Despite finishing mixed nationals on a losing streak, Yukon skip Bob Smallwood remains satisfied with his latest foray at the national level.
The territory finished eighth overall at the 2016 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship in Toronto last week – a best-ever finish for Yukon.
After qualifying for the championship pool last Wednesday, Smallwood and company lost four straight to finish the event with a 3-7 record.
Still, the rink that also includes third Nicole Baldwin, second Wade Scoffin and lead Jody Smallwood (Bob’s wife) did what they set out to do.
“Making the top round. That’s what my goal was, and that’s what the team’s goal was leaving Whitehorse,” Smallwood told the Star yesterday.
“We qualified by beating Manitoba, then re-evaluated.”
The team hoped to go 2-2 in championship pool play, but went on to lose four straight: 7-6 to Nova Scotia, 7-3 to Alberta, 7-5 to Saskatchewan and 6-2 to Northern Ontario.
Alberta went on to win the event, with Mick Lizmore’s Edmonton rink completing a perfect, unbeaten week with a 4-2 win over Saskatchewan’s Bruce Korte Saturday afternoon.
Last year, Yukon finished with a better record at 5-4, but finished in 10th place after failing to crack the championship pool.
“I think Yukon’s got a shot at the mixed,” Smallwood said of potential future goals. “If you can put a good mixed team together and curl consistently, a top-four placing wouldn’t be out of the question.”
However, the 41-year-old said he isn’t sure if he’ll attempt to lead Yukon into a fourth straight mixed national event next season.
“Myself and my wife have been curling a lot over the past few years,” he said, acknowledging the two have discussed taking a step back from the game to spend more time with their children.
The couple may even pull out of the local mixed doubles playdowns, set for Dec. 3 to 6 in Atlin, B.C.
At present however, the season continues in a hurry with Jody Smallwood scheduled to skip Yukon’s women’s rink at the 2015 Travelers Curling Club Championships in Ottawa next week.
Following that, Bob Smallwood said he’d like to take at least one more shot at the Tim Hortons Brier, where he represented the territory last season.
This year, he’ll attempt to complete the feat alongside third Jon Solberg, second Clint Abel, lead Scott Odion and fifth David Rach.