, Steve Parke, Jeff Sampson

Team Moore: Matt Moore, Dave Faxel, Noah Mattern, Tim Orisek

Team Mulka: Dan Mulka, Neil Darin, Phil Darin, Wes Darin

Team Reithel: Eric Reithel, Chuck Justice, Josh Richardson, Greg Torkelson

In week 1, Team Galas defeated Team Mulka, while Team Moore defeated Team Reithel. Team Mulka and Team Reithel had byes in week 2, while Team Galas defeated Team Moore. Team Mulka defeated Team Reithel in week 3, while Team Galas and Team Moore had byes. In the final week, Team Moore defeated Team Mulka, while Team Reithel Defeated Team Galas. Thus, at the end of the round-robin play Team Galas and Team Moore both had 2-1 records, while Team Mulka and Team Reithel each had a 1-2 record. Team Galas won the tiebreaker against Team Moore.

There was no women’s playdown, but we are sending a team.

Team Deresinski: Sharon Deresinski, Kitty Lam, Noel Luchinski, Rebbeca Tulloch

Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at both our teams prior to Arena Nationals. For now, let’s congratulate Team Galas on their victory!

 

For more information on Arena Nationals, check out this link.

 

philC

 

Phil Darin is Windy City’s resident armchair curler who even plays from time to time. He often loses on the ice, but he always wins at broomstacking. Would you like to hear more about curling, whisky, or gambling? Are you Eve Muirhead?

Want to contact Phil directly? Do you need a restaurant recommendation in Vegas?

prdarin@gmail.com 

Players’ Championship Women’s Final

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Image Credit: Pinty’s Grand Slam Of Curling

 

 

After the semi-finals, I was positively buzzing. I couldn’t have asked for a better result…my two favorite rinks were set to face off in the women’s final. No matter who won, the result would make me happy. Of course, it also dawned on me at this time that one of my favorite teams was also about to lose. To say I was torn would be an understatement.

 

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

 

In my heart, I wanted Sidorova to win. They were underdogs the whole week, and quite honestly didn’t seem to have that many people cheering for them. Curling fans being good sports, they cheered for good shots and what not, but overall there didn’t seem to be much fan support for the team as a whole. Besides that, they were playing very well all week. They had to fight to get a tiebreaker, and then had to fight again to win that game and make the playoffs. Yet here they were, one game away from winning it all…icing on the cake to a great season that included a second bronze medal at the Women’s World Championships last month, a silver medal at the European Championships back in November, and a gold medal at the Winter Universidade in January.

Honestly, I’m going to come right out and say it: this rink doesn’t get the respect it deserves. All too often they’re either ignored or dismissed as being a bunch of “pretty girls.” Of course they are four very beautiful women, but they are damn good curlers too. I’ve been following them since they struggled in Sochi, and it has been nothing short of awesome to see them get better and better. To pull off this win would be huge…their first grand slam win, and only the second non-Canadian rink to win a grand slam event. Huge to say the least.

 

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

 

On the other hand, in my head I knew that Muirhead needed this win. They’re one of the best rinks in women’s curling right now, so nobody was surprised when they made it into the playoffs.  They have a decent fanbase in Canada, but naturally the home team is almost always to win out when it comes to support. They had played great all week as well, and had definitely fought for and earned their spot in the final. A win here would be a great end to the season.

Like Sidorova, I have been following Muirhead since Sochi, and without a doubt they are my favorite curling rink (Sidorova is a close close second). Team Muirhead is known for their experience, skill, mastery of strategy, and incredible shot-making ability…not to mention their willingness to take calculated risks to score big when necessary. As with Team Sidorova they are four absolutely beautiful women as well, but unlike with Sidorova that fact is rarely if ever used to denigrate or dismiss them. Their 2013-2014 season was phenomenal, including of course their bronze medal at the olympics.

This season, on the other hand, was very up-and-down for them. They had some big wins, including the inaugural women’s event at the Canadian Open back in December. On the other hand, they had their share of disappointments as well. They won a bronze medal at the European Championships back in November, gutting it out and getting it done after some tough losses in the round-robin and playoffs. At Women’s Worlds last month they had some struggles again, winning a tiebreaker against China to earn a berth to the playoffs to ultimately fall to Sidorova in the bronze medal game.

Needless to say that a win here would be huge for them, and a great way to end the season on a high note. For Team Sidorova, they were playing in their first ever grand-slam final, already going further than most if not all people had expected them to. Lose the match, and they could hold their heads high knowing they gave it their all and had a great run. For Team Muirhead, on the other hand, this would be another disappointing loss in a season that had already had its fair share of them. Besides the sting of defeat and the loss of prize money, they would also miss out on winning the Rogers Grand Slam Cup (awarded to the top team in the grand slam events each year), which carried with it extra prize money as well as prestige. A loss here would be costly both financially and to their morale…I know this rink and I knew that it would only fuel their fire even more if they lost, but that wouldn’t make it any less painful for them. A win here would be a huge boost going into the off-season, and make it that much more enjoyable.

So, with that in mind (yes, I seriously had gone over all this in my head in the hour or so in between draws) I went into the arena to watch the match I had been waiting all week for.

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Players’ Championship Trophy & Rogers Grand Slam Cup

 

The arena was already starting to fill up as the teams entered for their pre-game warm-ups and practice. Sidorova was awarded hammer in the first end with a beautiful draw to the button. Both rinks looked focused and ready. Soon enough, it was time to line up for player introductions by the always entertaining Pete Steski.

Pete

As with any televised match, there was a brief wait for the broadcast to be ready for the players.

Pete 2

Soon enough, the rinks took to the ice to await the start of the match.

