Team British Columbia has babies on the brain.
Two babies in particular.
Both third Jeff Richard and lead David Harper’s wives are expecting this week.
In fact, Harper left in the middle of Saturday night’s draw to hop a plane home to Kelowna in time for the birth of his second child.
“He was supposed to be on the plane out this afternoon but it got canceled,” explained skip Sean Geall after a 10-2 loss to Team Canada.
“He was supposed to be home already so we’re going to cross our fingers that we hear he made it home in time.”
Stepping in in relief was alternate Brad Wood, who according to Geall was prepared for that possibility.
But that doesn’t mean Richard and Harper didn’t get their share of ribbing for their poor timing.
“We messed this one up royally,” laughed Richard. “As a curler, this is probably the one week you try to avoid on the calendar, but family first is the most important thing for us right now.”
Richard is expecting a little boy, whose due date is Sunday, but he’s hoping his son will come a little late.
“I texted my wife right away and said ‘hey you better hold off for at least 48 hours,’” he said, admitting it was a little bit weird to get on a plane to Regina when his wife was so close to having their first child.
“She knows what this event means to us and how hard we work to try and get here every year. So you could see it in her eye that she was extremely happy that we’re here, but there’s some nerves on her side, for sure,” Richard said.
According to Geall, if everyone is happy and healthy Harper is expected to return in the Brier later on in the week, but a worse case scenario could see B.C. play with just three men.
“Brad (Wood) will play where he has to play when he has to play and that’s the best we can really do. It’s priorities, right? And first priority (is) the babies,” Geall said.
“You couldn’t have better team guys,” added Richard. “We’ve all agreed (it’s) family first and that’s what we’re going to do this week (but it’s) not often curling becomes secondary at an event like this.”
- Saskatchewan plays Manitoba at 9 a.m. Sunday and New Brunswick at 7 p.m.
- B.C. is back in action (with an unknown number of teammates) against McEwen’s wild card team at 2 p.m.