Both Brittany Tran and Jocelyn Peterman didn’t exactly end their time at the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts the way they wanted.
In the strangest of years, at an event that had no fans and needed a bubble at the McPhail Centre in Calgary, the two Red Deer products wore the colours of a different province during the nine-day national women’s curling championship.
Peterman represented Manitoba on team Jennifer Jones while Tran filled in with Manitoba’s Beth Peterson rink, which was a wild card entry into the event.
It was Peterman’s fifth trip to the Scotties and Tran’s second. Both made it to the championship round, with Peterman’s Team Jones losing in heartbreaking fashion to Alberta’s Laura Walker in the tiebreaker game for a trip to the page playoffs.
“It was really exciting to get back on the ice. We were happy with how we were playing near the end of the week. It was just disappointing to lose that tiebreaker the way we did because we were feeling pretty good about how we were playing,” she said.
Tran was a some-what of a last-minute fill-in, as lead Melissa Gordon for Team Peterson wasn’t able to make the trip.
“They knew that I was heading into the bubble for mixed doubles and I’m local, so it was just easier. They knew I wouldn’t have to get the extra time off,” said the Calgary resident.
“I played against them twice last season, they just knew from that. They reached out and luckily it all panned out.”
She said they had a few zoom calls to get familiar with each other and what the expectations were heading into the Scotties.
“It felt pretty seamless, honestly,” she said of the experience with the new group.
“The girls were super nice and very welcoming, were open to my thoughts and that always feels good, like I had a voice on the team. It felt really smooth.”
Overall, Tran said her second Scotties was one she won’t soon forget.
“It was super exciting, that was partially because we meshed so well and quickly. It was pretty easy to get back into the swing of things. It was a good run,” she said.
“Every game when we were out there was a grind, we didn’t have any blowout games by any means. Every game we were taking it to the last rock.”
While Peterman didn’t bring home the hardware she was hoping for, she did earn a second-team all-star nod in Calgary for her performance, curling 82 per cent over the week.
“It was awesome. It’s not as great as holding a different kind of trophy at the end of the week. As much as the individual awards are nice – it shows our consistency and hard work,” she said.
“Not as meaningful as if our team had a different trophy.”
There won’t be a lot of time to rest for the former junior teammates, as the Mixed Doubles Canadian Championships will take place in less than a week, on that same arena ice that the two just left.
Peterman will curl with her fiancé Brett Gallant and Tran with Aaron Sluchinski, as the Alberta champions from 2020.
After getting a taste of competition they’ve been so desperately missing, each curler said they can’t wait to be back on the ice fighting for that mixed doubles title.
“Our expectations going in is for sure to make it to the championship round and hopefully make playoffs and have a shot at winning. It is a little bit of a wonky year so we’ll see how it goes,” Tran said.
Peterman added: “I haven’t seen Brett in a long time, so I’m really looking forward to seeing him and we haven’t competed together in mixed doubles in quite a while, because nationals were cancelled last year. We’re really looking forward to playing together again.”
The 35-team mixed doubles event will go from March 18-25 in Calgary.