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Prokopowich Enters Winner’s Circle At Junior Provincials

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After coming close in 2020, Dauphin’s Lane Prokopowich is now a provincial champion, having won the Junior Women’s World Qualifier bonspiel, Nov. 8.

Prokopowich is the third on Meghan Walter’s East St. Paul team, which beat another former Dauphin curler, Emma Jensen, 7-3 in the final.

Walter finished tied for second in the round-robin at 3-2 and had to beat Tansy Tober in the semifinal, which she did handily, 13-4, setting up a finals match against Jensen’s foursome, which finished the round-robin in first place at 5-1.

After the first end was blanked, Walter scored two in the second and three in the third to take command of the final.

This event, held at the Heather Curling Club, was the provincial championships which were cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Days after winning the provincial title, Prokopowich was still on cloud nine.

“I feel just the same as if we won two minutes ago,” she said on Wednesday.

Prokopowich was the lead on the Serena Gray-Withers foursome which lost in the final of the 2020 provincials held in Dauphin.

Prokopowich said the difference between that finals appearance and this one was she knew what to expect.

“I kind of knew how to perhaps keep my composure a little better and just treat it as though it’s just another game and to not think about the outcome and not get ahead of myself,” she said, “That way, me and my teammates were way more relaxed and we were able to just have fun with it.”

Prokopowich admitted she was in tears when the final shot was made.

“This has been a dream of mine since I was younger when I started curling with the Dauphin junior program. So it feels amazing to have finally accomplished this goal of mine. I’m so, so excited and happy,” she said.

Even though they jumped out to a big lead after just three ends, Prokopowich said they knew the game was far from over.

“We knew we couldn’t let off the gas. We kept saying, all gas, no brakes and we need to keep the pressure on, because they’re 10-end games and anything can happen in the game of curling. So we just wanted to keep up with the shot making and hopefully things would turn out in our favour in the end,” she said.

Prokopowich and her teammates are now preparing for nationals, Nov. 22 to 27, in Saskatoon, with a chance to advance to the world championships in March.

A send-off celebration will be held, Nov. 20, at East St. Paul.

“We are so excited to get things going. We have some practices lined up before we head out and lots of strategy to talk about. Hopefully, once we get out there, we can make Manitoba proud and have some fun,” she said. “We’re going into it open-minded. Of course, we’d like to win it all, but we can’t think that way. So we’re looking forward to playing different teams from all the different provinces. And if we curl the way we know we can, things should turn out great. But we’re just looking forward to being there.”
Prokopowich would like to thank all the team sponsors.

“And the Parkland for all the support and the Dauphin Curling Club for everything they’ve done for us,” she added.

Prokopowich was six years old when she started curling and had a lot of help along the way in terms of coaching.

“As soon as we won the finals, all I could think about was I wanted to thank all of my coaches throughout the years that have helped me in my junior curling and high performance program. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. So I’d like to give a big thanks to all of them for all the support and believing in me,” she said.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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