HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA
Scoring four points in the final three ends, forcing an extra, was not enough to beat Quebec on Wednesday, pushing Yukon’s Team Koltun out of the running for hardware at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax.
“We kind of got tricked by the ice a couple times,” said skip Sarah Koltun. “It was straight ice (at the start of the week) but then it curled lots. So we were like, ‘What’s going on?’
“We weren’t playing like we were the rest of the week. We were struggling the whole game and they were capitalizing on our misses. It was not a good game.”
A win over Quebec would have created a three-way-tie for first in the pool, forcing a tiebreaker for a trip to the semis, instead Koltun played New Brunswick in a crossover match, winning 6-1 and taking fifth to end the Games on Thursday.
“Yesterday we had a tough game, so it’s really good to bounce back and finish strong,” said Koltun, who ends with a 4-2 record.
Looking more relaxed than earlier in the competition, Team Koltun, which includes Jenna Duncan, Linea Eby and Patty Wallingham, jumped out to a 4-0 lead against New Brunswick, scoring two more in the sixth and final end.
“After yesterday’s game against Quebec – that was a heartbreaker,” said Koltun coach Lindsay Moldowan. “We went back to the hotel last night and decided to regroup. We decided to come out today, play our best and have fun with it. They are never going to be at another Canada Winter Games, because they are aging out, so they might as well have fun with it.”
Before the loss to Quebec, Koltun started the day with a 5-2 win over Ontario, not scoring a point until the fifth end, but then really turning the screws.
“It was good to win,” said Koltun. “If we were going to make it to the semis, we had to win two in a row, and then we’d have a tiebreaker. So winning the first one was a good feeling, because we knew there was only one left (to tie). We had to win that one, we didn’t, which is unfortunate, but it’s nice to finish in fifth place.”
The Yukon rink opened the Games with a 6-5, come-from-behind win over PEI on Sunday. Koltun went on to take a 5-3 loss to Alberta and a 5-2 win over Newfoundland and Labrador.
“I’m happy with it. When we were in the Canada Games four years ago, we were 11th, so to be fifth – it’s amazing,” said Moldowan. “The girls worked hard and they deserve it.”
It’s been a good month for Koltun. Two weeks ago, competing at the Canadian Junior Championships in Calgary, Koltun finished with a 6-6 record, the best by a junior Yukon team at the nationals in over a decade, for seventh.
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