June 16th, 2024

Moulding gets another shot at Brier with Northern Ontario

By Lethbridge Herald on March 6, 2023.

Darren Moulding throws a shot during a match between Northern Ontario and the Northwest Territories at the 2023 Tim Hortons Brier Monday in London, Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins

Justin Seward – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – sports@lethbridgeherald.com

Former Coaldale and Lethbridge curling rinks ice maker Darren Moulding is participating in his seventh Brier this week in London, Ont., as a player with Team Northern Ontario.

After representing Team Alberta for years with Brendan Bottcher’s rink, it was in 2022 he ended up as a part of Team New Brunswick at the Brier in Lethbridge and now finds himself with Northern Ontario.

Curling Canada guidelines allow one import from a different province on other teams.

Moulding has known other Northern Ontario team members for a while through the curling scene.

“You kind of get to know these people by playing in competition, against each other and with each other,” said Moulding.

“And when we were looking for a team, we …  talked about the possibilities of playing with each other and just thought it would be a good fit.”

Team Northern Ontario is made up of skip Tanner Horgan, Moulding as Third, Jacob Horgan as Second, Lead Colin Hodgson and coach Mike Harris.

“We’ve had a good season,” said Moulding.

“We got off to a bit of slow start. I wasn’t really able to play until November, just due to some injuries and stuff like that. So ever since then, when we started playing all together, we’ve had a good year, we’ve had some good results. So we feel like we’re kind of just hitting our stride now at the right time, and we’re ranked probably a little bit lower than our ability, which isn’t a bad thing. You know we’re kind of playing the underdog role here. But we feel like we have a chance to be in the playoffs for sure.”

Moulding thinks the team’s strength is they have all the shots.

“Our tool box is very big,” he said.

“We can kind of play a game any type of way. So we’re very versatile and that comes in handy  for sure.”

He described the field as a mix of champions, new curlers and a lot of younger teams that are breaking in now.

“It’s basically all the best teams in Canada,” said Moulding.

“So it’s very strong.”

Moulding worked at the Coaldale curling club as the ice maker and general manager for six years from 2010-2016 and in Lethbridge as the ice maker in 2016 and 2017.

He was also the ice maker in Lethbridge in 2008 and 2009.

“I loved it,” said Moulding.

“Coaldale especially. It was kind of you know when you’re younger and I got my first head job in Coaldale — which until then I was always an assistant. So they gave me a chance to run my own show and I learned a ton. I always kind of say I went from a boy to a man working in Coaldale. It was a really important part of my life and yeah I look back on those years really fondly.”

Moulding thinks the ice making opportunities was a springboard to eventually win the Brier and get opportunities in other places.

“You know, curling’s given me a lot of opportunities to travel (and) career opportunities,” said Moulding.

“I know I have friends all over the world because of curling and I’m still playing at a really high level. It’s a real small time frame in my life where I can compete at the elite level of curling. So I’m trying to maximize those years.”

Moulding won the Brier in 2021 with Bottcher’s Team Alberta rink in Calgary.

Northern Ontario is 4-1 after Monday’s play and won’t be back on the ice until they face Saskatchewan in Wednesday morning’s draw.

The Brier runs until March 12 in London, Ontario.

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