LACOMBE — With the exception of Kristine Anderson, it’s reunion week for the members of Jocelyn Peterman’s 2012 Canadian junior women’s curling championship rink.
Anderson is not curling this winter due to employment commitments, but the other three players — including the skip — from the junior powerhouse are competing in the Alberta Scotties women’s championship at the Lacombe Arena, albeit with three different teams.
Peterman is tossing second stones for Heather Nedohin of Edmonton, former junior third Brittany Tran holds down the lead position for Casey Scheidegger’s Lethbridge crew, and Rebecca Konschuh, Peterman’s former second, is the lead for Crystal Webster and her Calgary foursome.
The former junior quartet entertained the notion of sticking together for their first ascent into full-time women’s curling, but eventually went their separate ways.
“We talked among ourselves and when Kris (Anderson) decided not to curl we thought that just to grow ourselves as players we’d move on,” Konschuh said Wednesday morning, following the opening draw of the Alberta Scotties.
“Crystal gave me a call and I thought it would be a great opportunity to see how the ladies game works.”
Konschuh, who is in her final year of a business — with a major in sports and recreation — program at Mount Royal University in Calgary, joined the Peterman crew in 2009 and enjoyed a long and successful run with the team that ended just last year.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better team. We all got along and we were friends on and off the ice,” said Konschuh, 21. “It was just a great environment to be in and that’s probably why I’m still curling today.”
Konschuh, who hails from Sundre, hooked up with the Peterman rink almost by accident.
“They were playing in the juvenile provincials in 2009 and their second hurt her leg and I was in the spare pool,” she remembered.
“They picked me up as a spare and from there I kind of integrated myself onto the team. It just worked out that I got to join them for the rest of the journey.”
The trip from Sundre to Red Deer to attend practice sessions was one hour in length, which as Konschuh admitted, was hardly a major trip.
“And then we were all in Calgary the last couple of years, so we were still close,” she added.
Konschuh has detected a major difference between the junior women’s and women’s game.
“The curlers are a lot more consistent at this level,” she said. “In juniors you can expect the odd miss, but the ladies are spot on every time.”
The Webster foursome, also consisting of third Jessie Kaufman and second Geri-Lynn Ramsay, sits 42nd on the World Curling Tour women’s money list with earnings of $6,700.
“It’s been great. We’re a new team so we’ve had a lot of growth we’ve had to go through,” said Konschuh.
“But it’s definitely being going up and up since the first ‘spiel of the season and we’re excited to be here. We came out strong today, which was good.”
With the likes of defending champion Val Sweeting of Edmonton, former champions Nedohin and Shannon Kleibrink of Calgary and 2014 Manitoba champ Chelsea Carey, now of Edmonton, competing this week, Webster’s team faces a tough road to Sunday’s 2 p.m. final.
“We see some of these top teams on the Tour every now and then,” said Konschuh. “They’re all good so you just have to come out and play your game, make shots and hope for the best.
“Just enjoy the week. There’s only one winner in the end so you just have to enjoy what you have and go from there.”
The Webster foursome roared past Karryn Flory’s Edmonton rink 10-3 in Wednesday’s morning draw, scoring five in the third end top break the game open. In other opening-draw contests, Tiffany Game of Edmonton downed Teryn Hamilton of Calgary 9-5, Scheidegger thumped Deanna Nichol of Peace River 8-2 and Nicky Kaufman of Edmonton was a 6-4 winner over Delia DeJong of Grande Prairie.
Webster fell 5-4 to Carey in the evening draw, while Scheidegger improved to 2-0 with an 7-6 win over Kleibrink, Sweeting edged Game 6-5 and Nedohin defeated Kaufman 9-4.
The Alberta Scotties concludes Sunday with the championship final scheduled for 2 p.m.