Road To The Olympic Games

Curling

Age just a number for Team Nova Scotia at Scotties

There's a lot being made about the age of the Nova Scotian team at this year's tournament. While the team knows it's an attention-grabbing plot line, they don't want it to define their run at the Scotties.

Experienced rink looking to defy expectations in St. Catharines

Skip Mary Mattatall and the rest of Team Nova Scotia are serious about competing at the Scotties. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

ST CATHARINES, ONT. — Ask Team Nova Scotia all you want about what it's like to be the oldest curlers at the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. They'll be quick to bring the conversation back to curling.

"I am feeling so confident and so calm and if I had only known the things I know now when I was younger I would have been a better curler," 56-year-old skip Mary Mattatall said.

She's the youngest member of the team; the average age of the Nova Scotian rink is nearly 59 years old. Together, they have a wealth of experience.

"I've been here seven times and Marg [Cutcliffe] has been there three times," Mattatall said. "This is [the other girls'] first and good for them for never giving up to getting to their first Scotties."

The two rookies — lead Andrea Saulnier, 60, and second Jill Alcoe-Holland, 57 — make up the team's front-end. Both are retired and basking in this curling renaissance.

Wisdom and treachery will beat youth and exuberance any day.- Skip Mary Mattatall on her "team motto"

Cutcliffe is the team's third. She's 61 years old and played in her first Scotties in 1985. For reference, that Scotties wasn't even broadcast on TV.

"The equipment is better. The ice is certainly better. The stones. The shot making is better," Cutcliffe said.

Not only did the quartet from the Windsor Curling Club win provincial playdowns to represent Nova Scotia at the Scotties, they also won the provincial senior title.

"You know, wisdom and treachery will beat youth and exuberance any day," said Mattatall. "That's our motto."

Proving people wrong in St. Catharines

There's a lot being made about the age of the Nova Scotian team at this year's tournament. While the team knows it's an attention-grabbing plot line, they don't want it to define their run at the Scotties.

"We want the story to be about experience and passion and the fact that we love the game," Mattatall said.

"I don't think the age is going to be a factor here at all," Cutcliffe said, not mincing her words when it came to the popular narrative.

More than anything the team of four from Nova Scotia is soaking up every moment on the ice during Canada's premiere curling event.

"We said on the way here we need to savour every moment. And it is about being in the moment. And just loving the experience," said Mattatall.

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