Fresh off a win at the Canadian university championships, Newfoundland and Labrador's newest curling stars have a new goal in sight — the Brier.
Skip Adam Boland says his team wants to be the next to wear the province's colours at the Tim Horton's Brier, which will take place next year in Regina.
"The work begins now, we're going to celebrate this one for a little bit, but we have bigger things to look forward to," Boland said after arriving back in St. John's with his gold medal.
After Brad Gushue thrilled the hometown crowd with a win at the Brier in St. John's in March, he is automatically qualified for the national tournament as Team Canada.
That means the path is looking clearer for teams like Boland's who are striving to become Team Newfoundland and Labrador.
"That's the goal for next year, just knowing that another team can represent Newfoundland and that it's a wide open tournament next year."
Memorial University's men's curling team, with skip Adam Boland, lead Evan Kearley, third Stephen Trickett and second Zach Young claimed the USports Men's Curling Championship with a win over University of Alberta on Wednesday.
The team arrived back at St. John's Airport early Thursday evening to an excited crowd of friends and family.
"It feels pretty incredible. It's pretty surreal, actually," Boland said.
"All the teams up there were so strong and so even, every game we were tested. So for us to come out on top, and undefeated, it's something we didn't think was going to happen."
But coach Gary Ryan, who has been with Boland for about five years, said he knew the squad would have a good shot at a title.
Newfoundland and Labrador, new contenders?
Boland said the province's recent success on the national circuit, first with Gushue's win and now his, is a good sign about the state of curling in the province.
"It says we can compete on the national level with any of the big provinces," he said.
"You go away and people from the bigger provinces with the more competitive teams always kind of look at Newfoundland as the easy win, but this year showed that it's not the case."