When the Olympic curling trials are held in Saskatoon later this year, Saskatchewan curling fans will have a local rink to cheer on.
Two-time provincial champ Matt Dunstone secured a spot in the trials by scoring two in the 10th end to beat Glenn Howard 8-6.
Dunstone says it’s good for the team to get qualifying out of the way this early in the season.
“That really sets up the rest of our season nicely now, we kind of know what our schedule is going to be, and we get to play for the ultimate prize,” Dunstone said. “We’re feeling really good, and just got nothing but things to look forward to for the next two months.”
This comes after losing the first game of the round robin to Howard’s Ontario rink. Dunstone says after that loss, the team didn’t panic.
“It would have been pretty easy for us to kind of go on tilt a bit and put a little bit more pressure on ourselves but even after that first loss, we were kind of feeling okay with where our game was at,” Dunstone said. “We figured if we could just improve a couple of shots here and there, we could give ourselves a really good chance by the end of the week, and we did exactly that and I think that’s the part we’re most proud of was just happened this week.”
Dunstone says the team looks forward to having home-ice advantage in Saskatoon.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in front of the great fans of Saskatchewan for the biggest prize in Curling right now,” Dunstone said. “That’s the part we’re most excited about, that’s the part we’re most excited about and I’m just really excited to share this with the people of Saskatchewan and with the fans, and hopefully we can be holding that Maple Leaf jacket by the end of the week getting ready to go to Beijing.”
Others to have already qualified for Saskatoon are Brad Gushue, John Epping, Kevin Koe, Brad Jacobs, Brendan Bottcher and Mike McEwen.