By Ian Hamilton – Leader-Post

Joel Jordison is looking forward to the 2009-10 curling season, but he can’t help looking back, too.

The 31-year-old Moose Jaw product admitted Thursday that he’s still stinging from his rink’s 3-8 showing as Saskatchewan’s representative at the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary.

“It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to win the Tankard and go to the Brier as a provincial champion — and it couldn’t have gone much worse,” Jordison said before taking on Regina’s Mike Eberle in an opening-draw game during the Horizon Laser Vision Center Classic at the Tartan Curling Club.

“It was devastating. I spent a lot of time this summer thinking about it. It really was tough to swallow because it definitely wasn’t what we had hoped for. When you go from accomplishing a dream to having that happen, it put a pretty big hurt on us.

“It’s something we still have to bounce back from. We had some good events in the spring (after the Brier), so hopefully it’s behind us.”

Jordison’s record was the worst for a Saskatchewan skip at the Brier since 1997 — Estevan’s Jim Packet went 1-10 that year — so the Moose Jaw skip suggested this season is about redemption.

“We still have a lot to show people after that,” said Jordison, who’s supported by Scott Bitz, Aryn Schmidt and Dean Hicke. “We don’t think of ourselves too highly; we never have. We always think we have to prove ourselves and we’ll continue to do that.”

The Jordison foursome proved itself in Saskatchewan last season, posting a 6-4 victory over Pat Simmons in the Tankard final to end Simmons’ string of provincial titles at four.

“That was a nice thing to finish the year off last year,” Jordison said. “But this is a new season. We’re looking onwards. That’s the best way to do things.”

Having said that, Jordison’s rink now carries a target as teams around the province try to knock off the defending champion. But Jordison said that won’t affect his team’s approach.

“We’ll play our game,” he said. “If anything, it’ll give us incentive to show everyone what we’ve got. Whether it’s a club game or a World Curling Tour event, we’ll try to approach it with the same outlook.”

That should help the foursome as it embarks on a big season — and not only in terms of its run for a second straight Tankard.

Jordison, who finished 12th on the WCT’s money list last season, figures to be a fixture on the tour this season. He also has a berth in the Olympic pre-trials (Nov. 10-15 in Prince George, B.C.) with hopes of advancing to the Olympic team trials (Dec. 6-13 in Edmonton). A win there and it’s on to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in B.C.

“We definitely set up our schedule to build towards November,” Jordison said. “But this (game against Eberle) is the first game we’ve played together. We can’t think any further than this game.

“We have to take it one game at a time and one weekend at a time. As cliché as that is, it’s true. We can’t get looking too far ahead or we’ll forget about what we’re doing now.”

The Horizon Laser Vision Center Classic continues today at the Tartan.

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