Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Aimee O'Connor

INTENSITY – Yukon skip Chelsea Duncan keeps an eye on things last week during the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton, B.C. Photo courtesy CURLING CANADA

Duncan recalls skipping next to Jennifer Jones

It was something of a bittersweet experience for the Yukon’s team at last week’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton, B.C.

By Whitehorse Star on February 8, 2018

It was something of a bittersweet experience for the Yukon’s team at last week’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton, B.C.

On one hand, the top four teams that advanced to the playoffs in the Canadian championship were in Pool A, the same pool as Chelsea Duncan’s rink.

On the other hand, you don’t always get to share the ice with curling icons like Jennifer Jones, who went on to win the Scotties and advance to the world championships.

“She was really gracious,” Duncan said this week of the casual bits of conversation she and Jones had during the game.

“They played amazing and we did not have our best game,” she said. “It definitely showed in the score when you play that precise of a team.... But it was really cool learning from a team like that, because I think it inspired us....”

Duncan said Jones and her crew don’t miss many shots.

Having to face the top teams in the opening round robin can be intimidating, but it also provides a front row seat to the best curlers in the country, the skip suggested.

The Yukon team won their last game against Nunavut for placement.

Also representing the territory last week was third Jenna Duncan, second Kara Price, lead Jody Smallwood, alternate Loralee Johnstone and coach Gord Moffat.

For the 25-year-old Duncan, it was the second time she competed in the Scotties, though she’s also been to two pre-qualifying tournaments held in the days leading up to the championship.

It was the first time Duncan had skipped since she was a young girl.

In all the other three appearances she’s played third with skip Sarah Koltun, though Koltun decided to curl with the N.W.T. team skipped by Kerry Galusha.

“It was an awesome experience and we learned tonnes,” Duncan said last week’s Scotties. “So I think it will be helpful in our development as curlers in the future.”

Duncan pointed out how they were happy they played the N.W.T. Galusha rink and Koltun in their very first game last week.

They’re still very good friends with Koltun and having played them first they began swapping information about what or who to watch for from the other teams in their pool.

They shared tips about matching up different stones, she said.

“We are great friends,” Duncan said. “We hung out lots.”

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