He may be more known for his two-person curling, but Saskatoon’s Dustin Kalthoff was able to secure a spot at this year’s SaskTel Tankard with a win at the Power Dodge Curling Centre on the Saskatchewan Men’s Curling Tour (SCT).
Kalthoff, a former national mixed doubles silver medalist in 2013 before mixed doubles curling was hip, won the Estevan stop on the SCT Dec. 2 with an 11-4 win over Rylan Kleiter.
“We tried to catch on to the ice as best we could, as soon as possible,” said Kalthoff. “The ice was really good with lots of curl, which is nice to see. You don’t always see that on the SCT.”
Kalthoff started with an 8-5 win over Shane Vollman and followed it up with an 8-4 loss to Travis Tokarz. They went undefeated the rest of the way. After a 9-0 defeat of Kipling’s young Logan Ede team, Kalthoff knocked out Estevan’s Brent Gedak 7-2 and his rink of third Jason Ackerman, second Derek Owens and lead Curtis Horwath in the B semifinal.
“The weekend was not what we were hoping for,” said Gedak. “We were 2-2 and didn’t qualify for the playoffs. You can’t win them all but we played well. We had some good moments as a team. We’re working and preparing for the Tankard and that was our focus going into this weekend.”
Gedak’s rink is still in first place as far as points go – the top team on the SCT in points will get a berth into the Tankard if they don’t qualify any other way – and they’re also in third place in the Canadian Team Ranking System points among teams in the province, which counts bonspiels not affiliated with the SCT.
“We don’t really want to go to the Southern playdown if we don’t have to,” Gedak said. “That’s the last chance to get in so if we can get in, in a bonspiel the traditional way like we did last year, it takes a lot of stress off so we can prepare and practice. That’s what we’re really focused on this year from day one.”
Gedak has curled with everyone on his rink before this season, with Owens being the longest serving member of the team at over 10 years with Gedak. The team is coming together well so far, with a win in Moose Jaw a couple of weeks ago.
“It’s worked out really well, and it took a little longer than expected but in the end, we’re starting to gel good enough,” said Gedak.
The team will be volunteering at the Home Hardware Canada Cup rather than play in the Wadena stop on the tour but will get one last crack at the Players Championship in Swift Current Jan. 4-6, 2019.
Kalthoff added third Shaun Meachem to the team this year. Meachem had experience last year as a second on the Adam Casey rink which was at the 2018 Tankard here in Estevan.
“For us, it’s been a really tough year,” said Kalthoff. “We’ve struggled to get the dynamics right and going on all four cylinders. We tried something new this weekend and it worked out really well for us.”
That meant installing Meachem as skip with Kalthoff throwing last stones.
“It’s working really well and we just kept playing better each game,” Kalthoff said.
Kalthoff defeated Mike Armstrong 4-3 in the quarterfinal and then Jamie Deis in the semifinal 4-3