Lisa Farnell admits her rink is "a little different," so maybe it's fitting they represent the rather unique Loonie Curling Club.
It's the only one-sheet club in the province, built by retired farmer Alex McKinney adjacent to his house near Chaffey's Lock, 60 clicks north of Kingston. It got its name from the fact McKinney charges a dollar for membership, and Farnell didn't hesitate to accept his invitation when it came time to pick a club to represent on the women's playdown trail this season.
"We're all spread out throughout the province. Gone are the days when you could play together in a league -- if you can, it's a bonus," the Queen's engineering and math grad, who now lives in Toronto, said Wednesday at the Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Third Erin Morrissey lives in Ottawa, second Kim Brown calls Unionville home and lead Ainsley Galbraith lives in Hamilton.
"We needed a club to represent and it was no easy choice," Farnell We looked at Cataraqui in Kingston, but a friend who was a member there put us onto Alex, and he's been great. He even came up to watch us at regionals (at Gananoque) and one of our games went to one in the morning, but he was still there."
The team hasn't actually been to the club yet, although it has a standing invitation to throw any time it wants.
So far, it's throwing pretty well this week at the Thornhill Golf and Country Club.
"We had three of the 'on paper' highest seeds in our first three games in last year's finalist (Tracy Horgan), the defending champion (Krista McCarville) and last year's national junior champ (Rachel Homan). That's three pretty tough games, so to be 1-2 after that is pretty good," said Farnell, whose rink is 3-2 after Wednesday's draws. "We're on a good swing and hopefully it will continue."
A quick glance through the team biographies reveals Farnell's rink, which is in its third season together, to be one of the more unusual. Farnell is also a second-degree black belt in karate, Brown plays the saxophone while Galbraith curls left-handed despite being a natural righty.
"We're definitely a little different," Farnell said with a chuckle. "But we have a ton of fun and that's one of the best things about this team. I've played on some really good teams and it's easy for me to say this is one of my favourites. We really click in terms of team dynamics."
With a bag of shots to match. In her 7-5 fourth-round win over Marika Bakewell of London Highland, she made a great in-off takeout in the fourth to score three and take a 4-1 lead.
"That's part of the nerves I got rid of last year," she said when asked f the shot was a daunting one to play. "For shots like that, I'm actually more nervous after the rock leaves my hand."
Farnell made it to the Hearts last year curling out of Peterborough. Like this year, she was 2-2 after her first four games, but lost her last five.
"When you're there for the first time, it's definitely a nervous time. You're playing big teams like Krista McCarville and it's definitely a little intimidating. But once you've been there, the nerves start to quiet.
"We were in a lot of one-point games last year, games where we were really in it, but just didn't get it to go the right way. Maybe this year we will.
"The thing is, I don't think we're up to 100% yet."
If they get there, this Loonie rink could cash in.