Team Brown’s plans for the 2021-2022 curling season did not come to fruition.
Skip Corryn Brown, third Erin Pincott, second Dezaray Hawes and lead Samantha Fisher endured painful letdowns, including a pair of defeats in games in which victory would have seen them through to the Tim Hortons Trials.
The Olympic dream was forced to wait and the Kamloops Curling Club quartet’s vision of representing B.C. for a third straight year at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts did not pan out, as Team Brown made an early playoff exit from the provincial championships, which were held at their home club.
“It was a lot of really hard games, as far as finals that didn’t quite go our way,” Brown said. “They were really tough losses. By the time we got to provincials, we ran out of steam a little bit.
“It was just a lot of really big games that ended up in a loss, so I guess it would kind of have a bit of a negative connotation to the season, but overall we did have a pretty good year. We put ourselves in a lot of good positions at the big events, but just didn’t quite capitalize at the end.”
Allison MacInnes is no longer coaching the team, which has picked up 10-time Brier participant Jim Cotter to help coach the rink.
Brown plans to take the good — including victory and a cheque for $10,000 at the SGI Canada Best of the West Championship in April in Saskatoon — and the bad from last season and use it to improve in 2022-2023.
“We’re definitely eager to try some new strategies and sweeping techniques and things like that to get us to the next level,” Brown said. “We’re really open to changing things up.”
The season is off to a rocky start, with Team Brown failing to reach the playoffs in three consecutive events in Alberta, but the skip is looking forward to another opportunity this weekend in Vernon at the first B.C. Tour event of the campaign, the Prestige Hotels and Resort Curling Classic.
“We haven’t performed the way we like to, but we’ve had some really good things come out of them, as well,” Brown said “We’re working from that.”
When the B.C. championships were cancelled in 2021 amid the pandemic, the Brown rink was chosen to represent the province at the national Scotties, the nod a result of its victory at the 2020 provincial Scotties in Cranbrook, an 8-7 extra ends triumph over Sarah Wark of Abbotsford.
This season, Brown and co. have a chance to reach nationals the hard way and erase any sour taste from the setback at provincials on home ice in 2022.
Kamloops is playing host to the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, which will run from Feb. 17 to Feb. 26 at the Sandman Centre. Tickets are available online at curling.ca.
There are a number of avenues to qualification for the women’s provincial championship in Chilliwack in January, including a win at the Kamloops Crown of Curling, which is slated to run from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30 at the Kamloops Curling Club.
“We are looking forward to kind of going against our norm and maybe changing things up strategy-wise,” Brown said. “We recognize that doing the same thing over and over isn’t necessarily going to create any change.”