Monday, December 15, 2008

Larouche Wins Canada Cup Qualifier

Marie-France Larouche and her team from Quebec have capped a great weekend in Ottawa with a 6-4 victory over Amber Holland in the final of the John Shea Insurance Canada Cup Qualifier.

Larouche stole a deuce in the first end and scored two more in the fourth to take a 4-1 lead which she never relinquished.

Congratulations to Marie-France Larouche, Nancy Bélanger, Annie Lemay and
Joëlle Sabourin.

Congrats also to the defeated finalists: Amber Holland, Kim Schneider, Tammy Schneider and Heather Seeley.

Best holiday wishes to all my curling friends, and to both my readers too.

I'll be back in January with news from provincial playdowns.

Larouche And Holland Win Semifinals In Ottawa

Marie-France Larouche of Quebec and Amber Holland of Saskatchewan won their semifinals Monday afternoon and will meet in the final of the John Shea Insurance Canada Cup Qualifier in Ottawa.

Larouche scored two or more points every time she had the hammer, and limited Mary Anne Arsenault to singles every time Arsenault had last rock, en route to a convincing 9-4 victory.

It was the fifth straight win for the Larouche foursome, who are now 7-1 in the five-day event.

Holland had a tougher time against Sherry Middaugh, but wound up with a 7-5 win and a trip to the final.

It was the sixth win in a row for Team Holland, who are now 8-2.

The final goes this evening.

Winners Steal; Stealers Win

All the winners stole points in quarterfinal action Monday morning at the John Shea Insurance Canada Cup Qualifier in Ottawa. And all the teams that stole points won their games.

Mary Anne Arsenault stole four ends worth six points on the way to an 8-1 victory over Sherry Anderson.

Marie-France Larouche stole three ends worth four points and eliminated Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg by an 8-5 score.

Arsenault and Larouche will meet in one semifinal Monday afternoon.

Amber Holland only stole two points against Shannon Kleibrink, but she also scored heavily with last rock in winning 9-3.

Meanwhile, Sherry Middaugh stole a single against Cathy King, and scored three deuces ... yet the game was decided by a three-ender in the 9th. Make the final: Middaugh 10, King 7.

So it'll be Middaugh and Holland in the second semifinal, with the winner to face either Arsenault or Larouche.

We'll keep a close eye on the semifinals, where preventing steals will probably be a key to success.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Field Trimmed From 13 To 8 For Quarterfinals

The first round of playoffs -- the Round of 13 -- is finished at the John Shea Insurance Canada Cup Qualifier in Ottawa, and the winners are:

Marie-France Larouche, 9-4 over Barb Spencer; Sherry Anderson, in an extra end over Chantelle Eberle; Amber Holland, in an extra end over Renee Sonnenberg; Sherry Middaugh, 12-3 over Kristy Jenion; and Cathy King, 11-6 over Jolene McIvor.

Middaugh and King meet on Monday morning in one quarterfinal, while the other three Round of 13 winners face 'A' qualifiers: Holland plays Shannon Kleibrink; Anderson plays Mary Anne Arsenault; and Larouche plays Jennifer Jones.

Round of 13 Set To Go

The 'C' qualifiers are finished and the Round of 13 is ready to go. Amber Holland, Barb Spencer, Sherry Middaugh, and Renee Sonnenberg will join the six 'B' qualifiers in the first round of playoffs this evening, while the three 'A' qualifiers wait for the quarterfinals to begin.

Holland won a 6-3 final against Cheryl Bernard and will face Renee Sonnenberg in the next round. Sonnenberg defeated Chantal Osborne of Quebec, 10-4, in their qualifying game.

Spencer took a 9-6 decision against Heather Strong of Newfoundland, and will play Marie-France Larouche.

Sherry Middaugh beat Cindy Ricci, 7-4, in the other 'C' qualifier and she will play Kristy Jenion of Winnipeg.

Chantelle Eberle faces Sherry Anderson in a matchup of 'B' qualifiers, while the other two 'B' qualifiers, Jolene McIvor and Cathy King, meet in the other match of the draw.

