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EDMONTON — It was a good start to a critical stretch for the Edmonton Oilers.
Adam Casey is skipping Saskatchewan at the 2017 Brier in St. John's, N.L.
©Chuck Grady/Special To TC Media
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. – The Vegas odds will not deter a determined Adam Casey.
The Seven Mile Bay native, who now lives in Winsloe, is skipping the Saskatchewan team at the Tim Horton's Brier.
"I am confident we are not the favourites in Vegas, but I think if we are able to build on our momentum from the past few events we will have a successful Brier,” Casey said. “I think, best-case scenario, we can win. I think if we play our best, we will qualify for the playoffs and then it usually comes down to a hot skip and making key shots."
Casey skipped P.E.I. to a 2-9 record at last year's Brier.
"I was really disappointed with the way last year went and I think being so results focused caused us to hit the panic button. This year my goal is to focus on the process and the results are what they are,” he said. "At the end of the week if we do not win, I want to be able to reflect that I was into every shot and was able to identify where we need to improve."
Skipping Saskatchewan comes with high expectations. Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba are iconic curling provinces, having won the majority of the Briers since it began in 1927.
"I, by no means, feel any additional pressure, I try to keep my focus on my teammates and win for them. I have been amazed at the support the province has shown me, I expected to be public enemy No. 1 being an import. Saskatchewan is really a curling province and they just love the game. I do not think there's another province that has the crazy fan support they do and I am really looking forward to having that behind me at this year's Brier. For me it is a win-win I have received amazing support both from the island and from Saskatchewan.”
Island curling fans know very little about Casey's teammates and he provided the Guardian with some details:
Lead Dustin Kidby: A great team guy and has a quiet fieriness to him. He is from a curling family with two cousins (Ben and Chris Hebert) and his brother (DJ Kidby) all having won Canadian championships. He has hard luck this season, breaking his foot and dislocating his shoulder in provincials. Fortunately, he is tough as nails and a quick healer. I think having him around this year has really made a big difference. Dustin competed at two Canadian junior championships.
Second Shaun Meachem: It really is Shaun's team and he is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. The idea of him and I switching positions was entirely his and it's that selflessness that makes him a great teammate. Shaun and Catlin finished runner-up at last year's provincials and he has had some success at the Canadian mixed before.
Third Catlin Schneider: It's been the year of the Schneider's with both him and his sister (Lorraine) winning Saskatchewan curling titles. Catlin was late giving curling his full attention having played university football. I think he is a fiery competitor, who is well suited to the third position. He definitely has a lot of influence in the tone our team is setting.
Island curling fans have always associated Adam Casey with his former junior skip and Newfoundland and Labrador Brier team member, Brett Gallant, a Charlottetown native. Gallant plays second for the Brad Gushue-skipped rink, which will have the support of a home crowd behind them in St. John’s.
“I think they are the betting favourite,” Casey said. “They have had a fantastic season and I think a lot of credit needs to go to Geoff and Brett. They have really established themselves as the top sweeping pair (along with Team Canada). Their judgment is key and is a huge help to Brad and Mark (Nichols). But like I said when it gets into the playoffs, it will be determined by how Brad handles the moment and if they make more key shots than their opponents."
– Compiled by Blair Weeks.