YORKTON - It might be clichéd, but in the world of curling this season you will most certainly need a program to know who is playing with who.
The off season has very much been a case of musical chairs with players across the country realigning with new foursomes headed into the 2022-23 season.
One team to stay the course though is the 2022 SaskTel Tankard-topping team lead by skip Colton Flasch.
“I don’t think any of us had interest in switching teams,” Flasch told Yorkton This Week in a recent interview. “We feel this team is good enough to win.”
Certainly the team took strides last season.
The team, including third Catlin Schneider, second Kevin Marsh and lead Dan Marsh, only came together for the 2020–21 season, and jelled rather quickly.
Entering the 2022 SaskTel Tankard, the team was ranked second behind the Matt Dunstone rink (Dunstone is one of the players on the move actually returning to Manitoba to play this season).
After losing two games early in the triple knockout provincial event, Team Flasch rattled off four straight victories to reach the provincial final where they faced Dunstone.
Flasch would steal a point in the tenth end to top Team Dunstone and win the provincial title.
Of course with the win Flasch’s foursome rep’ed Saskatchewan at the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier where they finished with a very respectable 6–2 record in the round robin, including another ‘W’ over Dunstone in the final draw.
As fate would have it Flasch had to play Dunstone as a ‘Wild Card’ team in the event, again in a tiebreaker, which they won 9–5.
In the playoffs, Team Flasch defeated Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs rink before losing to Alberta's Kevin Koe, who Flasch had at one point played for, and then losing to Brad Gushue's Wild Card team, settling for fourth in the event.
“A shot here or there,” lamented Flasch, adding coming so close the team feels confident they can take it the final step. “We’re good enough to beat any team out there.”
Early this season Flasch’s foursome might hold a bit of an ace-in-the-hole at events – the familiarity of having been together a while.
Flasch said they have a chemistry that comes with having played together for a year and a half, that other teams will have to build as they get to know about each other on the ice.
Having an inner knowledge about what a team can do has to be an asset.
“I think we kind of know what we are capable of,” said Flasch, adding the success last season at the Brier builds on that. “. . . It gives you confidence.”
When you play in high pressure games, you learn a lot about what a team is capable of, and Flasch said his team thinks they gained some valuable experience in that process.
It helps too the team members are all friends.
“We’re all really good friends,” said Flasch, adding over the busy season that is crucial because “. . . You spend so much time together as team.”
So how does the team take the experience and turn it into more wins this season?
“It’s a matter of more training and consistency,” said Flasch.
To that end the team has a busy schedule set with a bunch of Grand Slam events scheduled leading up to Christmas.
“We’re going to get to play a lot,” said Flasch.
That upcoming run included a 7-3 semi final loss to Japan’s Riku Yanagisawa at the 2022 Curling Stadium Martensville International held Sept. 1-5, at the Martensville Curling Club in Saskatchewan.