Matt Dunstone and Sherry Anderson will represent Saskatchewan at the Curling National Championships that will place in Calgary, CurlSask announced Thursday.

Anderson's rink will be participating in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, running Feb. 20-28.

Dunstone's rink will be representing Saskatchewan at the Tim Hortons Brier, which is scheduled for Mar. 6-14.

Both events will take place in at the Markin MacPhail Centre in a bubble.

CurlSask also announced the 2021 Viterra Scotties Women’s Curling Championship and the 2021 SaskTel Tankard Men’s Curling Championship have officially been cancelled.

Winners from the provincial Scotties and Tankard would normally represent Saskatchewan at the championships, however, the events could not be played due to COVID-19 restrictions. The government extended its current restrictions on sporting events, forcing CurlSask to choose its representatives for the national championships.

CurlSask said the two teams were chosen through an objective assessment, based on performance over the past two seasons.

“This system objectively and fairly assessed the value of teams including those with roster changes,” CurlSask said in a release.

The assessment was based on season end points from 2019-20 and points earned from the partial 2020-21 season.

It said the points were calculated based on the current registered lineup for each team to account for major roster changes.

TEAM DUNSTONE

Matt Dunstone won the provincial championship in 2020 with Braeden Moskowy, Catlin Schneider and Dustin Kirby. The skip said this year feels different.

“Typically you get to celebrate with the guys, when you win a ‘provincial championship,'” Dunstone said. “In a way, you kind of win your way there based on the criteria of the teams picked but you don’t win the actual specific event and that’s the difference in this one.”

Dunstone is returning three of four players from the 2020 Brier Bronze medalist team, replacing Schneider with Kirk Muyres at second.

“Part of the ruling was based on our win last year and our wins over the last couple of seasons,” Dunstone said.

The foursome, which curls out of Regina’s Highland Curling Club, hasn’t player or practiced together since late November. However, they did play in two competitions in October and early November.

“We came out on top at both of them. One in Regina and one up in Prince Albert, two for two and those feel like ages ago,” Dunstone said.

Under the current provincial guidelines, the team is not allowed to train or prepare on the pebbled surface for the Brier.

“I think the next couple days and weeks are going to be looking into 'how do we make this happen and how do we put our best foot forward,'” Dunstone explained.

TEAM ANDERSON

Saskatoon’s Sherry Anderson rink was the 2020 provincial runner up. They are returning three of their four players, with Breanne Knapp replacing Meaghan Frerichs at lead. Two-time defending champion, Team Robyn Silvernagle, changed half their roster.

“We can take a little bit from knowing that we did well the last couple of years to get there and be chosen, so we’ll take that,” Anderson said. 

The skip will be making her 10th trip to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, however, two of her previous appearances were as a fifth. Anderson, 57, won Senior World Curling Championships in 2018 and 2019, but will be playing in a quarantined bubble for the first time in her career. 

“It has changed over the years and this year I think the biggest thing is there won’t be fans in the stands,” Anderson said. 

She’s also hoping her team will be permitted to practice before heading to Calgary in mid-February.

“Hoping the government will allow us to if nothing else go (practice) solo and at least get on the ice and practice,” Anderson said.