Corryn Brown and rink put the B.C. Women’s Curling Tour on notice on the weekend in Maple Ridge.
The Kamloops Curling Centre quartet of skip Brown, third Erin Pincott, second Dezaray Hawes and lead Ashley Klymchuk won the tour’s opening event, knocking off Diane Gushulak of New Westminster 6-4 in the championship game on Sunday at Golden Ears Winter Club to claim the King Cash Spiel title.
Team Brown was named Curl BC’s adult team of the year for 2017-2018, earning the nod with bronze in its first appearance at the B.C. Scotties, gold at the Western Canadian University Curling Championships and silver at the U Sports Championships.
Lead Sam Fisher left a big hole when she stepped away from the team after the campaign, opting to focus on studying respiratory therapy at TRU. Klymchuk was quickly added to the roster.
The new combination had little ice time with which to practise before stop No. 1, about three-and-a-half hours in Maple Ridge the weekend before the King Cash Spiel.
“We had a good rhythm going out there,” Brown told KTW on Monday. “It was very positive and everyone was shooting really well considering we haven’t had much practice ice.”
Pincott and Brown made key shots to set up a steal of two in the eighth end of the final on Sunday. Gushulak’s last rock was off target, sealing the win for the Kamloops rink.
The victory brought with it valuable B.C. tour and Canadian Team Ranking System points.
There are three automatic qualifying berths available for the 2019 B.C. Scotties, the women’s provincial championship that will run from Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 in Quesnel — one for the B.C. rink with the most CTRS points and two for the top-two finishers on the B.C. circuit.
Four stops remain on the B.C. tour — the Prestige Hotels and Resorts Curling Classic, which runs from Sept. 27 to Sept. 30 in Vernon; the Driving Force Abbotsford Cashspiel, from Oct. 12 to Oct. 14; the Kamloops Crown of Curling, from Oct. 26 to Oct. 28; and Raymond James Kelowna Double Cash, from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4.
The team is also aiming to rack up points this season that will help it qualify to compete in tier 2 women’s Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge events.
“It’s definitely not in the cards this year, but if we gain quite a few points this year, it could be something we’d be able to qualify for next year,” Brown said.
The next step up from there is locking horns with the Rachel Homans and Jennifer Jones of the curling world in tier 1 slam events.
Brown plans to compete at two out-of-province spiels this season — the Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic, which runs from Oct. 5 to Oct. 8 at the Calgary Curling Club, and the Red Deer Curling Classic, which gets underway on Nov. 16.
The $4,000 pay day that came along with victory on the weekend will help with travel costs.
“You’re not worrying so much about making ends meet,” Brown said. “To get the win with a new combination was really great.”
The Karla Thompson Vancouver/Kamloops rink was also in action in Maple Ridge on the weekend, recording a 2-2 record in round-robin play and failing to reach the playoffs.
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