Saskatchewan will have a new name representing the province at the Brier in London, Ontario next month.
Kelly Knapp’s rink out of the Highland Curling Club in Regina won their first provincial championship on Sunday as they defeated Steve Laycock in the finals of the 2023 SaskTel Men’s Tankard.
On Tuesday, Michael Ball had the chance to speak with the skip of the winning rink.
The Tankard victory was not an easy according to Knapp. He felt the team had to face adversity early in the tournament after falling behind in the early first matchup with Daymond Bernath and then they struggled once again in their initial matchup with Layock. The skip of the Knapp team said they were able to rebound and go on to have a successful week.
In Estevan, the Knapp team rattled off five wins to claim the Tankard. Three of those wins were against the Laycock, which was not a simple task for the Regina squad.
“My track record has been nothing short of terrible against all of those guys, so to beat them three times in one event is amazing.”
Knapp’s rink ability to read the ice was a big reason for their success at the Tankard said the skip.
“It was just a treat to play on and we got a read for it pretty early in the event.”
Darren Gress from the Highland Curling Club was brought into Estevan to create the curling ice at Affinity Place. Knapp noted the icemaker did a great job creating the playing surface.
Knapp is a newcomer as a skip, but the Regina product has plenty of experience in curling. He said his time playing as a second has helped him with the finesse aspect of his game including his upweight and touch shot.
There are not one, but two members of the Knapp family curling for the Saskatchewan team at the this year’s Brier. Along with Kelly, his fraternal twin brother, Trent is the rink’s lead. Rounding out the squad is second Mike Armstrong and Bennan Jones.
The Brier begins on March 3.