Whitehorse curling skips Sarah Koltun and Thomas Scoffin know they have good teams and are confident they can qualify for the junior nationals. They simply want a few more check marks in their win columns.
Koltun and Scoffin both hinted that their teams are still congealing following their performances at the 2013 Whitney Field Junior Curling Classic over the weekend in Lloydminster, Alta.
“I think it was a good learning experience,” said Koltun. “Obviously we didn’t perform as well as we had hoped to because we had hoped to do a little bit better than that.”
“We didn’t get the results we wanted this past weekend in Lloydminster,” said Scoffin. “But we’re feeling good, had some really strong games there and improved on things we had set our goals to improve on.
“In that respect we’re looking good. But there’s a lot more room to improve.”
At the Alberta Junior Curling Tour event, Team Scoffin, who won the event last year, was knocked out in the semifinal by Alberta’s Team Lautner.
Team Koltun went 1-3 and missed the playoff. The team, which includes Andrea Sinclair, Patty Wallingham and Jenna Duncan, was eliminated with a 6-5 loss to Manitoba’s Team MacKay.
“In that qualifying game we were at a point where you win or you’re knocked out,” said Koltun. “We went into an extra end and she had to make a nice shot to win. We played a really strong extra end, but sometimes you can’t stop them from making their shot.”
Scoffin is beginning his second season with the University of Alberta Junior Golden Bears team. The rink has undergone a facelift with two new curlers coming on board. Joining Scoffin is returning player Dylan Gosseau, plus new teammates Jaques Bellamy and lead Andrew O’Dell.
Team Scoffin won silver at the Canadian Junior Curling Championship last season.
“We have our sights set on the junior nationals for sure,” said Scoffin. “It’s never easy in Alberta to win the provincials, but that’s our goal and we want to get back there and finish off the business that was left last year.”
Koltun also has big plans.
She hopes to take her junior rink to the junior nationals and her senior rink – swapping Jenna Duncan for sister Chelsea Duncan – to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in January. If successful, Team Koltun will be the first Yukon rink to compete at the Scotties since Whitehorse’s Team Hatton in 2000.
Koltun’s junior team is currently in Ottawa where they will compete at the OVCA Junior SuperSpiel this weekend.
“We know we can perform better than we have been, so we’ve been working through some things and are drawing as many rocks as we can,” said Koltun. “We’re just trying to get some things sorted out.”
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