The five winners will play quarterfinals on Monday morning, as will the three 'A' qualifiers, Mary Anne Arsenault, Jennifer Jones and Shannon Kleibrink.

Spencer Steals One Clean Away

Barb Spencer of Winnipeg scored on four consecutive ends Sunday morning -- a total of five points, four of them stolen -- and held on for a 5-4 victory against Michelle Englot and her team from Regina. The loss dropped Team Englot's record to 3-3 and knocked them out of the event. Unfortunately, you can't win 'em all.

Spencer remains alive in the 'C' event, and can reach the round of ... um ... thirteen ... with a win against Heather Strong on Sunday afternoon.

The 'B' event is now finished, and six once-beaten teams have claimed their spots in the next round. They are: Jolene McIvor, Marie-France Larouche, Sherry Anderson, Kristy Jenion, Cathy King and Chantelle Eberle.

Four qualifiers will emerge from the 'C' event, and they will join these six teams in the first round of playoff games Sunday night.

The winners of these five games will join the three 'A' event qualifiers -- Mary Anne Arsenault, Jennifer Jones and Shannon Kleibrink -- in Monday morning's quarterfinals.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Englot Wins, Stays In ...

Michelle Englot and her team from Regina got off to a good start against Manitoba's Kerri Flett, scoring three in the second end and stealing two more in the third to establish a 5-2 lead. Flett came back to score a deuce in the fourth but never got any closer, and Englot emerged on the sunny side of a 9-6 final.

Englot remains in contention, in the 'C' event, and will face Winnipeg's Barb Spencer Sunday morning.

Englot Loses A Close One

Saturday morning's game between Michelle Englot and Chantelle Eberle was just too much! Eberle started out with a single and a steal, and led by 3-1 after four ends. Englot scrambled back to tie it at 4-4 after seven, and led 6-5 after nine. But Eberle had last rock in the tenth, and she took advantage, scoring a deuce for a 7-6 win.

Englot, 2-2, now falls to the 'C' event and must win all her remaining games, beginning with Manitoba's Kerri Flett on Saturday night.

The 'A' event is finished, and three teams -- Mary Anne Arsenault, Jennifer Jones and Shannon Kleibrink -- have qualified for the quarterfinals. I'll try to keep you posted.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Englot Wins, Stays In The 'B'

Michelle Englot and her team from Regina jumped out to an early lead and knocked off Carrie Lindner of Toronto, 7-5, to run their record to 2-1 and remain in the 'B' event heading into Saturday's games.

Next up for Englot is another Regina team, skipped by Chantelle Eberle. That game will be played on Saturday morning, and I will be back with more news.

Five-Spot Too Much For Englot

On Friday morning, Regina's Jolene McIvor cracked open a tight game with a five-spot in the eighth end, sending Michelle Englot to the 'B' event of the John Shea Insurance Canada Cup Qualifier in Ottawa.

Englot, now 1-1, will face on Carrie Lindner of Toronto on Friday evening.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Englot Starts Well In Ottawa

Team Englot are in Ottawa this weekend for the biggest event on their World Curling Tour schedule, where they're one of forty-four teams playing for a spot in the Canada Cup.

They started well Thursday night, beating Tracy Horgan of Sudbury, 8-5. The game was close until Englot stole deuces in both the sixth and seventh ends to take an 8-3 lead. They're playing 10 end games here (rather than 8 as in the previous events), but Horgan was too far behind to catch up.

So the Englot foursome remain in the 'A' event, where they will meet Regina's Jolene McIvor on Friday morning.

They'll play again Friday evening, against an opponent to be determined. And I will try to keep you posted.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jones Wins In Abbotsford

Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg has defeated Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon to win the Wayden Transportation Ladies Classic in Abbotsford, B.C.

Jones led, 3-2, after four ends, and cashed a deuce in the fifth for a 5-2 lead. Lawton was forced to gamble in the sixth, and got nothing: instead, Jones stole four more points and the gloves came off. Make the final: 9-2 for Jennifer Jones.

Congratulations to Jennifer Jones, third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer, and lead Dawn Askin. They're a great team, current Canadian and World Champions, and will certainly be a force in the Manitoba playdowns.

