Dustin Kalthoff continues to move up in the curling ranks

12 teams will have the opportunity to claim the 2024 Tankard in Saskatoon next week.

Dustin Kalthoff (Nutana Curling Club) will be skipping one of the rinks seeking the opportunity to represent Saskatchewan at the Brier this March.

From his beginnings, Kalthoff always had a passion for curling.

His dad, Kevin, represented Saskatchewan at the Brier on three occasions with the Doug Harcourt rink from both Quill Lake and Humboldt.

“It’s been a fun journey to start as young guy playing in the local bonspiels there in Humboldt, just having a fun time and learning and then working my way up through the ranks.”

Dustin Kalthoff. Photo: Curling Canada

As a professional, Kalthoff has bounced around between different teams and various positions on the ice. He curled alongside former Tankard champion Randy Woytowich and advanced to the provincial finals with Jason Jacobson in 2015.

Beginning with the front-end positions, Kalthoff gained knowledge of different aspects of the game.

“Where you need to be reading the ice surface, and knowing what the weight is in spots and knowing how to sweep the rocks the right way and how the ice is changing during the game.”

Kalthoff says you get more involved in the game strategy at the skip and third positions.

Besides the traditional four-person curling, Kalthoff competes in Mixed Doubles Curling. His partner, Ashley Thevenot, is the third for Skylar Ackerman’s rink that claimed the 2024 Provincial Scotties in Tisdale and will represent Saskatchewan at the Scotties in Calgary next month.
Kalthoff says he has learned more from playing doubles than any other form of curling.

“With doubles, you’re playing every position kind of at the same time,” said the skip from the Nutana Curling Club, noting the duties can be split among the four players. “You have to make all the shots; you have to do all the ice reading.” He added, “It puts all of the onus on you as a person, which forces you to learn more as a person, and so it’s a humbling game, but very much a fun game.”

Mat Ring, Aaron Shutra, Sam Wills, Dustin Kalthoff. Photo: Dustin Kalthoff

Kalthoff’s rink was one of the eight teams that qualified for the Tankard based on Curling Canada’s CTRS (Canadian Team Ranking System). With third Sam Wills, Second Aaron Shutra and lead Mat Ring, the skip thinks the team has improved with each passing week during the season.

“Every time we get together and put some hard work in, I think we come out better,” said Kalthoff, “for a first-year team, I think we’ve done a tremendous job of improving as a team and I guess more cohesive as a team and learning from our experiences.”

This year, the Saskatoon-based rink has qualified for every event and claimed a championship at the Highland Curling Club in Regina in October.

“I think we’ve really demonstrated that we’ve put the work in, and we got four talented guys, we’re going to be a serious contender at the Tankard.”
The provincial championship will take place in familiar territory for the Kalthoff rink as they curl out of the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon, which will host the Tankard. Even though his team won’t be the only who will enjoy a home rink advantage, he thinks it will play into his team’s favour.

“I think it’s nice when you can sleep in your own bed,” said Kalthoff, adding that it’s a different routine from travelling to most of the bonspiels the team competes in. He said there will be a different ice surface for the Tankard compared to the one they’re accustomed to at the Nutana Curling Club, the Tankard will also have different rocks from the standard ones at the Curling Club.

The winning team from Saskatoon won’t have to travel for the 2024 Brier, with the national championship set for Regina.

It may be ideal to represent the province in the friendly confides of the Brandt Centre, but Kalthoff says it’s not his main focus.

“At the end of the day, it’s one game at a time, it’s one shot at a time, and you can’t win games by having one eye on the trophy and one eye on the game.”

The Tankard runs from January 30-February 4 at the Nutana Curling Club.

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