Laurel, Emilia, Courtney and me before a game.
We just returned yesterday from a very "cool" experience in Kalamazoo, Michigan. "Cool" because we had the opportunity to be on ice for nine 10-end curling games and also "cool" because we had the opportunity to curl against the best women's teams in the country.
A view from the Stadium stands.
We went in to the competition with low expectations. We were seeded 9th out of 10 teams. We had only been curling for a few years. Most of the teams (even the one Juniors team that played) had curled many more years than us, had tons more experience and even had coaches.
Contrasted to the ice we usually play on, the ice at Kalamazoo was meticulously maintained by the ever-vigilant ice crew. It was about 25 second ice and, while it started out straighter for the first few games, it developed a good 4-plus feet of curl as the week went on. It was a real treat to play on it. Now, if we could have only made all of our shots!
We ended up winning our games against the 6th, 7th and 8th seeded teams for a ending record of 3-6. Overall we finished in 7th place. While we all felt we could have played better and won more games, we were very happy with the result as it was much better than was predicted.
All of the teams were very friendly and supportive. While the level of talent varied, I think we all recognized that we need to keep improving the quality of play at the women's competitive level. We all benefited by participating and hopefully can build on the experience to step up the level of play a notch in years to come.
Thanks again to Drymax socks. They make some amazing hockey socks that worked very well for curling. The socks were warm but not bulky. Also thanks to SniperSkinz. We definitely had the best looking brooms!
Brooms wrapped in SniperSkinz.