Play­ing with con­fi­dence

On­tario’s Al­li­son Flaxey rink en­joy­ing break­out sea­son

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY GRE­GORY STRONG THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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.

CP PHOTO

Team On­tario skip Al­li­son Flaxey is shown in ac­tion at the Scot­ties Tour­na­ment of Hearts com­pe­ti­tion in Mon­treal in Fe­bru­ary 2014.

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