The furthest away from home Lacombe curler Chantele Broderson has even been is Florida, but that’s about to change in a big way next week.
Broderson, a second-year elementary education student at the University of Alberta was part of the Team Alberta rink that won a thrilling victory at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Victoria, B.C.
“I can definitely say I’ve grown up dreaming of this feeling,” Broderson said over the phone from Edmonton on Friday. “I’ve witnessed a lot of my close friends go through this and get to represent Canada. It still hasn’t really sunk in. We’re starting to get all of our Canada stuff now and I’m super excited.”
Broderson serves as the vice-skip on a team with skip Kristen Streifel, second Kate Goodhelpsen and lead Brenna Bilassy. They won the right to represent Canada in Gangneung, South Korea, from Feb. 16-26, after defeating Team Ontario 5-3 with a steal in the 10th end of the final in Victoria.
After a 7-3 loss to Ontario in the final game of the round robin, Broderson said her team was forced to play a conservative game in the finals, a rematch against Hailey Armstrong’s team.
That led to blanks in five of the first seven ends, with Ontario scoring a deuce in the third and Alberta countering with two in the sixth. After the teams traded singles in the eighth and ninth ends, it came down to the final shot in the 10th.
“We knew we just had to play it close and more conservative with all the blanks. We knew that it would come down to the last end,” Broderson recalled.
“When we went into the 10th end, without the hammer, tied, we knew we had to make our eight shots and just do it one shot at a time and we managed to curl 100 percent in the 10th end. They made a lot of good shots too. Left her with a tough one on her last and she couldn’t make it.”
Armstrong’s final shot was a draw-tap to try and wiggle the Alberta stone tucked tight at the top of the button, but it was heavy and Alberta scored two for the win.
before that shot, Broderson remembers how proud she was of her team and her skip.
“I was talking to Kristen behind the hack, and I said ‘I’m so proud of us, we did all we could do, played a great game and great 10th end’,” Broderson said.
“If she had have made that shot, I would have been okay with losing, because it was such a close game.”
The tension that existed in that final moment carried right from when the first stone was thrown, after Alberta lost their opening game 6-3 to Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We started off with a loss, which made us realize how we had to play. We had to be in the game, every single game,” Broderson said.
“We definitely built as a team and we realized how well we needed to curl as a team in order to win. I would say throughout the week we developed as a team, but as a individual curlers.”
Broderson and her team are in their first year curling together, but she lived with Streifel last year and also spent some time in the Juvenile ranks with Goodhelpsen and Bilassy. In that season the three won a provincial championship together, which has helped them mesh so far this season.
When the U of A girls board their plane to South Korea next week, at least for Broderson it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“The furthest I’ve travelled is Florida,” she said.
“I’m just excited to go somewhere new with some of my close friends. It’ll be a great experience along with the curling.”