More TV WaitSkips Wait

 

Before long, action was underway. I took a lot of pictures this match, including one of every player throwing a shot.

Reid

Sarah Reid, Lead

Galkina

Ekaterina Galkina, Lead

Adams

Vicki Adams, Second

Saitova

Aleksandra Saitova, Second

Sloan

Anna Sloan, Vice-Skip

Fomina

Margarita Fomina, Vice-Skip

Muirhead

Eve Muirhead, Skip

Sidorova

Anna Sidorova, Skip

The tension in the arena was palpable, the air electric. The only other time I’ve been in an environment that felt like this was at game 2 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. Sidorova blanked the first end, and was forced to draw for 1 in the second. Muirhead scored 1 in the third with a difficult runback shot. In the fourth end, Sidorova was once again forced to draw for 1. Eve Muirhead attempted a difficult split in the fifth end, but had to settle for 1. Facing 1 shot stone, Anna Sidorova blanked the sixth end and retained the hammer. For her final shot in the seventh end, Sidorova was facing 1 but was lying 2nd, 3rd, and 4th shot. It was a difficult shot to say the least, as she would have to hit and runback to move Muirhead’s stone out, but the payoff would be a possible score of anywhere from 2-4, which could have all but ended the game. Worst case scenario she gives up a steal of 1 but retains the hammer coming home down 3-2, which is a good spot to be in. Unfortunately she missed, but it was the right call.

These are some of the pictures I took throughout the even ends.

Muirhead Action 1Muirhead Action 2

Muirhead Action 3Muirhead Plan

Muirhead ShotRus Action 1 Rus Action 2 Rus Action 3

Sidorova Shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Sidorova needed to score 1 to force and extra end, or score 2 to win. Anything else and the match would be over. After her first stone, Sidorova was facing 1, with several stones in her path to the button. Eve Muirhead called a time out to plan her final shot.

Muirhead TO

Team Muirhead Discusses Their Options

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Team Muirhead Plans Their Final Shot

She threw up another guard, leaving Sidorova facing 1 with several stones in her path to either hit or draw.

Anna Sidorova called a time out, so they could confer with their coach.

Team Sidorova Time Out

Team Sidorova Time Out

Sidorova TO2

Team Sidorova Weighing Their Options

Sidorova went down to get set up in the hack, saw something, then came back down the ice. She decided on a very difficult tap double, which required her to draw through a narrow port and perfectly tap back her stone lying 2nd shot. If successful, she scores at least 1 to force the extra end, and possibly 2 to win the match. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop in the arena.

With her trademark steely-eyed determination, Sidorova came gracefully sliding out of the hack, high on her toes as always. I can’t imagine making a simple draw under this kind of pressure, let alone a shot as difficult as this one. Nevertheless, she seemed unfazed as she carefully released the stone. Time seemed to slow down as the yellow-handled hunk of polished granite slid loudly down the ice, slowly curling, accompanied by the Russian sweepers. Amazingly, it made it through the port, narrowly missing several stones as it moved to its collision course with destiny. Contact was made, the 2nd-shot stone ran back…and fell inches short of lying shot. An extremely difficult shot executed beautifully, and it just wasn’t enough. It was a great shot, incredible even. Sadly, it was all for naught. The crowd sighed in disappointment, but soon erupted in cheers for the victorious Team Muirhead, who shook hands with their opponents before high-fiving and then hugging one another. Team Sidorova did the same, but their disappointment was evident.

Over Over2

 

Team Muirhead was presented with their trophies and conducted post-game interviews, while Team Sidorova quietly left the ice…stopping for the spectators and fans who were waiting for them alongside the ice. You could see in their faces that they were saddened by their loss, but being the great sportswomen that they are they kept their poise and smiled and posed for photographs and signed programs and t-shirts for everyone who came down to the ice to see them. We left shortly thereafter, as we had an 8 hour drive ahead of us and it was already late in the afternoon.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d find myself feeling a tinge of disappointment after seeing my favorite curling rink win a major victory. Yet, there I was. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond thrilled for them and am ecstatic that they were able to end their season on a high note. But at that moment, in that arena, I was saddened to see my other favorites play so hard and come so close to victory and fall short. I guess no matter how hard we try to rationalize things, it’s hard to outthink emotion. Now that some time has passed, I find myself evening out. I’m elated for Team Muirhead to go into the off-season with a big win, showing once again that they are some of the best out there. On the other hand, I’m happy that Team Sidorova played their hearts out and gave it a hell of a run. They had a great season, and I think they’ve once again showed the curling world that they are a force to be reckoned with, and are only going to get better.

Image Credit: Pinty's Grand Slam Of Curling. Photo By Anil Mungal

Image Credit: Pinty’s Grand Slam Of Curling.
Photo By Anil Mungal

Team Sidorova, if by some chance any of you are reading this, I just want to say congratulations on a great run and a great season! You guys played great throughout the event, and it was awesome getting to see you play live. It was nice meeting you all as well, thanks again for the pictures, and I hope you all enjoy the off season. I can’t wait to see what you guys do next season.

Team Muirhead, if any of you are somehow reading this congratulations on your second Players’ Championship Trophy and the Rogers Grand Slam Cup! You played great throughout the event as well…I was beyond excited finally getting to see my favorite curling rink play in person, and you certainly didn’t disappoint. Thanks for the pictures, it was nice getting to meet all of you. Enjoy your summer, and I can’t wait to watch you all play again next season.

 

philCPhil Darin is Windy City’s resident armchair curler who even plays from time to time. He often loses on the ice, but he always wins at broomstacking. Would you like to hear more about curling, whisky, or gambling? Are you Eve Muirhead?

Want to contact Phil directly? Do you need a restaurant recommendation in Vegas?

prdarin@gmail.com