After trying to recruit younger players to help with the heavy sweeping, Team Cochrane, representing PEI at the Brier, struck a golden deal with Mark O’Rourke, a 10-time P.E.I. men’s champion as a second or lead with 10 years of Brier experience. O’Rourke, 57, has also won provincial titles in junior, senior and mixed curling on the island and earned himself a berth in the Prince Edward Island Curling Hall of Fame in 2017.
CornwallCurling.com photo: Brier veteran Mark O’Rourke picks up Club pins for his 11th Brier
“I chatted with my wife (Kathy, also a P.E.I. Curling Hall of Fame inductee) and it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,” O’Rourke said.
The four curlers met in Moncton in late October for the Atlantic Superstore Monctonian Challenge, where they bonded and finished third with a 3-4 record.
At the P.E.I. Tankard in early January, the Cochrane rink, which represents the Cornwall Curling Club of Cornwall, P.E.I., went undefeated at 7-0. By winning the A final, B final and C final in the modified triple knockout format, the Cochrane rink won the provincial title without any playoff games.