It was a rocky start to the season for the Red Deer College curling teams at the fall regionals in November.
The men went a respectable 3-3, the women were 1-5 and the mixed team posted a 1-4 record setting the stage for needing a strong showing at the winter regionals earlier this month.
The men went 2-4, just missing the final spot for provincials but the women’s team rallied to clinch the fourth and final playoff position.
“We had a really good feeling about the weekend so we picked up our game a lot. We went 5-1, the complete opposite,” said second-year player Tanis Steinbach, who plays third on the team along with skip Kaitlyn Sherrer, second Julie Primrose and lead Lindsay Janko.
Steinbach said a change in attitude from the fall regional is part of the reason for the dramatic turn around.
“After we lost a couple of games (at the fall regional) I think we just started getting down on ourselves and didn’t think we really had a chance,” she said.
An ability to get along with each other on and off the ice is another part of the equation which has allowed the team to succeed.
“We haven’t really had any issues as a team so being able to talk about what’s wrong with our team and not be offended is really good.”
The mixed team managed a 2-2 record which clinched the final spot as well and skip Nicole Ireland credits some hard work and practice after the disappointing fall showing for reaching provincials.
“We all wanted to go really bad and we all dedicated to lots of practicing for lots of hours,” she said.
It’s a new experience for her and third Jack Sugden, second Taryn Williams and lead Jeff Ireland.
The team bonding aspect on and off the ice also played a role in their reversal of fortune, said Ireland.
“It makes me feel honoured to have the teammates that I do and we just really practiced hard to get to where we are.”
For both teams being part of the final four in the province means a team getting hot over the three-day event Feb. 22-24 in Olds is certainly in the driver’s seat.
“It will be interesting to see so anything is possible,” said Ireland.
“They’re all very talented teams so it could go either way,” Steinbach added.