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Brown falls in Red Deer quarter-final; Dunstone winless, Pincott sees action at Olympic Trials in Saskatoon

The Brown and Dunstone curling rinks have experienced competition without regular team members.
Erin Pincott was called into action on Monday at the Tim Hortons Trials in Saskatoon.

The Brown and Dunstone curling rinks have experienced competition without regular team members.

Matt Dunstone, the Kamloops resident who skips a Regina-based rink that normally includes lead Dustin Kidby, second Kirk Muyres and third Braeden Moskowy, is in action at the Tim Hortons Curling Trials, which began on Saturday in Saskatoon.

The event will wrap up on Nov. 28 and produce the four-person men’s and women’s teams that will don the Maple Leaf at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.

Team Dunstone is without Moskowy, who pulled out of the event on Thursday, citing personal reasons for his withdrawal. Colton Lott is his replacement.

The team was 0-3 as of Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Team Brown of Kamloops toiled at the Vesta Energy Red Deer Curling Classic, a 28-team, triple-knockout tournament that boasted a $35,000 purse.

Corryn Brown skips the team that usually includes third Erin Pincott, second Dezaray Hawes and lead Sam Fisher, but Pincott has been picked up by Team Walker of Edmonton to handle alternate duties for the Trials in Saskatoon.

“Obviously, it’s a really great opportunity, so we didn’t want to hold Erin back from that,” Brown said. “We’re really happy for her.

“In a year where points are still pretty important, just even for how close we are to being back in the Slams, or being Slam regulars, we’re pretty close, so we can’t give up any opportunities to play and get points.”

Brown reached the quarter-final round and lost 6-5 to Satsuki Fujisawa, the Japanese rink that went on to win gold, edging Unchi Gim of South Korea 6-5 on Monday in the title tilt.

Hope Sunley, who normally toils for Calgary-based Team Bertsch, hopped in with Team Brown for the Red Deer event and played lead, with Fisher moving to second and Hawes sliding into third.

Walker had ample opportunity to assess Pincott this season.

“We played them [Team Walker] a ton this year, I think eight games on tour and at the play-in event,” Pincott said. “I’ve gotten to know them well on the ice.

“With not making it there [to Olympic trials] ourselves, they reached out and I was happy to jump on board.”

Team Brown fell one victory short of reaching the Olympic trials at the Curling Trials Direct-Entry Event, which took place in September in Ottawa.

Walker picked up the third-and-final Trials berth on offer at the Direct-Entry event with an 8-4 win over Brown.

Pincott, operating as a fifth for the first time in her career, spoke to KTW last week and recalled an experience from the 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw.

Dailene Pewarchuk was Team Brown’s fifth and was inserted into the lineup at second for two games when Hawes became ill.

“God forbid, but if someone gets sick, I’m there and ready to hop in at any moment,” Pincott said.

Walker’s vice-skip, Kate Cameron, became ill on Monday. Pincott jumped into the lineup for a game against Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., on Monday evening.

Einarson earned a 9-5 win over Walker, who was 1-3 as of Tuesday morning.

“The girls were super supportive and it felt like I fit in pretty quickly,” said PIncott, who curled at 75 per cent in her first Trials game. “Our communication was really flowing. That was the first game post-sanding the rocks, so we were all learning at the same time about the new ice conditions and how the rocks were running.”

Walker has an off-day on Tuesday and will return to action on Wednesday against Rachel Homan of Ottawa, with the draw scheduled for noon.

Pincott’s inclusion in the lineup is dependent on Cameron’s health.