Whitehorse’s Team Koltun has nowhere to go but up at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Montreal, Que., this week.
A 10-4 loss to Manitoba pushed the Koltun rink down to 12th at the bottom of the standings Tuesday evening.
“Of course we wanted to win some games and do well,” said Koltun third Chelsea Duncan in a news release from the Canadian Curling Association. “But mostly a lot of it is about gaining experience and learning because this is just the beginning for us.”
Team Koltun, which is the first Yukon team to compete at the Canadian women’s curling championship in 13 years, now has a 1-6 record.
Team Quebec shares the 1-6 record but defeated Koltun 9-3 on Monday to break the ensuing tie and move into second last.
The Yukon team raised eyebrows early on at the Scotties. In their opening game of the tournament against Alberta’s Val Sweeting on Saturday, Team Koltun went up 4-1 after five ends, but fell 7-5 when Sweeting stole three in the ninth end for a 7-5 win.
The youngest rink at the Scotties with skip Sarah Koltun 20 and Duncan – the oldest on the team – 21, then produced what could be the first of many wins to come at the Scotties for the fledgling women’s team.
Koltun produced a commanding 10-3 win over P.E.I’s Kim Dolan on Sunday, stealing five in the eighth end to force the handshake.
Other close ones for Team Koltun, which includes second Patty Wallingham, lead Andrea Sinclair and sub Lindsay Moldowan, include a 6-5 loss to Newfoundland/Labrador on Sunday and an 8-7 defeat to B.C. on Tuesday when B.C. pulled the carpet out from under Koltun with a two-point steal in the 10th end.
A not-so-close one on the Koltun spreadsheet is a 9-3 loss on Monday to Team Canada, the Ottawa-based rink that are the defending champs and bronze medalists from the 2013 world championships. Team Canada, led by skip
Rachel Homan, are currently undefeated at 6-0 at the Scotties.
“Unfortunately we didn’t play our best,” said Koltun in a news release. “You just try to learn from it. We had to try and generate some points, especially once we started falling behind.”
Team Koltun, which is technically representing Yukon and N.W.T. at the Scotties, will play two other bottom-half teams on Wednesday. Yukon will start with Nova Scotia (2-5) in the morning and Ontario (1-5) in the evening.
They will then face middle-of-the-pack’s New Brunswick (4-3) on Thursday and will finish the round-robin with a match-up against Saskatchewan (5-1) on Friday.
Sarah Koltun is the first skip in history to lead a team at the Scotties and the Junior Canadian Curling Championship in the same season. The Canadian Curling Association believes she is also the third youngest skip to compete at the Scotties but is working to confirm that.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com