Matt Dunstone was overcome with emotion in North Bay, Ont., barely able to peel himself off of the ice on Sunday evening to give a live interview to Sportsnet after winning his first Grand Slam of Curling title.
Meanwhile, a few thousand kilometres across the country, his significant other, Erin Pincott, was busy throwing third for Team Brown in the women’s final of the Kamloops Crown of Curling.
“I get really anxious watching him, so it worked out well,” said Pincott, whose team dispatched Siyu Han of China 6-0 to win gold on Sunday at the Kamloops Curling Centre. “I didn’t have to go through the agony of watching every shot. I just got off the ice and saw the result.”
The Kamloops-based couple will not soon forget last weekend.
Team Dunstone, which includes the skip from Winnipeg and three Reginians — third Braeden Moskowy, second Catlin Schneider and lead Dustin Kidby — won $35,000 for its triumph at the Masters and is expected to vault into the top five in men’s year-to-date world rankings.
“In that moment, it’s just going back to growing up and watching some of the legends of the game win those events,” Dunstone said when asked about the post-game interview.
“You hope one day you can play in those events, let alone actually win them. That’s where a lot of the emotion took over, a surreal moment.”
The Kamloops Curling Club-based Brown rink — skip Corryn Brown, third Pincott, second Dezaray Hawes and lead Ashley Klymchuk — snared $4,000, ensured automatic qualification to the B.C. Scotties and won its home World Curling Tour event for the first time.
“We’ve had situations where one person has had a good weekend and one person has not had a good weekend, or we’ve both had bad weekends, so to both come out on top, it’s nice,” Pincott said.
Pincott may be one of many who suggests Team Dunstone use part of its winnings to purchase the skip a new lid, a replacement for the black and green leather 1997 Labatt Brier hat he donned at the Masters.
“I’m sure he’s told you that I can’t say I’m a huge fan of it,” Pincott said. “I don’t know if green leather is meant to be worn on a hat, but whatever is going to help you win, do it.”
Dunstone is employed by Ken Brown, Corryn’s father.
Ken, a former provincial champion curler, belonged to Barry McPhee’s Kamloops Curling Club rink at the 1997 Brier in Cowtown.
“He thought I stole the hat from him because he played in that Brier,” said Dunstone, who was on coffee break with Ken at Tim Hortons while speaking to KTW on Tuesday.
The hat, in fact, was given to Moskowy by Highland Curling Club general manager AJ Scott.
“My team knows I’ve been known to wear some vintage curling hats,” Dunstone said. “We strung together a couple wins. I couldn’t take it off.”
The hat promises to get play in shot-of-the-year-candidate highlight reels.
Dunstone made an astounding angle-raise takeout to score two in the fifth end of the final against 11-time Grand Slam champion Brad Gushue. Dunstone bested the Newfoundland rink 8-5.
The 24-year-old skip squeezed one through the tiniest of ports to score two in the fourth end of the semifinal against Team Mouat of Edinburgh on Saturday. Dunstone won 5-4.
“I pulled out my small rock for that shot,” Dunstone said with a laugh.
A runback triple takeout in the eighth end of Draw 9 against Mike McEwen of Winnipeg is also worth Googling. The wonder-shot secured a 5-4 win.
“It’s just a strange thing where you get in this mode where you’re totally fearless,” Dunstone said. “You just get super confident, all four of us. Those shots totally change the outcome of an event for a team.
“Not a whole lot of words to describe it. You don’t really ever expect to go into those events and win them, because they are the best other 14 teams in the world.”
The curling power couple, as Corryn Brown referred to them on Instagram, may formulate plans to toast accomplishments.
“It definitely makes for a pretty happy household for us,” Dunstone said. “There is probably a nice dinner and some drinks in the near future for us.”
Hopefully Dunstone has the good sense to leave the hat at home during the night out.
“He has to lose two games before he takes it off, so, hopefully, he’s wearing it for a while,” Pincott said.
“But I wouldn’t be the most sad if it did come off at some point.”