It hasn’t been the usual climb to the Tim Hortons Brier, but Regina-based Team Dunstone is still excited to wear the green jacket and represent Saskatchewan when the action gets underway on Friday night.
“There’s no event in curling like the Brier,” said Team Dunstone third Braeden Moskowy.
“This is why you start curling.”
With several key events cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a unique curling season with hardly any games played compared to a normal year. However, that could serve as a blessing in disguise for the foursome, made up of skip Matt Dunstone, Moskowy, second Kirk Muyres and lead Dustin Kidby.
“Usually at this point, we’d probably have played anywhere from 50 to 70 games,” Moskowy said. “So it’s a little different in that regard, but on the flip side, it’s exciting because we’ve been talking lately and as far as our bodies and our health go, we’ve never felt this good going into an event.
“It’s nice to be completely rested and completely refreshed.”
For the past few weeks, the team was able to get back on the ice and shake off some of the rust they otherwise might have had going into the Calgary bubble. They’ve also been doing extensive film study and mental strength work with their coach, Adam Kingsbury.
“It’s been an ongoing thing since this team got put together,” said Muyres. “We went through game film and we’ve tried to get our mind back in the curling realm and making decisions.”
What is also adding to their confidence is their experience. After a third-place finish at last year’s Brier, the team decided to make a change this off-season, adding Muyres to the second position.
Muyres brings five previous Brier trips to the team and he could be an important catalyst for Saskatchewan if they want to win the province’s first Brier title since 1980.
“This team was put together to win the Brier and that’s the main goal for this team,” Muyres said.
“What last year showed us, with us winning a (Grand Slam event) and having that good run at the Brier and finishing third, is that we are close and that we can do it,” Moskowy said.
“We believe we’re ready and hopefully this is the year we can stop talking about that drought for a long time.”
Team Dunstone’s first match is Friday evening when they take on Peter Mackey’s team from Nunavut.