Rocking the rings like Hurricanes
July 9, 2013
The Holland Hurricanes will send their men’s curling team to the CCAA national championships, to be played at Avonair Curling Club in Edmonton, Alta., from March 20- 23.
Making their debut in 2012, the Hurricanes finished fourth in last year’s tournament, and they will look to improve upon that result and break into the medals this year.
Of the four players on this year’s team, Alex Sutherland is the only returning player from the 2012 championships, which were played in Peterborough, Ont.
Sutherland served as the vice-skip last year, but he will throw second stone in Alberta this year.
“When we got there last year, we didn’t really have much time to think about doing anything, and then we just went right at it,” Sutherland said.
“The games were back-to-back with very few breaks in between, so it was non-stop action. But looking at this year, it’s a little different and a little slowed down, so we’ll be ready for that, but then also since it’s changed, hopefully we’ll be a step ahead.”
Matthew MacLean is the skip, while Wyatt Johnson will throw lead stone and Jonathan Kennedy will play third.
The team was formed in November, playing in a local men’s league in Charlottetown.
Having Sutherland’s experience at the CCAA tournament will help the Hurricanes to adjust, Kennedy said.
“It’s good to have someone who’s already been there to be able to tell you what it’s going to be like, and then in terms of going away and representing the College, just to know the conduct and what’s going on there.”
The team has come a long way since they first formed, MacLean said.
“We’ve become good friends over the couple months we’ve been together, so I think we’re going to do pretty good.”
Though the Hurricanes are coming together at the right time, it wasn’t always easy in the beginning, Kennedy said.
“None of us are in the same course together, so we were complete strangers. But now we feel like we’re good friends, so the results show on the ice when you’re able to communicate better.”
The team will need to stick together in Alberta to have any chance of success, Johnson said.
“We just need to keep our chemistry and do what we do, keep throwing rocks as best as we can, and just play our game.”
Nerves on a bigger stage may play a factor in the early going, MacLean said.
“It’s going to be overwhelming, and getting over that is going to make a big difference, and once we get over that and figure out how the other teams play, we’re going to overcome it.”
Once they get on the ice, the Hurricanes will look to be aggressive, MacLean said.
“We’d like to get up in the first and just go from there. That’s the way we’ve been trying to play is get our points early and then play defensively afterward.”
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