Nunavut skip takes blame for 2 Brier losses on Sunday

‘The boys actually threw really well. But today, it was on me,’ says Jake Higgs, 1 day after Saturday’s historic win at Canada’s men’s curling championship

Nunavut skip Jake Higgs, left, congratulates his Manitoba counterpart Matt Dunstone after losing 14-2 during the first of two games Team Nunavut played Sunday at the Brier tournament, the Canadian men’s curling championship underway in London, Ont. Nunavut dropped two games on Sunday after earning its first-ever win at the tournament on Saturday. (Photo by Ed Klajman, special to Nunatsiaq News)

By Ed Klajman
Special to Nunatsiaq News

LONDON, Ont. — It was back to reality for Team Nunavut on Sunday at the Brier curling tournament.

After a stunning historic upset win Saturday over Newfoundland and Labrador to kick off the tournament – the first time a team from Nunavut has won a game in the history of Canada’s national curling championship — the squad from the Iqaluit Curling Club had to face the team many analysts feel is the best in the world right now.

That’s Team Manitoba, which entered the Brier as the tournament’s top seed, led by their rising superstar skip Matt Dunstone.

The Manitobans crushed Nunavut 14-2.

The results were better in the evening, in Nunavut’s second game of the day, but they still lost a close 6-4 game to Northern Ontario.

“I was terrible today,” said the Iqaluit team’s skip, Jake Higgs, shortly after the Manitoba game ended.

“The boys actually threw really well. But today, it was on me. That’s what was frustrating about today. We weren’t competitive and that fell totally on me. I have to come out and play a lot better.”

Even if he had played his best, Higgs realized it was still highly unlikely he and his teammates – third Sheldon Wettig, second Brady St. Louis, lead Christian Smitheram and alternate Terry Lichty – would have beaten the squad skipped by Dunstone, a two-time Canadian junior champion and two-time Brier bronze medalist.

“I mean, you’re playing the number-one team in the world and the odds are stacked against you,” said Higgs.

“Every time they slide out, you’re in awe. They have easy power on all their hits. It’s nice to watch. Those guys are what curlers are supposed to look like.”

Dunstone had a unique vantage point on Saturday for Nunavut’s historic victory, as Manitoba played its first game on the adjacent sheet of ice. With the Nunavut drama unfolding a few feet away, Dunstone said he felt just like everyone in the else in arena — compelled to watch what was happening, despite being engaged in a key match himself.

“I had a firsthand look at history,” he said. “It was a pretty darn cool moment for curling, a pretty darn cool moment for Nunavut, and for the Brier as whole too. It was a great thing.”

Team Nunavut will take its one-win, two-loss record into Monday morning for a game against Nova Scotia (2-1). That will be followed by a night game against Saskatchewan (1-2).

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by mik on

    you dont have to be from nunavut to want to represent Nu in sports . why not just be generally happy that someone is wearing our flag , bring attention to NU.

    too many unthankful individuals …


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