The crowd erupted.
It was the eighth end and Saskatchewan and Alberta were tied at five.
Alberta had shot stone, it was lying on the button.
That was until Matt Dunstone’s final shot of the end.
For those familiar with curling, it was an “in off”. For those less familiar Dunstone hit a Saskatchewan stone outside the 12 foot which rolled in and took out Alberta’s shot stone out of the house. It gave Saskatchewan an 8-5 lead.
“Matt made a huge shot in eight,” skip Steve Laycock enthused. “That in off to get the three was just monstrously huge.”
And Alberta would not recover. After blanking the ninth end to hold on to the hammer, Saskatchewan managed to stay out of trouble and finish them off 8-6 handing their western neighbours just their second loss of the tournament.
Curling is a game where anything can happen, but if records were any indication a 4-3 Saskatchewan should have been worried about facing the 6-1 Alberta who had just finished beating two of the tournament’s best: Team Canada, skipped by Brad Gushue and the wild card team skipped by Mike McEwen.
Because of that Laycock said beating Team Alberta has given them some confidence.
“That’s who we’ve got coming up, hopefully, we’ll do the same,” Laycock said.
And they’ll need to. Saskatchewan entered the championship round tied for the worst record among the eight contenders. That record follows them into the championship round which means to make it to the final games they’ll need all of their skill and perhaps even some help from other teams knocking out some of those big names at the top of the leaderboard.
Laycock said it is a bit like playing on the edge of a cliff.
“If we lose again we’re done I think, it’s not mathematically, but realistically we’re done if we lose again,” he said matter of factly.
“We needed that win, we need every win going forward so to start there is good.”
Saskatchewan (5-3) is back in action at 7 p.m. Friday night against Team Canada (7-1).