It took a full ten games over the weekend, but Dean Grindheim and his team took home the 2021 Mixed Curling championship at Cooke Golf and Curling Club over the weekend.
“We ended up taking the hard route, playing all ten games,” Grindheim said. “We struggled a bit losing the “A” final in an extra end, and then we lost the next game right away and had to win our next one. I think we won five straight after that, so it was a long battle, but we gelled as a team.”
Grindheim’s team was tied with Ben Gamble and his team out of Regina after the first six ends, before taking two points with the hammer in the seventh. Grindheim thought that was the turning point in the match.
“I think once we got a little bit of control there it helped,” he said. “It would’ve been nice to take that extra point in the seventh, but we threw two through that could’ve been extra points and taken a little pressure off. But also I think my first double in the eighth was huge, because it took away the chance for (Gamble) to take control.”
Grindheim’s tean won their first three matches of the weekend, including the late game on Friday night, defeating Jordan Henry of Prince Albert 9-6. One of their losses on Saturday morning came to another team in Prince Albert, Brad Bibby. They fell 7-6, sending them to a qualifying game in the afternoon. They would fall to Shawn Joyce and his team from Saskatoon, sending Grindheim to another qualifier on Saturday night.
They had a chance for redemption in a rematch with Bibby’s team. This time, it went much better for Grindheim; a 7-3 win in the final qualifying game of the tournament shot them to the semi final, where they had another chance at redemption against Joyce’s team.
The 10am semi final game on Sunday morning also went the way Grindheim had hoped for, as his squad took down team Joyce 7-2, sending them to the championship game on Sunday afternoon.
They faced off against Gamble for the first time in the tournament, with both teams trading points and clutch shots. Grindheim put two points on the board in the seventh that would turn out as the deciding points in the championship win.
When asked about any sort of pressure that the rink might have faced heading into the final game, Grindheim said they didn’t change their approach.
“I think we were pretty relaxed,” he said. “I was most impressed with how much we got better. We had a really strong semi final. We came together very well for our first time curling together.”