Swift Cur­rent

The Southwest Booster - - SPORTS -

“We had a re­ally tight con­nec­tion with that team on and off the ice,” said Chris Haichert, who noted that they rode the bus to­gether to North Bay, they sat to­gether, roomed to­gether at the ho­tel, and par­tied with them ev­ery night.

“Then after we beat them we still sat to­gether,” added Tee­jay.

“It was pretty spe­cial to play them in the fi­nal,” said Chris, who added that they specif­i­cally asked to sit with them at the clos­ing ban­quet as well. “They are great friends of ours and it was fun to play them in the fi­nal.

Saskatchew­an has now won 10 Cana­dian Mixed cham­pi­onships, ty­ing Al­berta for the prov­inces with the most vic­to­ries in the his­tory of the mixed event.

Team Saskatchew­an shot out of the gate with four straight wins to en­sure them­selves a spot in the cham­pi­onship pool.

They opened their week with a 9-2 win over Nu­navut on Mon­day af­ter­noon. Saskatchew­an fol­lowed up with a 6-4 vic­tory over New­found­land & Labrador that evening. Kirk­patrick moved to 3-0 on Tues­day with a 7-4 win over Nova Sco­tia. They re­mained un­beaten after two days with a 5-3 win over North­ern On­tario.

The fi­nal day of the open­ing round robin saw Team Saskatchew­an drop their first two games by one point each time. They lost 7-6 to Prince Ed­ward Is­land that morn­ing. They also lost 6-5 to On­tario to place sec­ond in the seven-team pool.

Kirk­patrick en­tered the cham­pi­onship pool with a 2-1 record against qual­i­fied teams with four games against the Pool A teams ahead. They opened the next phase of the tour­na­ment with a dom­i­nat­ing 8- 3 win over Que­bec in six ends on Thurs­day morn­ing.

Saskatchew­an came up with a huge win Thurs­day evening in de­feat­ing the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries 6-3. Kirk­patrick led 4-2 after a deuce in the sixth end and then sealed the win with another two points in the eighth end to de­feat Koe’s rink. Saskatchew­an then de­feated Bri­tish Columbia 6-4 and Man­i­toba 8-5 to top the cham­pi­onship pool with a 6-1 record.

“We were for­tu­nate enough to fin­ish first. We got a lit­tle bit lucky on the last day. We had to win our game and another team had to lose a game for us to fin­ish first and that hap­pened for us,” said Kirkp­trick. “We got first place, which gave us rock choice and ham­mer for both the semi-fi­nal and the fi­nal, which was a big ad­van­tage. We curled well and put two good games to­gether.”

“We started off fairly slowly and that might be at­trib­uted to the fact that we haven’t been able to make time to prac­tice or meet up be­fore we went to Na­tion­als,” added Chris Haichert. “Our last time to­gether was back in March when we won Provin­cials. It took us three or four games to get back in the groove and get rolling again.”

“We just seemed to get bet­ter and bet­ter as the week went on,” ex­plained Chris. “No more so than our skip Max, he just shot the lights out all week. You could tell that he re­ally wanted to win this and he let no­body down.”

The team was loaded with elite curl­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing ju­nior world ti­tles and Brier and Scot­ties ap­pear­ances from the Haicherts, and Scot­ties and world ex­pe­ri­ence from Camp­bell.

“I was the only one there with­out na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence and th­ese three have all got world ex­pe­ri­ence. That will sure help a lot when we go to Europe next year,” said Kirk­patrick, the elder states­man on the team.

“I am just su­per ex­cited about the win, ex­cited for Swift Cur­rent that we were able to bring a banner back to the rink for them, that is a huge ac­com­plish­ment,” said Tee­jay “Also just to win for Max and help him ac­com­plish one of his dreams when he is kind of late in curl­ing and almost done his curl­ing ca­reer.”

“Max will tell you he has been curl­ing his whole life try­ing to get some­where and al­ways just come up on the short end of the stick,” in­ter­rupted Chris. “To see the smile on Max’s face when we won Provin­cials and when we won this Cana­dian ti­tle it ab­so­lutely melted my heart be­cause he has been a great am­bas­sador for the sport of curl­ing for­ever. To see him win this I couldn’t be any more prouder than to be able to help him reach his goals.”

As a bonus, the Kirk­patrick four­some will rep­re­sent Canada at the first ever World Mixed Curl­ing Cham­pi­onship to be held in Sept. 2015. The only de­tails about the tour­na­ment an­nounced so far is that it will be held in Europe.

“I think we will be com­pet­i­tive,” said Kirk­patrick. “I don’t know what the Euro­pean fields are like, if they are go­ing to have their big­gest names there or not. We won’t re­ally know that un­til some­time in the spring. I am sure our team is go­ing to be com­pet­i­tive if we can stay healthy and work on our game for the rest of this win­ter and stay in shape next sum­mer. We will be com­pet­i­tive with any­body I think.”

“I def­i­nitely think we will be con­tenders,” added Tee­jay. “For the Euro­pean teams they are much more into the mixed curl­ing so they will be throw­ing their best play­ers to­gether onto teams and what­not. We will def­i­nitely have our work cut out for us but I think that we will be con­tenders when we go over there and we will give it all that we can when we get there and we will have a chance to be in the run­ning.”

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