June 13, 2024

Team Brandwood 2023-2024 Season Wrap Up

For Team Brandwood, the 2023-2024 curling season that was definitely involved new faces, strong results and good growth as a team.  SeeWhatSheCanDo sat down with Team Brandwood - including their Coach John Gabel - to get their take on how they thought the year went and share with us some insights as to what they are hoping for as a team going into the 2024-2025 season.


SWSCD: What are your key highlights and takeaways from the 2023-2024 season?

TB: As a newly formed team we were thrilled with the success we had this season. We finished third at the Ontario Scotties, after a gruelling 9 games in the triple knockout. It was a tiring week to say the least! We also really enjoyed experiencing consistency in the growth of our success playing together. It was great to feel how we were getting stronger with each game and bonspiel we played.


"As a newly formed team we were thrilled with the success we had this season. We finished third at the Ontario Scotties, after a gruelling 9 games in the triple knockout. It was a tiring week to say the least!"


Another key takeaway for us was how we held our own and were very competitive against the top teams in the world. The Ontario Tour events were heavily attended by international teams this season but we always had strong games against them. It was a great experience playing against that high quality of teams. For example, we played Team Constantini at two Tour events and both games came down to the last rock or an extra end and could hav gone either way.  Team Constantini ended up coming 4th at the Women's World Championships this year. So that feels good to us.



SWSCD: As a team, what are you hoping to accomplish for the upcoming 2024-2025 curling season?

TB: Our ultimate goal is to represent Ontario at Curling Canada's Scottie’s Tournament of Hearts (STOH) happening next year in Thunder Bay. We believe we can accomplish this goal by building on the success of this season and continue to be dedicated to off season training, practice, and mental preparation. We also want to practice with a purpose. Don’t just go out to throw rocks. We definitely want to pull on our experience against international teams from this season and step on the ice with confidence as we have shown we can be one of the top teams out on the ice. Finally, we certainly want to lean on the support of our coach John Gabel.



SWSCD: Will we see any changes to Team Brandwood for next year?

TB: Yes there will be a significant change in our team line up. After a lot of thought, our vice Megan Smith has made the decision to head back to her Northern Ontario roots to enjoy the chance to join forces with her sister Jamie and together play with skip Emma Artichuk and lead Lauren Rajala.

So we're happy to share that Lauren Horton will be our new vice for the 2024-2025 season. Lauren is a very accomplished curler from the Ottawa region. She’s played on the national and international stage usually in the skip position. For the last few seasons, she's been competing out of Quebec and just missed out on representing the province at the 2023 STOH losing to Laurie St George in the final. We are thrilled to have Lauren join us. Lauren has already had the opportunity to play with Chelsea as junior players - each playing their respective roles of vice and skip. So we’re excited to see that supportive dynamic in the house again and privileged to have a vice that can pull on such depths of skip experience.


(Photo: Courtesy of Team Brandwood)


SWSCD: Coach John, what are your thoughts on how things went for Team Brandwood this past year and what are you hoping to see for the upcoming season:

Coach John: As a team last year we did quite well in building momentum and building on results throughout the season. We improved as the year went on and as we gained experience as a team. In the end, it was rewarding that we brought our best team performance to provincials and our ultimate focus for the season. 

I think the team and myself are looking forward to carrying some momentum over to next season, and seeing if we can improve on last season’s results. We have a new teammate, Lauren Horton, and she brings some attributes that could invigorate the team even more. We’ve already had some very positive team meetings, and I think we’re all looking forward to getting on the ice together in a few months. 




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Blog and photos (unless otherwise indicated) by Caroline Wiley. Caroline bridged her 20+ years of professional experience in the sport and recreation industry together with her passions for photography and supporting women in sport to create SeeWhatSheCanDo. Her vision is to create a welcoming space where active women find a sense of belonging within their own local community, see themselves in authentic and awe-inspiring ways and find resources to help them be their best active selves. 


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