Fingers and toes crossed, Christine MacKay and Matt Dunstone hope history will repeat itself all over again next week in Brandon.
It was just last month -- Nov. 15-18, to be exact -- when their two curling foursomes captured the Sun Life Financial Junior Challenge in Brandon, an event that featured the best from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, North Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba.
And now their rinks are heading back to the Wheat City for next week's provincials with another title added to their curling resumés, as both captured the A Events of the Tim Hortons Junior Christmas Bonspiel at Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club Saturday night.
Dunstone's West Kildonan crew, which includes third Colton Lott, second Daniel Grant and lead Brendan MacCuish, knocked off Colin Kurz of Wildewood 8-3 in the final.
And MacKay, whose Wildewood rink includes Cameo Argan, Meagan Grenkow and Stephanie Schweitz, bested Minnedosa's Jennifer Curle 6-2.
"This gives us a lot of confidence," said MacKay. "We're really happy to be going back to Brandon, we were already there once with the Sun Life Junior Financial and we did really well there.
"It's good to be back on the ice. We took a couple weeks off for a nice break and playing some of the top teams and beating them really help gives us confidence."
MacKay's rink breezed through the A event with a 5-0 record and, in addition to winning the event, also scooped up the last berth available to the Canola Junior Provincial Championships, Jan. 3-7 at the Brandon Curling Club.
"We've been together a long time," said MacKay of her squad. "There were lots of jokes and smiles and fist bumps out there. That helps us keep the energy up. I feel fantastic. I'm sure I speak for everyone else when I say that."
Dunstone, meanwhile, is on a roll himself. He skipped an entirely different team from Linden Christian School to the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association provincial championship last March, won the event in Brandon with his current crew in November and is headed back there again.
"We're playing well, we're winning quite a bit. It's been a good year and we're really clicking as a team," said Dunstone. "We each bring our own piece to the team. We all have our own roles and when you put it together it just seems to work for us."
Dunstone comes from one of Manitoba's famous curling families -- his father Dean still plays competitively while his grandparents, Jim and Carole Dunstone, were each part of provincial championship teams. The 1980 Jim Dunstone mixed rink, with Carole at third, won the national title and just this year was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame.
So, the kid's got the game in his veins.
"We're a team that feeds off confidence and when we have confidence we think we can be the best team in the province," said Matt. "This will help with us going into the provincials. You always want to go in on a good note.
"There's a couple of good teams out there we know we're going to have to beat to win the provincials. We know if we play well we could come out on top, but there's a lot of work to be done first."
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @WFPEdTait
TIM HORTONS CHRISTMAS YOUTH BONSPIEL
Winnipeg Free Press A Event Winner:
Matt Dunstone (West Kildonan) -- Colton Lott, Daniel Grant, Brendan MacCuish. Coach: Scott Grant.
Awards & More B Event Winner:
Nathaniel Swanson (Pembina) -- Daniel Want, Kyle Thiessen, Julian Brown. Coach: Bob Want.
CEC Watt C Event Winner:
Jacques Gauthier, Pembina -- Myles Hunker, Andres Bazin, Brett Walter. Coach: Ronald Gauthier.
Colin Kurz, Wildewood -- Weston Oryniak, Ryan Lemoine, Brendan Bilawka. Coaches: Darren Oryniak, Rick Lemoine.
Nathaniel Swanson, Pembina -- Daniel Want, Kyle Thiessen, Julian Brown. Coach: Bob Want.
8-Ender A Event Winner:
Christine MacKay (Wildewood) -- Meagan Grenkow, Cameo Argan, Stephanie Schweitz. Coach: Gord MacKay
Home Run Sports B Event Winner:
Beth Peterson (Victoria) - Robyn Njegovan, Melissa Gordon, Breanne Yozenko. Coach: Murray Peterson.
Awards & More C Event Winner:
Alyssa Vandepoele (Victoria) -- Heather Maxted, Ashley Jahns, Katelyn Williams, Coach: Lance Wadelius.
Berth Winner: Christine MacKay (Wildewood) -- Meagan Grenkow, Cameo Argan, Stephanie Schweitz. Coach: Gord MacKay.