With just two words North Battleford’s Robyn Silvernagle summed up her emotions as she and her team get set to make another long run at the Viterra Scotties Tournament of Hearts Provincial Curling Championships.
“We’re ready,” she said confidently as the rink representing the Twin Rivers Curling Club in North Battleford prepares for the tournament opener tomorrow afternoon at the Northern Lights Palace in Melfort. “We’ve all been here before and know what to expect and we are chomping at the bit to get started.”
Last January, the Silvernagle squad, which now consists of 2016 Scotties champion Jolene Campbell playing mate (Regina) second shot Dayna Demers (Meadow Lake) and lead Kara Thevenot (Prince Alberts) went 7-1 through the round robin portion of the tournament to earn a berth in the finals but lost a heartbreaking decision to Moose Jaw’s Penny Barker when she scored four points on the final stone to win.
Silvernagle said despite the loss she gained valuable insight into what it will take for her to get to the next level.
“The thing I took away from the experience from last year’s Tournament of Hearts was how to be patient and to remain calm in any situation,” she said. “Especially in the final, when we got behind a few times; we didn’t panic and clawed our way back. Sure it wasn’t the result we wanted at the end, but I was proud of our team for not giving up.”
The team’s focus has never wavered this season, and despite some early lulls, they were able to hit their stride and capture their first tournament victory in November at the Boundary Ford Curling Classic in Lloydminster.
“I feel we are peaking at the right time of the season,” Silvernagle added. “You never want to peak to start the season and have a lull come provincials. I believe we are exactly where we want to be with our teams game.”
This year’s provincial championship features the top women’s curlers in Saskatchewan including four-time tournament winners in Sherry Anderson and Stefanie Lawton both of Saskatoon. Two-time champion Amber Holland of Regina is also in the field alongside last year’s champion Penny Barker.
Chantelle Eberle of Regina, Nancy Martin of Saskatoon, Candace Chisholm of Carlyle and Ashley Howard of Kronau round out the nine competitors vying for the right to represent the province at the Scotties national Championship slated for Jan. 27 to Feb. 4 in Penticton, B.C.
The Silvernagle foursome opens the Viterra Tournament of Hearts with a pair of games on Tuesday. They face Chantelle Eberle in the opening draw at 2 p.m. then square off against Penny Barker in the day’s final draw at 7:30 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s Viterra’s final.
On Twitter: @RJWtheReporter
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