Congratulations also to the nee-Miller sisters: skip Stefanie Lawton and third Marliese Kasner; and to their teammates, second Sherri Singler and lead Lana Vey. They're another excellent team, currently Canada Cup champions, and they will be a force in Saskatchewan.

But not the only one!

Team Englot will be back on the World Curling Tour at the John Shea Insurance Canada Cup Qualifier in Ottawa, beginning December 11th. And I'll be back then, if not before.

Lawton, Jones Win Semifinals

Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon and Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg won the semifinals of the Wayden Transportation Ladies Classic on Monday afternoon in Abbotsford, B.C., and will meet in Monday evening's final.

Lawton scored a single in the eighth end to break a 5-5 tie and hand the previously unbeaten Cheryl Bernard of Calgary her first loss of the event. Jones broke open a close game with a stolen point in the seventh, and stole two more in the eighth for a 6-2 victory over the previously unbeaten Rachel Homan of Ottawa.

So it's Lawton and Jones in the final, and I'll tell you more when I know more.

Bernard Edges Englot In Quarterfinals

Michelle Englot and her team from Regina lost an extra-end quarterfinal to Cheryl Bernard at the Wayden Transportation Ladies Classic in Abbotsford, B.C., Monday morning.

The game turned on a steal of 2 in the third end, which put Bernard ahead by a 4-1 score. Englot held Bernard to singles the rest of the way, and scored a couple of deuces herself, tying the game at 6-6 after eight ends. But Bernard had the hammer in the extra end ... not to mention an excellent team.

Bernard's Calgary foursome are now 5-0 in this event and will face either Stefanie Lawton or Kelly Scott in a semifinal.

The other semifinal will feature Rachel Homan (also 5-0) against either Jennifer Jones or Georgina Wheatcroft.

Congratulations to Cheryl Bernard and her team, and to Michelle Englot and her team as well. More later ...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Englot Qualifies Again!

Michelle Englot and her Regina team qualified for quarterfinals in their third straight World Curling Tour event, with a 7-4 win over Kristen Recksiedler of Maple Ridge, B.C. in the C event of the Wayden Transportation Ladies Classic, in Abbotsford.

Englot broke a 4-4 tie with three points in the seventh, and then ran Recksiedler out of rocks for the win.

The B event qualifiers have been played since my last post. Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon took one of the quarterfinal spots with a 9-4 win against Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones. And Georginia Wheatcroft gave up a steal of 2 in the eighth, allowing Crystal Webster to tie the game, before Wheatcroft scored a single in the extra end for a 6-5 win and a playoff spot of her own.

The other C event qualifying games are also final.

Jennifer Jones scored a 6-3 win against Jody Maskiewich, of New Westminster; Kelly Scott scored 4 in the fifth and beat Amber Holland, 7-3; and Crystal Webster, after losing A and B qualifiers, finally grabbed a quarterfinal spot with a 9-2 victory over Julie Reddick of Brantford, Ontario.

Congratulations to all the qualifiers: Homan, Bernard, Lawton, Wheatcroft, Jones, Scott, Webster, and Englot.

One of those teams will win three games tomorrow and take home the big bucks.

Best of luck to Michelle Englot, Deanna Doig, Roberta Materi and Cindy Simmons.

Englot Wins Another; Needs One More To Qualify

Michelle Englot and her team from Regina scored a win over Karen Powell and her team from Grande Prairie in a C event match on Sunday afternoon. The game was tight until the sixth, when Englot stole a single to take a two-point lead. Englot then forced Powell to take one in the seventh, and scored two in the eighth, to make the final: 7-4.

Powell is eliminated with the loss; Englot moves on to a C event qualifier with the win. And I will return when I have more news.

Wheatcroft Too Much For Englot

Michelle Englot had her hands full with Georgina Wheatcroft's B.C. team in their B event match early Sunday. Wheatcroft stole a single in the first end, and held Englot to a single in the second. Then, after an exchange of singles made the score 2-2, Wheatcroft scored a deuce in the fifth, and stole two more in the sixth and another in the seventh for a 7-2 win.

