You’ll have to forgive Colton Flasch if he doesn’t have a great memory of curling at Affinity Place.
Flasch, now the second for Kevin Koe (1-1), lost the SaskTel Tankard final last February to Matt Dunstone (0-2) but gained a measure of revenge at the Home Hardware Canada Cup with an 8-7 win Wednesday night.
After cruising through the A side of the SaskTel Tankard, Flasch fell short with one uncharacteristically bad end.
“We always make a joke about Estevan, we call it Depressedevan after last year,” he said. “We cruised and we played so well here until the final and then one bad end and we lost it. But it’s good to come back here. It’s a great event, a great building. (It’s a) great town and lots to do here. It’s good.”
After an opening draw loss to Brad Gushue, the Koe rink didn’t want to go 0-2 on the first day and put themselves in a precarious position to make the playoffs.
In the off-season, the Koe team split up and contacted Flasch, who had a good year as a skip but had some experience as second.
“I used to play there for years and they’re awesome guys and great to play with,” Flasch said. “It’s taken a little bit of getting used to, playing second after skipping, but it’s coming back and it’s good.”
It’s been going so well for him in fact, Ben Hebert even lent him the shirt off his back, and he was wearing that Wednesday.
“They sent me the wrong size shirt, so I had to use Benny’s,” Flasch laughed.
His team’s been battling back and playing better in the second half of their games which is important if a team wants to avoid the dreaded 0-2.
“If you’re 0-2, your back is against the wall and you’ve got to win every game,” Flasch said.
Kerri Einarson (1-1) also needed a win Wednesday night to stay within arm’s reach of the lead. They came back from being down 5-2 after the fourth end to winning 7-6 over Alli Flaxey (1-1)
“I found my draw weight and I made those key shots I needed to for my team,” said Einarson. “The later half we definitely went out there and played with more confidence and that’s key to winning games.”
The ice has been tough to read for more than one team on sheet E, by the hockey players’ benches, and some teams have taken awhile to figure it out.
“The board side is always the most difficult,” said Einarson. “Just catching onto that early is pretty big.”
The other matches in the draw saw Jennifer Jones (2-0) defeat Darcy Robertson (1-1) 9-7, Casey Schiedegger (2-0) defeat Rachel Homan (1-1) 7-5 and Brendan Bottcher (1-1) defeat Reid Carruthers (0-2) 9-5.
As gruelling as a pair of big matches in one day can be it’ll be even tougher for some of the curlers as they take on their next competition the morning after either a big win or a tough loss.
Several of the curlers will have the chance to recover quickly, win or lose, Thursday morning’s draw will have Homan vs Laura Walker (0-2), Einarson vs Jones, Brad Gushue (1-1) vs John Epping (2-0), Schiedegger (2-0) vs Chelsea Carey (0-2) and Carruthers (0-2) vs Brad Jacobs (2-0) and those draws will start less than 12 hours after the last stone was thrown Wednesday night.