Brent Pierce's memory was the only thing that was off Monday.
Pierce led his New Westminster rink to the Valley First Crown of Curling title at Kamloops Curling Club, beating Edmonton's Jamie King 7-6 in nine ends in the final. Pierce had to make a draw to the four-foot in the extra end to claim the $7,500 winner's cheque.
The 51-year-old made no mistake there, but was off on the date of his last Crown triumph - he thought it was 2000, while playing third for Richmond's Greg McAulay. In fact, it was 1999, at the start of a season in which the rink would win provincial, Canadian and world championships.
But Pierce deserves some slack after a back-and-forth final that was going to end on his final draw, good or bad. He was spot on, and made it look pretty easy.
"Never easy, never easy," Pierce said. "The ice is a little unpredictable, a little soft - but it was like that all weekend, so you have to make the adjustments."
Pierce is in his second season with Kelowna's Jeff Richard, a former provincial-champion skip, at third, and Kevin Recksiedler and Grant Dezura on the front end.
The rink had a great 2011-12 season, making it all the way to the provincial final in Parksville, where it lost 7-5 to Vernon's Jim Cotter.
The three men playing in front of Pierce did a nice job setting up Monday's game for the skip.
"They played really well," Pierce said. "The conditions aren't super easy because they're changing throughout the draw and they're changing from game to game. It's hard for them . . . they have to be constantly adjusting."
The lead was passed around like a hot potato in the final, with each rink going ahead on three separate occasions.
Down one in the seventh, King elected to blank and take the hammer to the final end. There, Blake MacDonald, who throws fourth stones for King, was forced to draw for the tie - and looked heavy until the stone caught something in the house and stopped just in time.
"We played OK; they played very good," said King, who throws third stones behind second Scott Pfeifer and lead Jeff Erickson. "I had a couple shots that didn't work out quite that well."
Pierce, who had a bye through the first round, went 5-0 in the Crown, including three Monday victories. King opened with a 6-5 loss to Vancouver's Tyler Klymchuk, but won six straight before losing to Pierce.
Both of the finalists have had their share of success this season.
This is Pierce's third cheque in four cashspiels - he won in Cloverdale in September, and also lost in a semifinal to Edmonton's Kevin Martin at the West Coast Curling Classic on Oct. 8
King's rink, a new one this season, won the Saville Shoot-Out in Edmonton on Sept. 16 and lost in the final in Vernon on Oct. 1.
The results aren't surprising considering the strength of King's rink - MacDonald won a world championship with Edmonton's Kevin Koe in 2010, while Pfeifer was a part of the Randy Ferbey rink for world championships in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
"We're giving ourselves chances to win bonspiels," King said. "We've had a good run so far."
Kamloops' Scott DeCap lost 7-3 to Pierce in a Monday semifinal, but took home $4,250.
The DeCap rink, featuring third Ron Douglas, second John Maskiewich and lead Grant Olsen, won its first three games, before beating Kamloops' Mike Smith 6-3 in a Monday quarterfinal.
Smith, whose rink includes Brad Thompson and Darren Nelson, earned $3,250 for qualifying.
Seven straight victories make up for Team China's shaky start
The Crown of Curling didn't start off too well for Bingyu Wang's Team China, but it certainly made up for it on Monday.
Wang defeated Denmark's Lene Nielsen 6-4 in the women's championship final. It was Wang's seventh straight victory after the rink lost its opening two matches on Friday.
Wang, third Yin Liu, second Qingshuang Yue and lead Yan Zhou came back to win once Saturday, three times Sunday and three times Monday.
She beat Kamloops' Allison MacInnes 8-1 in a Monday quarterfinal, before topping Whitehorse's Sarah Koltun 8-2 in a semifinal. Nielsen beat New Westminster's Marla Mallett 8-3 in a quarterfinal, and Korea's Eun Jung Kim 6-4 in a semifinal.
Wang never trailed in the final, leading 3-0 after two and 6-3 after six. Nielsen, third Helle Simonsen, second Jeanne Ellegaard and lead Maria Poulsen were forced to go for a big eighth end, but ran out of stones.
It is the second straight year an international team has won the female Crown - Michele Jaeggi of Switzerland won it last year.
Wang earned $8,000 for first, while Nielsen cashed in $6,000. The female semifinalists made $4,500, and the quarterfinalists took home $3,500.