David Hamblin would love to hit the ice in his hometown of Morris next weekend with a second Canadian curling title under his belt.
Luckily for him, he needs only one win for that to happen.
Hamblin's Manitoba squad has qualified for this afternoon's final at the Canadian mixed championship in Whitehorse after racking up a 9-2 round-robin record.
Hamblin will face either Ontario's John Epping or Quebec's Dwayne Fowler, who squared off in the semifinal late last night at Whitehorse Curling Club.
"We're where we want to be right now," Hamblin said via cellphone yesterday while doing some sightseeing in the back country around the Yukon capital.
Hamblin, who won Canadian and world junior crowns in 2002, is supported by Kristen Williamson, Ross Derksen and Kendra Green.
Derksen also played with Hamblin (as his third) during their memorable 2002 campaign.
The Manitoba foursome will attempt to become the Keystone province's first Canadian mixed champs since Jeff Stoughton turned the trick in 1991.
"Everybody's playing well on the team, and we just gotta keep her goin' for one more game," Hamblin said.
Hamblin will be back playing against the men next weekend in Morris in the Manitoba Curling Tour's Enns Brothers Classic, and there would be nothing sweeter than going home on the heels of another victory on the national stage.
"It would feel pretty good," he said. "That's what we came here for."
Manitoba lost to Ontario in an extra end during the round robin, but it dumped Quebec 8-5 in just nine ends.
That doesn't mean Hamblin hopes to face Quebec, however.
"It definitely wasn't our best games in either of them, so we really don't have a preference as to who we're going to face," he said.
"... I don't think we have to worry as long as we can play how we're capable of."
Hamblin curled 77% during the round robin to lead all skips, but he feels he has more to offer.
"I know I could've been better, but it's just a matter of winning the games," he said, "and that's what we did."