Matt Dunstone and Colton Flasch give Saskatchewan two chances to win Brier

One is from Regina.

The other is from Saskatoon.

But make no mistake, Team Dunstone and Team Flasch are united under one banner in an attempt to end a great and surprising curse of curling.

It has been more than four decades since a Saskatchewan team was called the King of Brier.

“Forty years? It’s unreal,” Saskatchewan captain Colton Flasch said of the 2022 men’s national championship in Lethbridge. 1980). »

That’s when Rick Folk of the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon, where Flasch’s quintuple hails from, won the Labatt Brier at Stampede Corral in Calgary.

So the question is…

Are we talking about a curse here?

“Your guess is as good as mine,” said Matt Dunstone, who is at the Brier skipping Wild Card 2 at Highland Curling Club in Regina.

“I’ve only been in Saskatchewan for five years, so I can only be responsible for five of the 42,” Dunstone continued with a laugh. “But Saskatchewan Curling is knocking on the door. In the last 10 years, there have been three bronze medals or semi-final appearances, then Pat Simmons’ bronze in 2008. It just didn’t happen.

Dunstone and his team of third-place Braeden Moskowy, second-place Kirk Muyres and leader Dustin Kidby took third place last year in the Calgary bubble after Dunstone, Moskowy, Catlin Schneider and Kidby took bronze last year before Kingston .

So it looks like they’re beaten.

And his first 5-0 in the championship this year confirms it. They beat Newfoundland and Labrador’s Nathan Young (1-2) 9-3 on Monday morning before defeating Alberta’s Kevin Koe (4-1) in undefeated Group A battle 8-6 on Monday night .

“So far so good, exactly where we want to be,” Dunstone said, praising Moskowy’s return for personal reasons as a key factor in this week’s success. “We are in control of our own destiny right now, so you can’t ask for much more. We have very good feelings on the ice. We put our cadres in very good places and put a lot of pressure on the other teams.

The strong start took the pressure off them after dismal Olympic trials in November in Saskatoon and a loss to Flasch in the provincial final.

“Personally, I haven’t had my best week in the Olympic trials by far,” Dunstone said. “It was certainly disappointing. But we took a month off to cool off in December, I went down south to visit family, and they all did their thing. It was nice to get away from it all and rejuvenate the batteries. Since the January 1 hit, the eyes on the prize have been Brier, so we’ve been focused on that for a few months now and we’re very comfortable going into this event.

Flasch & Co. also seems comfortable in Lethbridge.

An 8-4 decision earlier Monday over New Brunswick’s James Grattan (1-3) before Monday night’s 8-6 loss to Canada’s Brendan Bottcher (4-0) gives them a 2-2 record. .

“We’re playing really well,” said Flasch, himself one of those Saskatchewan curlers who broke through when he played second, and certainly learned a lot, on Koe’s Brier-winning team in 2019 in Brandon, Man. “I could easily be 3-0 right now as well. Things are going great and the ice cream is amazing so no complaints.

“I think we continued from the Provincials,” continued Flasch, who is surrounded by leader Daniel Marsh, second Kevin Marsh, Schneider in third and backup Simmons. “We won enough games in a row to finish the provincials. So we definitely feed off of that.

Yet enough to satisfy an entire province’s hunger for Brier heroes?

“Certainly possible,” Dunstone said. “It’s so hard to say in a field like this. You have six to eight teams here that are all global and could potentially win this. It’s a bit early to come out and say we’re going to win this event. But we certainly have what it takes. We have shown it in recent years with the bronze medal.

“The whole Saskatchewan thing that hasn’t won in 42 years keeps us going. We want to be the team that ends this curse. We have all the tools to do whatever it takes, and we have the confidence to do it too, which is half the battle when you’re up against some of the best in the world.

Either way, this year is as solid as it gets for Saskatchewan with two contenders trying to break the slide.

“Oh sure, it’s an opportunity like any other,” added Flasch, also a Brier bronze medalist for the Saskatchewan Steve Laycock team in Calgary in 2015. “But you still have some of those old dogs that are still there: Koe and (Brad) Gushue… you can’t beat those guys easily. Since 2016, it’s Koe or Gushue or (the defending champion) Bottcher in the final.

“Time to rewrite that.”

ADDITIONAL PURPOSE

Simmons, the 2015 Brier champion with Canada in Calgary, had some ice on Monday morning as a substitute for Flasch… Ontario’s Glenn Howard (1-3) finally earned his first win at Brier with a 5-4 win on Monday night over New Brunswick… Sauvage Map 1, skipped by Gushue, enter Tuesday’s schedule undefeated at 4-0 atop Group B. This comes after an 8-3 victory on Monday against Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories (0-4). Next on the Pool B list is Nova Scotia’s Paul Flemming, who improved to 3-0 after a 7-6 win in Monday’s extra set over Wild Card 3’s Jason Gunnlaugson (2-2)… Tuesday’s schedule includes draws 10, 11, and 12 at 10:30 pm ET, 3:30 pm ET and 8:30 pm ET respectively.

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