Christie Gamble and Dustin Kalthoff from the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon claimed the 2024 CURLSASK Mixed Doubles Curling Championship with an 8-5 win over Steve Laycock and Nancy Martin in Sunday’s final at the Swift Current Curling Club.

Mixed doubles is a newer variant of curling where two male-female pairings play eight-end games. The first two stones are placed in play before each end, one behind the button for the team with last rock, and a stone for the other team placed in front of the first stone as a centre line guard. The teams then deliver five stones each to complete the end, which is scored like a traditional team curling game.

Gamble and Kalthoff started the game with three stolen points in the first two ends to take a 3-0 lead, but Laycock and Martin used their power play in the third end, where they had the option to move the two pre-placed stones from the centre to the side of the sheet, and converted with three to tie it up. The teams traded singles to make the score 5-4 for Laycock/Martin after six ends, then Gamble/Kalthoff pulled away in the seventh with a three-ender to take a 7-5 lead coming home, and then stole one more in the eighth after Laycock/Martin missed a difficult raise attempt on their last rock that would have tied the game.

“[The three-ender] was a big momentum changer and this was such a tight game,” Gamble said. “This is what we learned in mixed doubles, especially playing against Nancy and Steve last time where we had a five-point lead and gave up a six-ender, there’s no such thing as a safe lead. It was really dicey there, even in the eighth end, we’re just glad that we pulled it through and everything worked out.

Kalthoff will be returning to the Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship for a seventh time, but this will be the first for Gamble, who teamed up with Dustin at the last minute with his regular mixed doubles partner, Ashley Thevenot, currently in Calgary curling with Skylar Ackerman’s team at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

“I really appreciated how much experience Dustin has,” Christie added. “He’s been to seven nationals and he has played since this version of the sport was created, so I really left it to Dustin to lead the team, to set up the systems and he gave so much feedback and great advice, that it really allowed me to just go out and have fun.”

The Mixed Doubles Provincials was the latest major event hosted by the Swift Current Curling Club this season, following the Canadian Mixed Team Curling Championship in November and the Nutrien Ag Solutions Western Showdown in December.

“It’s a beautiful facility, they did a great job with the ice” Kalthoff said. “Chris [Haichert] is probably the hardest working general manager of any club, maybe in the country. There needs to be more guys or gals that want to run a club and put as much effort into it as he does, so we’re so grateful for all the work that him and his team have done to put this together.”

Gamble and Kalthoff will represent Saskatchewan at the Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship in Fredericton, New Brunswick, from March 17-22.

Saskatchewan off to hot start at Scotties

Team Ackerman won their first three games of the Scotties with an 11-8 win over Jane DiCarlo and Prince Edward Island on Friday, an 8-6 win over Kaitlyn Lawes and Team Manitoba on Saturday, and a 6-5 win over Krista McCarville and Northern Ontario on Sunday. Saskatchewan is tied with Alberta’s Selena Sturmay on top of the Pool A standings and will face Laurie St-Georges and Team Quebec in the morning draw on Monday, followed by the Sturmay rink in the evening draw.