Erin Pincott and Matt Dunstone have applied to test their relationship on a national stage.
The Kamloops couple is awaiting word from Curling Canada on whether it will be granted a berth to compete at the Home Hardware Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship, which will be held from March 18 to March 25 in Calgary.
“We hope we can get in,” Pincott said. “The dynamic out there is good. We’ve had our moments of greatness and moments when things get a little bit tense out there. I would say Matt is a little bit more outward with his emotions when he misses a shot, where I’m a little bit more inward with it. We have different coping styles.”
Team Brown, which includes skip Corryn Brown, third Pincott, second Dezaray Hawes and lead Samantha Fisher, will represent B.C. at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the first of six major events scheduled to take place inside the Calgary curling bubble.
The Scotties will get underway on Feb. 20 and precede, in order, the Tim Hortons Brier, mixed doubles nationals, the World Men’s Curling Championship and two Grand Slam of Curling events, the last of which is expected to conclude in May.
Dunstone, who skips a Regina-based rink that includes third Braeden Moskowy, second Kirk Muyres and lead Dustin Kidby, has potential to achieve unprecedented success that could keep him inside the bubble for more than 60 days.
“The circumstances for everything are just absolutely wild,” Dunstone said.
“If the stars align and we win the Brier, it could be upwards of two months or even a little longer.“It’s still pretty hard to comprehend and I don’t know if I’ll be able to wrap my head around it until we actually get to Calgary.”
Team Dunstone was chosen by CurlSask to compete in the Brier, a selection based on results over the past two years, including a Saskatchewan title and third-place finish at the national championship in 2020.
Should Dunstone win the 2021 Brier and be granted a spot in the mixed doubles nationals field, along with partner Pincott, then he will compete in every bubble event except the Scotties.
The stakes are high and so would be the cost of a positive COVID-19 test.
Don’t expect to find Dunstone and Pincott out for dinner at Peter’s Pasta on Valentine’s Day.
They are remaining vigilant in efforts to keep virus-free.“The paranoia is real,” Pincott said, noting the couple built a home gym to keep fit in a protected space.
Added Dunstone: “Nobody wants to ruin this bubble for everybody.
We are doing our part to limit public exposure.”
Both curlers are able to practise at McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre, carded athletes who have exemptions to train during the pandemic.
Dunstone, not currently employed, is taking online courses at UBC, classes he can tend to while inside the bubble.
Pincott works for PacificSport Interior BC, which has given her the green light to have time off for nationals.
They do not have children and are therefore without parental responsibilities that could limit extended bubble stays.
A Curling Canada representative told KTW mixed doubles nationals qualifying guidelines are still being formulated and to expect to learn more either later this week or early next week.
TSN is expected to broadcast the event and a Kamloops curling couple’s on-ice chemistry might be up for analysis.
“Corryn’s not much of a broom slammer, where as Matt is,” Pincott said with a laugh.
“That was an adjustment the first time we played together.
Sometimes, it’s a little startling.
“It’s set up to be quite a series of events in a row in the bubble.”