Curling-SaskGames2014-AckermanPictured from left to right: Patrick Ackerman (coach), Carson Ackerman (skip), Mitchell Dales (third), Kacey Rodland (second) and Brett Behm (lead).

The weekend didn't start great for the Carson Ackerman rink, but it ended just how they had hoped.

The local curling team won the Southwest District playdowns over the weekend, beating the Ross rink out of Swift Current 6-3 in the final, to advance to the 2014 Saskatchewan Winter Games next month in Prince Albert.

“One of our goals for the season was to go to the Winter Games, so one goal is accomplished,” said Patrick Ackerman, coach of the rink.  “The boys are excited, it's a nice feeling.”

The Ackerman rink lost their opening game on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Ross rink to drop down to the B side.  After that they strung together four straight wins, including the redemption victory over Team Ross in the final.

“We struggled our first game and lost and the second game a few hours later, we picked it up and never looked back after that,” said Patrick Ackerman.

The biggest change between the two games was the rink's shot hitting improvement.  Ackerman said that they improved on that as the weekend progressed and it ended up being their strong point.

“We were playing some teams that weren't as good hitting teams as us and we really just played our game, kept it clean, and just kept making shots,” he said.

The final was about staying patient for the rink after losing to Team Ross the day before.  They were able to do that and it led to a positive finish for the local rink.

“We exchanged points for the first three ends of the game and we just stayed patient knowing that our chances were going to come,” said Ackerman.  “When our chances did come, we were lucky to take advantage of them.”

After the weekend, the confidence is high among the rink going into the Saskatchewan Winter Games coming up next month.

“After the first loss, (the team) bounced right back and they got confident and they started playing,” said Ackerman.  “Confidence is really good.”

In saying that though, there are some things they will be working on between now and the start of the games on February 16th.

“One of our weaknesses is probably some communication things, just some little things like that,” said Ackerman.  “Also just putting the rock in the right spot at the right time, rock placement is something that we're going to work on between now and then.”

The Saskatchewan Winter Games are being held in Prince Albert this year, they run from February 16th to the 22nd.

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