Team Saskatchewan skip Robyn Silvernagle might have seen and done this whole Scotties Tournament of Hearts thing before, but not like this.
No, very few rinks in the province get to experience what Silvernagle and her North Battleford crew are about to be a part of.
Silvernagle, third Stefanie Lawton, second Kara Thevenot and lead Jessie Hunkin are a little over 18 hours away from taking the ice for the 2020 Scotties in their home province – a generational turn of events if there ever was one.
And you better believe they’re looking forward to it.
“We’re all very excited, we know it’s going to be incredible and we’re all electrified,” Silvernagle said after practice on Friday afternoon. “We’ve been practicing, resting, making sure we’re recovered from provincials and getting ready to give it our all this week.”
Silvernagle won the Viterra Scotties at the end of January, defeating Sherry Anderson in the final. Coincidently enough, Anderson was the Saskatchewan representative in the 2015 Scotties in Moose Jaw and described the event as one of the best experiences of her long career, largely due to the incredible crowd support throughout the weekend.
Silvernagle ended up with a 5-2 record through the round robin in 2019 and advanced to the championship pool, where she capped the preliminary part of the tournament with an 8-3 record and second place. Silvernagle fell to eventual champion – and current Team Canada – Chelsea Carey of Alberta in the Page Playoff 1-2 game and ended up settling for the bronze after dropping a 9-7 decision to perennial contender Rachel Homan of Ontario. Homan is also returning as Ontario’s representative this year.
“Every experience is important and you learn so much, even just about how to handle yourself and deal with certain situations,” Silvernagle said. “So we’ll definitely be taking a lot from that and bringing it forward this year.”
The end goal is the same as every other team at the 2020 Scotties.
“I think every team goes in with some goals, and definitely we want to win, just like every other team here,” Silvernagle said. “The first goal is to win the first game, from there make the championship round and playoffs and be the champion at the end.”
Saskatchewan opens against New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford in the opening draw at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday before taking on Team Canada’s Chelsea Carey (1:30 p.m.) and Nunavut’s Lori Eddy (6:30 p.m.) on Sunday, Alberta’s Laura Walker (6:30 p.m.) on Monday, Quebec’s Noemie Verreault (1:30 p.m.) and Manitoba’s Kerri Einarson (6:30 p.m.) on Tuesday before closing out the first round robin against Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.