For Team Saskatchewan’s Matt Dunstone, the 2020 Tim Horton’s Brier has gotten off to a fairly strong start. After dropping their opening game to Team Wildcard, the Dunstone foursome has bounced back to win their last three consecutive games.
On the morning of Monday, Mar. 2, 2020, Dunstone’s rink beat British Columbia 9-8 after scoring an impressive four points in the tenth end.
“We really played our best game of the week by a mile,” Dunstone said of the victory. “Pretty proud of the guys for what we did today, it wasn’t easy by any stretch.”
Dunstone’s rink followed their morning victory up with a rather lopsided defeat of the Northwest Territories, getting by Jamie Koe’s squad 6-2.
“It’s good for us to have games like that because every game moving forward is going to be right down to the wire,” Dunstone said.
The remainder of Saskatchewan’s round robin games will be anything but easy. On the afternoon of Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2020, they face Ontario and Team Epping, who are currently in a three way tie for second-place in Pool A.
Dunstone knows he will have to bring his very best all week if he hopes to be in contention when the playoffs begin on Saturday. It’s this sort of knowledge the young skip is hoping to build upon in his second trip to the national championship.
Back in 2018, Dunstone threw final rocks for Steve Laycock’s Team Saskatchewan at the Brier in Regina. That year, the team finished with a 5-6 record and missed the playoffs.
Two years later Dunstone is back at nationals and hopes to build off of the experience of 2018.
“It’s definitely helped [us] settle in a bit more… You know exactly what you’re getting into in terms of distractions and that sort of thing… that’s the part that’s made this one easier,” he said.
While Dunstone’s rink not only has to contend with their own hopes and dreams of winning the championship, they also have an entire province of avid curling fans cheering them on.
It’s been forty years since Rick Folk won Saskatchewan’s last Brier title, and fans in the province are eager to see that drought come to an end.
“You know, there’s added pressure with that. We want to be the team to finish that off,” Dunstone said of the prospect of winning Saskatchewan’s first Brier since 1980.
To add to the rink’s chances of making it all the way, Dunstone has brought on Adam Kingsbury as Team Coach. Kingsbury is a respected sports psychologist who helped guide Ontario’s Rachel Homan to both a Scotties and World Championship back in 2017.
“Everybody knows Adam Kingsbury and what he does for a curling team. What better guy to have on your bench?” Dunstone said of Kingsbury’s addition to the team.
Team Saskatchewan will look to keep up their winning ways as they take on John Epping and Team Ontario Tuesday afternoon at the Leon’s Centre.
Dylan Chenier is a busy student, writer and actor. When he’s not writing about his favourite sports like curling or auto racing, he can often be found on-stage or behind the scenes at the Domino Theatre. Follow him on Twitter for more 2020 Brier coverage at @DylanC98.