SPORTS

Road games the norm for British Columbia skip Patti Knezevic this season

02/18/2015 07:00 EST | Updated 04/20/2015 05:59 EDT
MOOSE JAW, Sask. - B.C. skip Patti Knezevic is used to playing on the road. She's had to do it for nearly the entire season.

Ice equipment issues at her club in Prince George prevented her from stepping onto home ice until early January. But that didn't faze her or teammates Kristen Fewster, Jen Rusnell and Rhonda Camozzi.

They made the best of the situation by focusing on regular cashspiels last autumn before running the table at the B.C. championships last month in Maple Ridge.

"It was a bit different, I won't lie," Knezevic said. "It was a different season not having ice at home and not having the same preparation. But in any case, we still had to go into provincials that way.

"So we knew what we were up against and just the training was a little bit different. Maybe a little bit more mental training."

The nearest alternate club option was over an hour away, so Knezevic and her team decided to bank their time and try their luck on the road every other weekend.

"Every time we stepped on the ice, it was just like stepping on the ice for the first time of the season," Knezevic said. "That was somewhat of a grind for sure.

"So we really had to just go into each cashspiel taking whatever we possibly could, squeezing every ounce we could out of every single game because we knew we were just there for as many games as we could possibly get in."

Knezevic, a 41-year-old Prince George native, also had some unique challenges during her Scotties debut last year in Montreal.

She was an alternate on Kesa Van Osch's team but was forced into action when her skip was felled by a flu bug that affected several players at the event.

Knezevic ended up playing six full games, including two as skip.

"It was a very awesome experience but it was totally crazy," she said.

The B.C. team finished with a decent 6-5 record last year but has struggled over the first half of the 2015 tournament at Mosaic Place. Knezevic dropped a 10-5 decision to Alberta's Val Sweeting on Tuesday night to fall to 1-6.

Round-robin play continues through Friday and the medal games are scheduled for Sunday.

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Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

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