After winning the SaskTel Tankard at the beginning of February, Team Saskatchewan third Matt Dunstone was transported back in time.
“As soon as we win that game you just have flashbacks of you as a five, six-year-old on the kitchen floor throwing ice packs or whatever as curling stones and just dream of one day of throwing an actual stone in the Brier and I mean it’s here,” he said.
It was almost a year ago to the day when Dunstone, a junior champion out of Manitoba was approached by skip Steve Laycock to join his team.
Colton Flasch stepped away from the Laycock rink opening up an opportunity for Dunstone to join the Saskatoon-based team. He jumped at it.
“They had an inside path to the (Olympic) trials and it’s kind of a no-brainer to join this well-established team,” Dunstone explained.
But he does admit, wearing the Saskatchewan green instead of the Manitoba yellow was not the easiest thing when he started.
“(It’s) a little different for obvious reasons, but it’s been a lifelong dream to play in the Brier … I’ll take it any which way I can. This province has welcomed me with open arms and I feel right at home here.”
Dunstone, who still technically resides in Winnipeg, now spends the bulk of his time in Saskatoon having fit right in with the team.
In fact, the fit was so good he eventually began throwing the fourth stones – the ones usually reserved for the skip.
The change, made earlier in the curling season, worked for them and Dunstone went on to help his teammates qualify for the Brier in their home province, calling it “a total dream come true.”
The start of the Brier, however, didn’t go quite as planned as Team Saskatchewan fell 5-2 to Quebec Saturday afternoon.
Team Saskatchewan has traditionally struggled with Quebec said skip Steve Laycock whose own Brier career started with a loss to La Belle Province.
“We lost the first game in my first ever Brier to Quebec on the first draw too so a lot of deja vu there,” the skip said after the draw.
But he’s also not concerned.
“We rattled off seven wins still that week,” he shrugged. “There’s lots of week left and we can definitely bounce back.”
And he also knows his third will find his championship form.
“When he gets going there’s no one like him really, he can make all the shots.”