Returning to the hack was something Cochrane curler Zoe Cinnamon anxiously awaited for two reasons.
Not only has it been over six months since she was last able to compete, but it marked the debut of the new Pandas team of the University of Alberta, where she is third.
Playing together for a first time as a team, Team Gray-Winters had a clean sweep against the five other teams in the U20 bonspiel in Okotoks, Oct. 2-4. They beat Team Jones in the final.
Cinnamon, 18, was thrilled with the win.
"We really got to know each other team and they got to meet all the other Albertans, which was cool because none of them are from here," says Cinnamon. "We had a lot of fun getting to know each other and getting to actually play together."
Her teammates are skip Serena Gray-Withers, third Brianna Cullen, and lead Emma Weins. All three are sophomore university students new to Alberta, while Cinnamon is a frosh.
To make the bonspiel even sweeter for the U of A varsity curling team was the Bears sweep of the U20 male side of the bonspiel.
There were no spectators at the Okotoks bonspiel, and it's look like that is the way competitive curling will unfold for the time being. But, like other sports, live streaming is becoming more commonplace.
"We couldn't actually have any spectators at the club, they were pretty firm on that, but we set up a live stream and they had a live stream going on YouTube through the Okotoks Curling Club for our final game. There was a lot of people watching, so that was pretty cool."
Her next bonspiel with the Pandas goes the first week of November in Leduc. Before that, she'll be teaming up with Chris Pratt to compete in the U21 mixed doubles provincials that was postponed from the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cinnamon is looking forward to practising at the Cochrane Curling Centre when she's in town.