The Coquitlam foursome who were the surprise of the 2013 Tim Hortons Boys Junior Curling championship on the weekend definitely were comfortable in their own house.
With home rink advantage, Team Habkirk posted the second-best record during the round robin and came one-win shy of advancing to the final.
Only a 7-3 loss to Team Tardi of Langley on Saturday prevented the Coquitlam Curling Club team from making it to the title match.
"They far exceeded our expectations," remarked coach Debbie Carroll. "We went to (last month's) playdowns just for the experience and hoping to advance to (the B.C.s), so to get here and do well was very positive."
The foursome includes skip Kyle Habkirk, third Nicholas Umbach, second Ryan Harbrink and lead Kento Sato.
That the squad are all juvenile-eligible, with Grade 11 student Habkirk the oldest, seemed to be a disadvantage going in. But the young guns didn't flinch at the challenge - instead, establishing a reputation as Coquitlam's Heartbreak Kids.
Trailing late in four of their first five round-robin games, the Habkirk rink demonstrated poise and nerves of steel in rallying for wins each time en route to a 5-0 start.
On Thursday, they recorded wins over Emslie (10-8) and Cliff (10-9), erasing 6-3 deficits in both and needing two or more points in the final end to avoid a loss.
It was the same storyline to open Friday, as Habkirk trailed Henderson 5-1 after four ends and 6-5 entering the ninth end - with single points over the final two frames securing the team's fifth straight victory.
"I was very impressed by how many times they faced a couple of (opponent) rocks in the house late in the game - where as a skip I'd have said 'Hey, that's a tough spot'. They'd call a timeout and come up with the right shot," said Carroll.
Their lone round-robin loss came at the hands of a very veteran Team Klymchuk, a squad that calls both Victoria and Langley home. Klymchuk would go on to win the championship title Sunday with a 9-4 victory over Team Tardi of Langley.
"That was our hardest game, going up against Team Klymchuk," Carroll recalled of the 9-4 setback on Friday. "Here we were, 15 year olds playing 20 year olds. That we bounced back and won our final (round robin) game so convincingly was impressive."
In the semifinal Tardi exacted its revenge for an opening day loss, advancing with a 7-3 victory.
"I think the boys were just so elated to be in the playoff that they had trouble re-focusing. All in all, it was a tremendous run for them," she added.
The Tardi rink, which is based in Langley, features Coquitlam's Zachary Umbach at lead. Nicholas' older brother, Zachary has a juvenile B.C. title to his name and is in his second year with the squad, who are skippered by 15-yearold Tyler Tardi.
"We kind of knew how they played but the ice conditions changed from when we played last, so that made a difference," remarked Zachary, 17. "They threw less weight and were quieter on their shots. It was tough."
Getting past the Habkirk rink likely soothed the brotherly rivalry, for a moment, anyways, with both Umbachs getting to be on the winning side during their two tourney encounters.
"I did wish him a bit of good luck (after the semifinal)," said Nicholas. "The biggest thing for us is how well we played when we didn't expect to win anything. We just had fun."
In the semifinal, Tardi broke a 1-1 tie with five points over the next two frames, and gave up few opportunities over the remaining five ends.
The Kamloops rink skipped by Corryn Brown carted off the B.C. junior girls title, edging Nanaimo's Van Osch rink 7-4.
Brown scored twice in the ninth end and stole two in the 10 th to record the victory - ending Van Osch's search for a second straight B.C. title.