The Saskatchewan women's curling tour (SWCT) bonspiel this weekend went ahead, through the blizzard, with a familiar face claiming the crown.
Amber Holland, whose rink is based in Davidson, won 4-3 over Regina Highland’s Stasia Wisniewski in a closely contested final.
“We had some ups and downs but I think we always kinda kept with it,” said Holland, who represented Saskatchewan in winning the Scotties 2011. “We didn’t always play our best but we managed to figure out how to make a shot at the right time.”
Holland didn’t need her final shot in the last end Sunday, with Wisniewski’s final draw attempt behind cover was just a bit too heavy.
Pandemic curling provides extra challenges for teams like Holland's, who were still grateful to get the tournament in. The distraction of a pandemic and a blizzard didn’t phase the undefeated Holland rink.
“The distraction is probably more than you can’t have the people around you,” Holland said. “We play this sport, not only for ourselves but with our family and friends. And you don’t get to see them, you’re just out there playing. For us, that’s a little different because we have pretty good support around there. That’s probably more of the distraction is that you don’t feel the same as what you’ve always done.”
Holland defeated Peacock grad, Saskatoon-based rink Skylar Ackerman to get to the final, while Wisniewski defeated Lorraine Schnieder in the other semifinal.
Ackerman’s rink went 3-2 in the round-robin, and won a quarterfinal against Regina’s Stephanie Schmidt to get to the semi. The Penny Barker rink, which had Deanna Doig at skip as Barker is taking time off to spend with her newborn, went 1-4 in the round-robin and missed the playoffs.
Lorraine Arguin’s Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre rink went 2-3 in the round-robin, the same record as the Sherrilee Orsted rink that has Moose Jaw’s Candace Newkirk at third.
With not too many opportunities to curl, as the SWCT only has three more bonspiels left this season, Holland is hopeful for a provincial Scotties this year.
“Really it’s just getting games,” said Holland. “Whatever games we can get right now is great. And just keep focusing on what we need to do as a team to improve and get a little bit better on the ice.”