MOOSE JAW, Sask. - Corryn Brown and Erin Pincott have known each other for their entire lives. They grew up just down the road from one other in Kamloops, B.C., and their families are close friends.
It only makes sense that the two west coasters would play on the same team for nearly their entire curling careers.
Brown and Pincott, both 24, started curling together at the age of six. They’ve been attached at the hip ever since, aside from one season when Brown decided to play an extra year in juniors while Pincott jumped up to the pro level.
Now, after nearly two decades as teammates, skip Brown and third Pincott, alongside second Dezaray Hawes and lead Ashley Klymchuk, are all making their Scotties Tournament of Hearts debuts this week as Team British Columbia.
Brown says playing with the same player for so many years makes communication on the ice much easier. Sometimes they don’t have to say anything to get a point across on the ice.
“You just know what the other person is thinking and I think we’re good at knowing what each other needs in different situations,” Brown told TSN.ca on Tuesday after their win over Yukon. “Having her [Pincott] as the third is really key because she definitely knows how to calm me down in big pressure situations or pump me up when I need a little bit of lifting as well. She’s a great asset on the team.”
Pincott, who has shot above 80 per cent in three of BC’s five games at the Scotties, says they know how to get the best out of each other after so many years of playing on the same team.
“We’re more like sisters, so we definitely know how to punch each other’s buttons too,” she said. “We’ve matured a lot over the years and we have the respect for each other and we work well together.”
Their time together is reminiscent of Rachel Homan and Emma Miskew, who have also played together since they were kids. Pincott says they’ve heard that comparison before.
“Maybe just because I’m a little bit taller and a brunette,” Pincott joked.
Pincott jumped up to the pro circuit to play with Karla Thompson in 2016-17 as Brown stuck around to finish off her time in juniors. Despite having decent campaigns, Brown knew she needed her long-time vice back at her side.
“I definitely knew there was something missing when I wasn’t playing with her,” said Brown. “I have no plans at this point to play with anyone else just because she is such a rock for me out there and it’s been a huge support system for me.”
This may be their first appearance at the Canadian championship, but Brown and Pincott have already found plenty of success on the pebbled ice during their young careers.
The pair won the gold medal at the 2013 Canadian junior championships as well as gold at the 2011 Canada Winter Games. They’ve also won numerous silver medals at the Canadian University Curling Championships.
Team Brown made the 2019 B.C .Scotties final where they lost to Sarah Wark. When Brown and her team edged Wark in a dramatic final that came down to an extra end steal this year, the entire rink was overcome with emotion.
“When we finally broke through and won that provincial final there were a lot of tears,” said Pincott.
All four members of Team B.C. are under the age of 24 and have jobs willing to give them time off to pursue curling. Brown works as a prevention clerk at BC Wildfire Service while Pincott is a sports performance coordinator.
“It’s nice to have everyone at the same level,” explained Brown. “We’re all ready to give a full commitment to curling. We don’t have too many other responsibilities, aside from work. It’s been great to have everyone all shoot for the same goal.”
Team Brown, ranked 21st in the world, has had a busy schedule in 2019-20. They’ve played nearly 70 games heading into the Moose Jaw Scotties, including victories at the Driving Force Decks International Abbotsford Cashspiel and Kamloops Crown of Curling.
“There are some teams that manage to play a lighter schedule, but still perform really well. In our experience, we definitely do better when we have a busier spieling season and get as many games as possible together,” said Brown.
Through five games, B.C. holds a 3-2 record with games against Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia left in the round robin. Their two losses came to Ontario’s Rachel Homan and Wild Card’s Jennifer Jones in a pair of heartbreakers.
“It was a little disappointing to come away without a win in at least one of those, but it’s good for the confidence to know we can compete with those high-level teams,” said Pincott.
Time will tell if Team Brown can find a way to sneak into the championship pool in their first Tournament of Hearts.