Wheatcroft remains in the B event with a good chance to qualify; Englot drops to the C event and must win two games in a row to reach the quarterfinals.

The A event qualifiers were played Saturday night after my last post. Cheryl Bernard scored 3 in the first and 5 more in the third against Shannon Kleibrink, to grab one of the quarterfinal spots with a 10-2 score. Meanwhile, Rachel Homan and her team from Ottawa scored 4 in the first end and never trailed against Grande Prairie's Crystal Webster, winding up with an 8-5 victory and a quarterfinal spot of their own.

I've been following women's curling since Georgina Wheatcroft was Georgina Hawkes and she's always been one of my favourites. Whenever I've heard players talk about "George", they've always had good things to say. You could say "she's one of the really great people in the game, and a fine player, too" and nobody would disagree with you. I would cheer for George against almost anybody.

And so ... best wishes to Michelle and her team, as always, and almost-best wishes to Georgina and her team. I'd love to see them both in the playoffs, and I'm glad they didn't meet in the C. At least not yet, anyway.

Next up for Michelle: Karen Powell of Grande Prairie. Next for Georgina: a B event qualifier against Crystal Webster. There's a lot more curling to come. And I'll be back.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Englot Wins Again

Michelle Englot and her team from Regina won their second game of the day Saturday evening, defeating Jessica Mair of Edmonton, 4-3.

The victory gives Englot a 3-1 record and keeps her team in the B event of the Wayden Transportation Ladies Classic, where they will meet either Georginia Wheatcroft or Tracey Jones on Sunday morning.

Englot and her team have now won 18 of their last 24 games on the World Curling Tour, a 75% success rate which will bring them great rewards if they can keep it up.

Later this evening, in the A event qualifiers, Rachel Homan of Ottawa will face Crystal Webster of Medicine Hat, while Shannon Kleibrink does battle with Cheryl Bernard. And I will keep you posted.

Enlgot Beats Foster To Remain In B Event

Michelle Englot broke a 3-3 tie with a three-ender in the seventh, and held on for a 6-3 victory against Calgary's Diane Foster in her third game of the Wayden Transportation Ladies Classic, in Abbotsford, B.C.

Englot remains in the B event with a record of 2-1. She and her team will play again this evening, against Jessica Mair of Edmonton.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bernard Bumps Englot Into B Event

Michelle Englot and her team ran up against a buzzsaw Friday night in Abbotsford, and wound up in the B event because of it. Cheryl Bernard of Calgary scored deuces every time she had the hammer, and held Englot to singles twice, en route to a 6-4 victory.

Bernard remains in the A event and will face Colleen Madonia in her next game. Englot drops to the B and will meet another Calgary team, skipped by Diane Foster, early Saturday.

Englot Starts With A Win In Abbotsford

The Wayden Transportation Ladies Classic, a triple-knockout Grand Slam event in Abbotsford, B.C., began today and runs through Monday.

Team Englot met Kristen Recksiedler of Richmond, B.C., in their first game, and started off on the wrong foot, giving up a steal of 1 in the first end.

But that was the last point Recksiedler got. Englot scored a deuce in the second, stole a deuce in the third, stole three more in the fourth, and Recksiedler had seen enough. Make the final: 7-1.

Englot remains in the A event for an evening match against Cheryl Bernard of Calgary. And I will try to keep you posted.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lawton Beats Englot In Colonial Square Final

Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon has defeated Regina's Michelle Englot, 6-4, to win the final of the Colonial Square Ladies Classic in Saskatoon. Team Lawton finished the event with eight wins in nine games, including seven straight, and captured the trophy for the second time in a row and the third time in the last four years.

Congratulations to the winners: skip Stefanie Lawton, third Marliese Kasner, second Sherri Singler, and lead Lana Vey. Congratulations also to Michelle Englot and her team of third Deanna Doig, second Roberta Materi, and lead Cindy Simmons.

Team Englot reached the final with victories over Cathy Trowell and Chantelle Eberle. The quarterfinal game against Trowell was a good one, with Team Englot scoring a deuce in the 8th end for a 5-4 win.

Englot had an easier time in the semifinal against Eberle, scoring two deuces with the hammer and one without, on the way to a 7-2 final.

