So often in sports it’s more about when you win, rather than how many you win. That was the case this past weekend for a Kamloops team that went perfectly through round robin and playoff portions of the junior curling women’s provincials, only to fall in the championship.
Skip Corryn Brown, third Erin Pincott, second Samantha Fisher and lead Sydney Fraser, all four of whom attend TRU, had it all in their favour heading into the championship game early Sunday morning.
Home ice advantage? Check. The game was played in front of a raucous Kamloops crowd, and on ice that the team has grown up playing on.
Experience? Check. This is a team that has already claimed two junior provincial titles, along with a bronze and a gold at nationals.
Confidence? Check. Brown’s rink had taken on all challengers throughout the event; they were a perfect 8 and 0 going into the final and had already beaten their competition, the Daniels rink, twice in the tournament.
Motivation? Check. For a team that has already accomplished so much throughout their time as curlers, this was their last chance to take another trip to junior nationals together. The team’s third Erin Pincott will be too old to compete as a junior next year.
Throughout the first three ends it appeared as though the championship game was going to go as perfectly to script as the rest of the tournament had for Brown’s rink. The team was up 1–0 and appeared to be able to block out all of the excitement of the fans and the provincial gold medals displayed right next to the ice as well as the bright lights from the many cameras that surrounded them, broadcasting their every move to a nationwide audience.
All it took was one bad end, and all of the amazing shots that they had taken throughout the tournament were rendered irrelevant.
The Daniels rink looked as shocked as everybody else in the arena when some rare misses from the Kamloops team left skip Sarah Daniels with a wide open draw to score five in the fourth end.
It was an uphill battle from then on out for the Brown rink. Trailing by four points they were forced to take risks, throw rocks into spots that they normally wouldn’t and hope that the Daniels rink would make some mistakes.
It wasn’t meant to be however, as the Daniels rink kept their composure and continued to capitalize on any mistake that the Brown rink made on the way to a dominating 11–3 victory.
Despite the loss and the end of their junior career as a team, head coach Allison McInnes was staying focused on the positives after the match. “Todays result doesn’t define us. We know who we are and I am so proud of the team for how strong they are and the people that they are becoming.”