It wasn’t the start that Team McDonald were looking for at the 2019 Tim Horton’s Brier with two straight losses however often in sport it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. After starting the week 0-2 the Kingston rink has made it to the final 8 and a playoff match against Karrick Martin’s Wild Card Team in Draw 17.
In a phone interview prior to today’s playoff round Lead Scott Chadwick said, “We knew going into the week that we had two tough matches at the start especially game 1 vs. Team Canada. Brad Gushue is one of the best skips in the world so we realized that we needed to make our shots. They had to make a great shot to beat us in the tenth end so we felt pretty good about ourselves despite the loss.”
Next up was Team Alberta and a tough 8-2 setback. “Our game plan going in was to split the first two games but things don’t always work out the way you plan,” added Chadwick. He said that opening the tournament with two straight loses there was no sense of panic and in fact they were confident that they would bounce back.
And bounce back they did, winning 6 of their next 7 matches the highlight of which was a 7-6 thriller vs. previously undefeated Team Northern Ontario who went into the match 8-0.
When asked about the huge Thursday night win Chadwick stated, “We had a solid game plan going in and we were able to make our shots.” When asked if their heart rates increased misses in the 7th and 8th ends, Chadwick said there was absolutely no sense of panic. “That’s the great thing about this team. We’re able to stay focused and overcome adversity.”
When asked about not being a household name in the world of curling Chadwick seemed to chuckle and said, “Perhaps we haven’t had national media exposure, however we’ve been a top rink for a while so our competition is aware of who we are. If we’re successful this week, the other stuff will look after itself… We’re a confident group and not surprised by the results this week so far.”
While it’s their first time at the Brier, the McDonald rink have played in a number of big tournaments with national TV and media exposure ,so the big stage this week has not been overly intimidating. “The ice has been fantastic and the fans have been incredible,” said Chadwick.
After telling Chadwick that the guy interviewing him on the other end of the line isn’t a curling expert by any means, he was asked if there are any psychological games between teams – Especially the teams with previous Brier experience against less seasoned teams.
“Oh yeah, there’s all kinds of it. For example, last night Northern Ontario called their final timeout just before our last shot to freeze us and get into our heads a bit,” Chadwick said.
“It didn’t work” he added with a chuckle.
Team McDonald is made up of Scott McDonald at Skip, Lead Scott Chadwick, Second Wesley Forget, Third Jonathan Beuk and Spare Jeff Grant, under the direction of Coach Sean Turriff. Find out more about the team and follow along on their Brier journey on Facebook here.