Posted on: February 8, 2018
After a one year absence, Thompson Rivers University WolfPack will ice a women’s curling rink for university competition.
The foursome skipped by Corryn Brown of Kamloops will fly the ‘orange, black and white’ colors at two events. The first is the Western Canadian championships to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba starting Friday (Feb 9).
This the fourth time Brown has skipped a TRU rink.
“It is always exciting and different when you represent Thompson Rivers,” says Brown who is enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration degree program. “On the competitive circuit you are representing yourself and your sponsors. This is a much bigger responsibility. It’s an honor.”
Brown and rink mates Samantha Fisher and Erin Pincott have represented Thompson Rivers before. They won the gold medal twice before at the Western Canadian championships (2013-14 and 2014-15). They also captured CIS silver medals in 2014-15 (Waterloo, ON) and 2015-16 (Kelowna, BC)
“It’s pretty special to represent TRU once again,” says Fisher, who throws lead on the rink. “We took a year off last year because it didn’t fit into our schedules. It’s nice to come back again and potentially bring home some more medals.”
Brown says they have unfinished business this year. “There is a fire in our belly that we want to go out with a gold medal in both events.”
She might be right. The years that they wound up with silver were the years that they lost to Kelsey Rocque and her rink from the University of Alberta. Rocque and her foursome have maxed out their eligibility. “I think there might be some residual players but you are right, they have been our Achilles Heel in the past. She is an amazing player. We have played her a couple of times in finals and unfortunately come out on the wrong side. I think not only because of that but we also had a really good showing at the ladies provincials this year (winning a bronze medal). We played really, really well and hope we can carry that on.”
“Obviously you hope every year will be your year,” says Fisher, a first year Respiratory Therapy student. “Taking Kelsey out of the equation makes things look more positive.”
Brown says the key to success at the Western Canadian’s and next month’s USPORTS Nationals in Leduc, Alberta will be to replicate the environment that proved so successful at the 2018 Provincial Scotties. “ I think what is really nice this year is that we have the same people curling for TRU as we did all season long. The last few years we had Ashley Nordin coming into replace our other player. This year, we don’t have to replace the team dynamic which has been working for us.”
Pincott agrees that the pieces seem to be falling into place for the rink. “We seemed to improve as the (competitive) season went along, she stated. “ It came to a head with how we are managing our ends, how our strategy played out and our dynamics on the ice. It came together at the provincials.”
The new face on the TRU rink this year is Dezaray Hawes. Hawes has curled with the Brown foursome the last two years. The Port Moody, BC native is taking business courses on line. “I love playing alongside these girls,” says Hawes who is the second. “We have become great friends, had a great year and we hope we can finish the season off with a couple of gold medals.”
The rink has been practicing on weekend’s all season with either Hawes coming to Kamloops or the rest of the foursome heading to the coast to work out.
When asked what makes the rink so special, Fisher says “I think it is our dynamic. Erin, Corryn and I have played together for almost 12 years. Dezaray fits right in with us and makes things fun.”
Brown says University curling is a different level. “It is kind of a step up from juniors and not advanced as women’s, “she stated. “ You see a lot of teams you have played in juniors but they have paired up with other players. It is exciting to see who comes out of it.”
“It’s more of a social event,” Pincott explains when asked about comparing university curling to the women’s circuit. “It is obviously intense and competitive on the ice. But off of it, you get to hang out with other teams a bit more which is fun.”
Pincott is in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies and hopes to graduate this year.
Not only is the national championship on the minds of the TRU foursome, but also a trip to Siberia, Russia. The winner of the nationals will go to the Universaide in Russia winter 2019. “We went to Russia in 2013 (for the Junior Winter Olympics) so it’s only fitting we go back,” Brown laughs.
At this week’s Western Canadian championships, TRU begins the round robin on Friday at 2 pm CDT against Alberta. They then have two games on Saturday (Feb 10) facing Lethbridge at 9 am CDT and host Winnipeg 2 pm CDT. The round robin winds up Sunday (Feb 11) with a 9 am CDT showdown with Regina. The playoff games if necessary are to be played at 2 pm CDT that day.