Playing with confidence
Ontario’s Allison Flaxey rink enjoying breakout season
Canadian skip Allison Flaxey achieved a big goal with her first career Grand Slam title this season. She has her sights set even higher as she looks at the year ahead.
“I think we can win the Olympics,” Flaxey said Thursday. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we have the capacity to do it. It’s just finding ways to be our best when we need to be.
“I think that will be the thing that we’re trying to tackle in the next 12 months or so.”
Flaxey has reason to be confident.
Buoyed by her victory at the Masters, the 31-year-old from Caledon East, Ont., has risen to third in the Canadian rankings. Her team of third Clancy Grandy, second Lynn Kreviazuk and lead Morgan Court also hold the No. 7 position on the World CurlingTour’sOrderofMerit. Not too shabby for their second season together as a foursome. “We’re a fierce team, we’re resilient,” Flaxey said. “We can bounce back like nobody else. So I think just that drive and that willpower, nobody I think out there wants it more than us in my mind.
“We’re willing to work to do that. So I hope you see more of us. That’s our plan.”
Coach Caleb Flaxey, Allison’s husband, said the team set some big goals at the start of the season. They wanted to break through on the Slam circuit and win at that level - while aiming to qualify for the national championship and Olympic Trials.
“The girls in a sense are fearless, almost to a point of being almost too overconfident at times,” he said. “They want to be the best and they want to play the best. Getting to the top is what they want to do.”
The team’s breakthrough came last October when Flaxey defeated Olympic champion Jennifer Jones, national champ Chelsea Carey, European star Silvana Tirinzoni and 2015 event champion Rachel Homan en route to the Masters title.
“It was huge,” Allison Flaxey said. “Just showing that you can beat anybody out there. I think we ended up beating the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 teams in the Order of Merit during that event.
“So that was a huge win for us and it just showed us what we’re capable of if we really get on a roll.”
Flaxey is off to a decent start at this week’s provincial championship at the Cobourg Community Centre. At 3-2, she was tied for third in the eight-team field after 11 draws.
The Ontario winner will play as the home province at the Feb. 16-26 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in St. Catharines.
Flaxey, a Winnipeg native, played in Alberta for a few years before moving to Ontario in 2011. Her first provincial title came in 2014 and she finished in a tie for ninth at the Scotties that year.
Team Ontario skip Allison Flaxey is shown in action at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts competition in Montreal in February 2014.