By Darren Lum
An extra end loss to the Fenelon Falls Secondary School Falcons is still fresh in the minds of the Red Hawks girls’ curling team close to two weeks after their first test this season.
In the A final of the zone 5 GORE Curling Provincial Championships in the schoolgirl category on Jan. 3 at the Peterborough Curling Club the Red Hawks and the Falcons were tied 8-8 after eight ends forcing an extra end. The Falcons (with the hammer) won it before they threw their last rock.
Hawks’ skip Alyssa Denyer and vice Tori Hawley are hoping for redemption if they can play the Falcons in the next round of the championships on Feb. 12 at Leaside Curling Club.
Despite the A final loss the Hawks regrouped and earned its berth to the next round with a convincing B final 9-2 win over the I.E. Weldon Wildcats (conceded) in six ends.
They will be the second seed to the Falcons at the regional competition as region 2 zone 5 representatives.
Hawley said the team picked up its play in the second game which contributed to the 9-2 win over the Wildcats. Another factor to the score was that the Wildcats inexplicably decided to switch positions making their second and youngest player skip the game Denyer added.
“She was really nervous. I think that worked toward our advantage” Hawley said.
Denyer was pleased with her rink’s overall performance in the bonspiel but acknowledged difficulty with reading the conditions.
“We struggled with the ice in the first game. There were a lot of rocks picking and not doing the right thing” she said.
When asked about what was learned after the first bonspiel Denyer said every game is a new opportunity and a chance to improve.
“It’s a fresh start each game. We have each game to prove ourselves” Denyer said.
This bonspiel is the first of the season and the team is still making adjustments.
“We’re just getting into it. We haven’t played together much so by [the Kawartha Championship] I hope from playing in this we’ll have it all together” she said.
Hawley said it’s difficult for a team to be at its best early in the season.
“Hopefully that’s it and we’re going to play well from here on out” she said.
Last year’s alternate Emily Parish has taken the place of graduate Mia Kolcot. Parish who is lead did play and practiced with the team of Denyer Hawley and the team’s second Alanna Casper who were together last year.
Chemistry Denyer said is important for any curling team to have success.
“I think for all of our teams like our junior team or a high school team that chemistry and that bond is important no matter what” she said.
Hawley and Denyer have a solid rapport built from a strong friendship on and off the ice which makes it far easier to confer about game decisions.
She adds the established relationships are the intangibles of a strong team.
“Curling is one of those sports you spend so much time together. So if we didn’t get along then it would translate on to the ice and there would be tension” she said.