Okotokian plays leading role in provincial glory
Curling: Team Skrlik lead Megan Johnson headed to junior nationals
Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018 06:00 am
The pieces fit and the result is a shot at national gold.
In her second season as a member of Team Skrlik, Okotokian Megan Johnson is a provincial winner after helping the Falher Curling Club foursome to the Alberta Junior Women’s Curling Championship on New Year’s Eve in Lethbridge.
“The dynamics, the team dynamics and making sure that all of us mended well together, no big hiccups really happened,” said Johnson, Team Skrlik lead. “It was just staying focused, really.”
The Okotoks resident caught on with the Falher-based Skrlik sisters – skip Kayla, third Ashton — two seasons ago, They added second Hope Sunley to the mix for the 2017-18 season. The team trains primarily out of the Glencoe Curling Club in Calgary where Sunley is from and the Skrliks attend school.
Their hard work on the ice paid off in the form of a perfect 8-and-0 record at provincials in Lethbridge.
The provincial champions set the tone in the competition eking out a 7-6 victory over Taigan Hagglund with a deuce in the 10th end. Team Skrlik won three of its seven round-robin contests in the final end, showcasing an uncanny ability to win tight.
“We’re from the Peace region and we can’t remember the last time a Peace team won provincials, let alone went undefeated – it’s pretty nifty to experience,” Johnson said. “Having those close games really prepares us coming into nationals, not looking for blowouts, but also not looking to win everything at the same time.”
Team Skrlik doubled up Edmonton’s Abby Marks 10-5 in the provincial final.
“We didn’t let our nerves get to us,” Johnson said. “All of us have our own rituals and routines pre-game, during games so we stuck with that and treated it like it was any other kind of game.
“We could tell with Marks her girls were a tad nervous so we kind off fed of that. We took it with a grain of salt and pulled it out.”
The Alberta champions now head to La Belle Province.
Shawinigan, Que plays host to the Junior Curling Championships from Jan. 13-21.
To prepare for the national quest, Team Skrlik has taken to on and off ice training.
“We only have a week and a half to two weeks to prepare for it,” Johnson said. “We’ve been training back with our sport psychologist, we have another two sessions with her and we’ve also been training out of the Glencoe as much as we can without wearing ourselves out.”
Johnson, 20, is in her last year of eligibility at the Junior level.
For more information on the event go to curling.ca/2018juniors