Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Dunstone squad to face Scots in 1 vs. 2 playoff

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SOCHI, Russia -- At end of every draw of the 2013 World Junior Curling Championships, Team Canada players head back to the hotel to see if they checked another item off their bucket list.

The West Kildonan Curling Club's Matt Dunstone is representing Canada at this year's championships.

Skip Dunstone, third Colton Lott, second Dan Grant, lead Brendan MacCuish, fifth Josh Barry and coach Scott Grant set goals for every event they enter and shape them into a pyramid. The smallest goals are at the bottom and they work their way up to the eventual grand prize -- in this case, the world championship.

"I think the goal chart really helps us take it one game at a time," Dunstone said. "We don't get too far ahead of ourselves because we go back to the hotel and see if we can check anything off the list. If not, we can look back and see what our next goal is and work towards it."

The team started by focusing on the small goals like having a good practice, earning their first win and getting to know the ice.

"It's something to strive for because you want to check off that very last thing. It was nice to check it off at nationals and it would be great to check it off here," Dan Grant said. "It's something to work towards. If we don't check it off here, then it'll be something to work towards next year and fortunately we have a few years to do that."

With the completion of the round robin, the goals have become larger and so have the stakes.

The final item on their list will be winning the 2013 championship, and while no easy task, Dunstone has secured second place in the standings with a 7-2 record in the round robin. The team will continue its path in the 1 vs. 2 Page playoff game today against Scotland (9 a.m.).

While the team will be gunning for the championship, they haven't forgotten how big of an honour it is to represent the country.

"To represent Canada has always been a dream. Even winning provincials is a huge thing because it's hard to win it," Lott said. "Daniel Birchard's team has been through provincials for nine years. They're an excellent team but never won. It shows how hard the road to represent Canada is. This is amazing and it just keeps getting better."

"This is definitely an experience," MacCuish said. "After watching my sister at nationals last year I wanted to get there. I didn't know if I ever would because we're from Manitoba. It's a hard province to win, but that makes it more special. I wouldn't trade this for anything."

"This year has been such a roller coaster. But we got to the pinnacle and we got to where we wanted to be. We're just soaking it all in," Dunstone said. "This is the best feeling in the world and we're trying to make the best of it."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 8, 2013 C4

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