An emotional Ken Brown was hard on himself during an interview with KTW on Monday, Feb. 21, a day after his daughter’s Team B.C. rink knocked off Alberta 3-1 to win Canada Winter Games gold in Halifax.
“I never give the kids that much credit,” said Brown, whose daughter, Corryn, the rink’s skip, cleared an Alberta guard to clinch victory in the eighth end of Sunday’s (Feb. 20) final.
“I’m always viewing it from another light instead of viewing it from how good they really are. I’m the dad. I’m a little more critical of them.
“Whether it’s a good fit or not, I don’t know.”
Corryn’s rink — third Erin Pincott, second Samantha Fisher and lead Sydney Fraser — posted a 4-1 round-robin record, tying for first place with Amanda Colter’s Nova Scotia rink atop Pool A’s standings.
A 4-1 triumph over Ontario in a semifinal draw set up a B.C.-Alberta final, which saw Corryn score two in the seventh end to put Team B.C. out front for good.
Ken talked about the strategy behind Corryn’s decision to play aggressive when the chips were down.
“I said to Corryn, ‘They’re not going to want to give up a big end and the first deuce is going to win this for you. If they throw up a guard, you go for it.’
“They never threw a guard up on their first rock until the seventh end.”
Corryn said the tears she shed after the last rock was thrown were borne of both relief and joy.
“There was just so much stress off of my shoulders at that moment, and just the excitement, and the thought of us being No. 1 in Canada . . . it was just insane,” said Corryn, who clutched B.C.’s flag with her teammates on the ice after the win.
Never has the rink played as well as it did against Alberta in Sunday’s final, Ken said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen those kids, collectively, play as good as they did in that last game. They were out there to win and, man, they played well.”
Fraser played a shot in the eighth end which all-but sealed Alberta’s fate and drew praise from her coach.
“Sydney made a split to within maybe a half an inch from the boards,” Ken said.
“It was absolutely perfect.”
Ken credits Team B.C.’s sports psychologist David Freeze, a Kamloops resident, for preparing the rink to deal with the pressure that accompanies big-time sporting events.
“Whatever Dave had them focusing on, he certainly could get into their heads and make them focus more so than I could.
“He had a wonderful way of delivering the message, whereas I would deliver the message more negative and say ‘What are you guys doing?’ and ‘You can’t keep doing that,’ and he would deliver it totally different.”
A gold-medal victory usually provides affirmation to coaches and players alike, but the Brown rink’s coach is not sure he is the right person for the job.
“Coaching your own child, I don’t know, it just seemed like it was hard for me to get them to focus,” said a choked-up Brown.
“I’d have to reassess and talk to the kids and what have you.”
Corryn said the “father-daughter thing comes into play, but not too often,” and she does not hold anything against her dad for being too negative.
“He was just trying to point out the things we did wrong, so we don’t do them again,” Corryn said.
“It’s a lot of stress for him, too. I think he would have much rather been out there cheering with the