Strong first half for Silvernagle rink

Photo Submitted Prince Albert’s Kara Thevenot is the lead for Robyn Silvernagle’s rink out of the Twin Rivers Curling Club in North Battleford.

Although Robyn Silvernagle and Prince Albert’s Kara Thevenot have curled together for a number of years, this season’s edition of their rink from North Battleford is more or less a brand new team.

As a result of the many lineup shuffles that occurred at the end of the most recent Olympic cycle, the Twin Rivers Curling Club squad brought in multi-time provincial champion Stefanie Lawton at third and also added a new second to the roster in Alberta’s Jessie Hunkin.

“At the start of the year, the biggest thing that you are doing is just trying figure out how everybody throws, what their tendencies are and what each other needs to provide help for their teammates,” Thevenot explained.

“It takes a bit of time to work through everything with practices and games, but now we have a good idea of how we want to play and we’ve been able to make a lot of shots and put pressure on our opponents.”

It didn’t take long for the Silvernagle squad to get used to one another, as they made the playoffs at six of the eight events they competed in during the first half of the 2018-19 season.

That included wins at Saskatchewan Curling Tour events in Humboldt and Saskatoon, along with a World Curling Tour title at the Red Deer Curling Classic last month.

“That win in Red Deer is probably the standout moment for us from the first half of the year,” Thevenot said. “It was a 28-team field with a lot of good rinks from around the world, so it was one of those events that you had a chance to earn a lot of points from with how strong the field was.

“We played really well all weekend and we ended up only losing one game while we were there. We were able to read the ice well right away, and that allowed us to make a ton of shots.”

With a ranking of eighth at the moment in the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) standings, the Silvernagle rink is expected to earn a bye into next month’s provincial playdowns in Humboldt as the top ranked team from Saskatchewan.

As a result of their strong play this season, the rink will also have a chance to play at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling’s Meridian Canadian Open, which will be held in North Battleford from Jan. 8-13.

“That will be a first for all of us on the team except Stefanie, so to be able to get a spot at the event is really exciting, especially since we haven’t had a chance to play in North Battleford with how the schedules have worked out in the past,” Thevenot said.

“Our main goal is to make it to the Scotties and represent Saskatchewan, but to be able to play in a Slam was something that was also a goal of ours for this season. It’s a chance to face some of the best teams in the world and it will be a great event to take part in before we go to the provincials.”