Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wheels Fall Off Again: Englot Needs Six In A Row

In her fourth game at the 2009 Manitoba Lotteries Women's Curling Classic, Michelle Englot got off to a fine start and led, 4-2, after three ends against Thunder Bay's Krista McCarville.

But McCarville scored 3 in the fourth for a 5-4 lead, and Englot never scored again, giving up four stolen points in the next three ends en route to a 9-4 defeat.

Englot now drops to the C event, where she needs to win three games in a row on Sunday to qualify for Monday's playoffs.

The turnabout in this game was eerily reminiscent of Friday evening's game against Holly Scott, in which Englot started strong, gave up a big end early, and never managed to score another point.

Friends and fans of the Englot team will be hoping for a repeat of a different sort. Last year in Winnipeg, the Englot four also found themselves in the C event with three games to play. But they won them all, then won three more in the playoffs to capture the title.

Once again, six wins in a row are required, beginning Sunday afternoon against Winnipeg's Linda Stewart.

The winner of the Stewart-Englot match will play either Marie-France Larouche or Janet Harvey, and the winner of that one will face either Cheryl Bernard, Cathy King, Karen Porritt or Lisa Blixhavn -- all this for one of the eight qualifying spots.

It should be interesting. I'll keep you posted.

Englot Rolls Again

Chelsea Carey and her Winnipeg foursome couldn't stop Michelle Englot and her team from Regina in the B event of the Manitoba Lotteries Women's Curling Classic.

Englot, who suffered a bad loss on Friday night, came back Saturday afternoon with a strong game featuring rock-solid defense and two multi-point steals.

The game lasted six ends, and the final score was 7-1, which is a winning margin of six points. Could the sixes be lined up for the Regina four again this year?

We shall see. Next up: Thunder Bay's Krista McCarville. And the winner of the Englot-McCarville match will continue against either Amber Holland or Jennifer Jones.

Things are getting interesting in Winnipeg. Personally, I hope Englot keeps rollin' those sixes. But we shall see.

Friday, October 23, 2009

To The 'B': Englot's Wheels Fall Off

Michelle Englot and her Regina team started well enough against Winnipeg's Holly Scott in their second game of the Manitoba Lotteries Women's Curling Classic on Friday evening. Englot opened with last rock, blanked the first end and scored a deuce in the second. But then the wheels fell off.

Scott scored four points in the third, and Englot never scored again, giving up five stolen points in three ends before pulling off the gloves on the wrong end of a 9-2 final score. Oops!

Fortunately it was only one game, and the defending champions have a chance to get rolling again tomorrow in the B event against another Winnipeg team, skipped by Chelsea Carey.

Enlgot Off To A Good Start In Winnipeg

Michelle Englot and her team from Regina have opened their title defense at the Manitoba Lotteries Women's Curling Classic in Winnipeg with a solid 5-2 win over Winipeg's Jill Thurston.

Englot, with third Deanna Doig, second Roberta Materi and lead Cindy Simmons, won the championship last year in spectacular fashion, putting together a 6-game winning streak that culminated in a 6-end, 6-0 victory over Kelly Scott.

There were no sixes on the board for them this time, but a couple of stolen ends did the trick. Team Englot stole a single in the fourth end to go up 3-1, and stole another single in the seventh to stretch their lead to 5-2. That was the final score of the game, and the Englot foursome will resume play later in the day with an A-event match against another Winnipeg team, skipped by Holly Scott.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jennifer Jones Wins In Calgary

Jennifer Jones and her Canadian Champions from Winnipeg have won the 2009 Trail Appliances Curling Classic, with a 7-4 victory over the World Champions from China, skipped by Bingyu Wang. Jones got off to a 3-0 lead in the first end and never trailed, matching every point Wang scored from then on.

Jones had scored a 6-4 victory over Kerri Flett in the semi-final after knocking out Eve Belisle of Quebec in the quarterfinals with a 4-2 score.

Congratulations to Jennifer Jones and her teammates: Cathy Overton-Clapham, Jill Officer and Dawn Askin. They play extremely well extremely often, which is, of course, the only way to win multiple national championships.

And anyone who wants to wear the maple leaf in the Olympics is going to have to put their 'A' game and more up against this team -- probably more than once.

