By Marshall Mayne
UPEI will be sending familiar faces to compete at the 2018 Subway AUS Curling Championships this week in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The championships begin Thursday, February 8 and runs through February 11.
The 2018 UPEI Women's Curling Panthers will be made up of a new foursome that has members who have seen AUS action within the last 6 years.
Following a year hiatus, skip Veronica Smith is back for the Panthers. Smith has attended four AUS Championships while qualifying for three U Sports Championships. Smith and the current Panthers are hoping to rekindle the success she endured during her first three trips to the AUS Championships. Outside of UPEI Curling, Smith has also represented Prince Edward Island at the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Canadian Junior Championships.
The 2018 edition of the Panthers are loaded with curling experience throughout their entire roster.
Last year's UPEI skip at the AUS Championships Sabrina Smith, is back and will be throwing third for the Panthers this season. Smith has represented Prince Edward Island at the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Canadian Junior Championships, as well as the 2016 and 2017 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championships. The lone rookie on the team and playing second, Chloe McCloskey, will be getting her first taste of AUS Curling action in 2018. McCloskey, has enjoyed previous success by representing Prince Edward Island at the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Canadian Junior Championships. Meghan Ching, will be back for the Panthers this season throwing lead stones. Ching competed at the 2017 AUS Championships as the mate for UPEI.
Skip Veronica Smith feels the curling experiences of the 2018 Panthers could lead to success for UPEI.
"With the experience, we bring to the tournament this year, I feel we have the ability to maintain focus throughout the entire round robin with hopes to qualify for Sunday, and bring an AUS banner home to UPEI."
Paul Smith will return for his sixth stint as head coach of the UPEI Panthers.
Bell Aliant will be webcasting some of the draws, the link can be found here.
The UPEI schedule is as follows;
Draw #1, 1:30 pm: UPEI Panthers vs Mount Allison Mounties
Draw #2, 6:30 pm: UPEI Panthers vs. UNB Varsity Reds
Draw #4, 2:00 pm: UPEI Panthers vs. Dalhousie Tigers
Draw #5, 7:00 pm: UPEI Panthers vs. Saint Mary's Huskies
Draw #6, 9:30 am: UPEI Panthers vs. Memorial Seahawks
Draw #8, 7:00 pm: UPEI Panthers vs St.FX X-Women
The full schedule can be found and live scoring can be found here.