The pair put their university careers on hold last week in order to compete for Team Saskatchewan at the Tim Hortons Brier in Saskatoon.
While both Lang and Armstrong were disappointed with Saskatchewan’s 3-8 record and inability to qualify for playoffs, the two students said that they would put school on the backburner again if it meant a second opportunity to represent their province.
“If we have the opportunity and we are fortunate enough to get back here, I know we’ll come back stronger with more experience and we’ll know definitely what to expect,” said Lang, a third-year kinesiology student at the University of Saskatchewan. “I can do school any time. This might be a once-in-a-lifetime thing and you have to make sure you have no regrets leaving this.”
“Wins and losses, they mean nothing,” added fourth-year biology student Armstrong. “The things you learn along the way, the life lessons you take away and the curling lessons you take away are so priceless.”
After starting the tournament with a 2-1 record, Saskatchewan dropped seven straight games before its final match on Thursday, March 8 against Brad Jacobs’ Northern Ontario squad.
Saskatchewan did not qualify for the playoff rounds that were played Friday through Sunday.
Armstrong, Saskatchewan’s lead, said that even though the team knew they were out of playoffs going into the game against Jacobs, they still wanted to win in front of the home-province fans — which they did.
“It was a good way to finish it in front of the crowd,” he said. “They’ve been so supportive all week. We were just really happy to show our appreciation for them coming out every game and supporting us the whole way.”
Saskatchewan’s final match was highlighted by its tense last shot in which Jacobs was forced to catch the button after Saskatchewan skip Scott Manners hid a stone behind a guard just inside the four-foot circle.
Jacobs missed his shot and the crowd roared with excitement.
“It was super nice to actually catch a break finally because we played a great game,” said Lang, adding that he will never forget the excitement of the crowd throughout the entire weekend.
“It’s going to feel weird going back to playing in the club setting because you just don’t have that crowd.”
The team’s third said the highlight of his tournament came when he made a hit-and-roll while playing Kevin Koe’s Alberta team.
“It’s probably the loudest the crowd got for me. It was just a surreal feeling.”
Photo: Richard Marjan/The StarPhoenix