Not that all this wasn't obvious a long time ago ...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Home For Thanksgiving: Three And Out In Calgary

Three games were quite enough for Michelle Englot and her Regina team, who are finished in Calgary after a 7-4 loss in their C event match against Sherry Anderson.

Anderson got off to an early 3-0 lead, and although Englot fought back and got close, close is not enough -- especially at the level at which these ladies play the game.

So it's home for Thanksgiving and a weekend off before their next event, which will be in Winnipeg, starting October 23rd.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Late Early For Englot In Calgary

It got late very early in Calgary for Michelle Englot at the 2009 Trail Appliances Curling Classic.

Moe Meguro and her Japanese foursome scored a four-ender in the seventh, breaking open a 4-4 tie, cashing in an 8-4 win, and sending Englot and her Regina team directly to the C event, where they will face another Saskatchewan team -- and another tough one! -- skipped by Sherry Anderson.

Englot Starts With A Loss In Calgary

Michelle Englot and her Regina team have begun the 2009 Trail Appliances Curling Classic in Calgary with a loss against Andrea Kelly of New Brunswick.

Kelly stole two points in the fifth end, more than nullifying the single point Englot had stolen in the third, after which Kelly held on to the thinnest of advantages for a 5-4, extra-end victory.

Englot now faces Japan's Moe Meguro in the B event.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Amber Holland Wins The Schmirler

Amber Holland and her team from Kronau, Saskatchewan, won three games on Monday in Regina to capture the 2009 Schmirler Curling Classic, with its $12,000 first prize.

Holland opened the day with a 5-3 win against Janet Harvey, then followed with another 5-3 win, over Chantelle Eberle, to reach the final.

She completed the sweep with a 6-3 victory against Kelly Scott of Kelowna, who had defeated Heather Rankin and Tracy Streiffel earlier in the day.

Strieffel had knocked out Erika Brown and her American team to reach the semifinals; Eberle had reached her semifinal with an extra-end quarterfinal victory against Kristy Jenion.

Congratulations to Amber Holland and her teammates: third Kim Schneider, second Tammy Schneider and lead Heather Seeley. More congratulations to Kelly Scott and her team; we'll see both of these fine teams again at the Pre-Trials, if not before.

And I'll be back on Thanksgiving weekend with news from Calgary.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Harvey Beats Englot In A Close One

Michelle Englot finally had a close game on Sunday morning at the 2009 Schmirler Curling Classic, where her first four matches were short and one-sided. Englot got off to a good start against Janet Harvey, and held a 4-2 lead after 5 ends.

But Harvey scored four in the sixth to take a 6-4 lead with only two ends to play. And Englot cashed a deuce in the seventh to tie the score at 6-6, but Harvey had last rock coming home and emerged with a 7-6 victory.

With the win, Harvey finishes tied with Chantelle Eberle atop group E with 4-1 records, and both teams will advance to Monday's playoffs.

Englot winds up fourth in the group at 2-3, two games short of the playoffs but only one game behind the World Champions, and will return to the ice on October 9th in Calgary for the Trail Appliances Curling Classic.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

World Champs Too Much For Englot Foursome

Chinese skip Bingyu Wang and her world championship team got off to a poor start against Regina's Michelle Englot on Saturday evening, falling behind 3-0 after the first end. But the Chinese team came roaring back, scoring 7 points in the remainder of the game while holding the Regina team to just a single, for a 7-4 win.

By cashing a couple of deuces and then stealing couple of ends (including another deuce), Wang blew a giant hole in Englot's playoff chances; Englot, now at 2-2, must win her final game against Janet Harvey, and get some help, to qualify for the playoffs.

We'll see whether they can do it.

Englot Beats Galusha, Now 2-1

Michelle Englot and her team from Regina made quick work of Yellowknife's Kerry Galusha in Saturday morning's play at the 2009 Schmirler Curling Classic, pushing their record to 2-1 and remaining in contention in what's emerging as a very tough group.

Galusha started well, stealing a single point to open the game. But then the wheels fell off Galusha, as Englot scored three in the second end, stole three in the third and stole two more in the fourth.

Galusha had seen enough at that point; make the final: 8 to 1.

Englot is still in the hunt for a playoff spot but has a long, tough row to hoe: her next opponents are the World Champions from China, skipped by Bingyu Wang, to be followed by the always-tough Janet Harvey of Winnipeg.