Team Lawton won their semifinal against Kelly Scott, who had knocked off Jennifer Jones in the quarterfinals. They also defeated Jolene McIvor in the quarterfinals. The other quarterfinalist was Amber Holland, who lost to Eberle.

It's a great result in a strong field for the Englot team, who are playing well and rolling along -- mostly.

It's an even greater result for the Lawton team, of course, who are also playing well and rolling.

Fans of women's curling in Saskatchewan will be watching these two teams closely; remembering last year's provincial final, perhaps; and -- who knows -- possibly looking forward to another one.

Next up for Team Englot: Abbotsford BC, for the Wayden Transportation Ladies Classic, November 14-17. It's another Grand Slam event, with $60,000 in prize money and a very strong field. Englot starts Friday afternoon against Kristen Recksiedler; possible A event opponents include Cheryl Bernard, Heather Rankin, and Kelly Scott.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Englot Qualifies In Saskatoon!

Team Englot have been in Saskatoon this weekend for the Colonial Square Ladies Classic. I have been unusually busy and unable to blog about each game separately, but half a loaf is better than none...

The format is familiar: 32 teams play a triple-knockout for 8 qualifying spots in single-knockout playoffs. The strategy is familiar as well: win as many games as possible.

So they started with a loss, 8-6, against Kaileigh Strath of Winnipeg, on Friday afternoon, and moved immediately to the B event.

But they rebounded with a 4-2 victory over Tiffany McKeeman of Lloydminster, Alberta, to finish Friday in fairly good shape at 1-1.

They continued to rebound on Saturday, beating Regina's own Jan Betker, 6-3, and then Kerri Flett of Selkirk, Manitoba, 7-3, to remain in the B event at 3-1.

On Sunday afternoon, the roll continued as Englot beat Calgary's Heather Rankin, 7-3, to reach the B event qualifier.

But then they hit another bump. Saskatoon's Stefanie Lawton cracked open a five-ender in the sixth to get out of trouble and emerged with an 8-6 victory.

The win put Lawton in the quarterfinals, along with Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones and Regina's Chantelle Eberle (who both went through the A event undefeated), as well as Cathy Trowell, also of Regina, who qualified through the B with a 6-3 victory over Chelsea Carey of Winnipeg.

And so Team Englot was in the C event. But only for one game.

And on Sunday evening, they beat Karen Porritt of Winnipeg, 9-6 to finish with a 5-2 record and gain a berth in the playoffs.

They'll start with a quarterfinal game against Cathy Trowell on Monday afternoon. And I will say more when I know more.


So far, so good! Best wishes to Michelle and her teammates.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We Have A Winner!!

Lucky six? Michelle Englot and her team won the Casinos of Winnipeg Classic this evening, knocking off Kelly Scott and her BC team by a score of 6-0, in a game that lasted six ends. It was Englot's sixth win in a row.

Nobody minds winning a big event, especially when it comes with $16,000 and 36 Grand Slam points, but this shutout victory must be especially gratifying for the Englot foursome, who broke a seven-game losing streak on Friday night with a win over Holly Scott in the B event.

They resumed play Saturday morning with a 7-0 four-end decision over Shannon Kleibrink, lost a tough close one to Barb Spencer on Saturday evening, and then won their next six, defeating Amber Holland, Kristy Jenion, and Stefanie Lawton on Sunday, and Anette Norberg, Cathy King and Kelly Scott on Monday.

It's great work if you can get it, and it's great to see Michelle and her team rolling after such a rough start...

So, hearty congratulations to Michelle Englot and her teammates: third Deanna Doig, second Roberta Materi and lead Cindy Simmons. Congratulations also to Kelly Scott, third Jeanna Schraeder, second Sasha Carter and lead Renee Simons, who did well to reach the final and left with 27 Grand Slam points of their own.

Next up for Englot: the Colonial Square Ladies Curling Classic, November 7-10, in Saskatoon.

Englot Reaches The Final

Michelle Englot and her team from Regina won again this afternoon in a semifinal of the Casinos of Winnipeg Classic, scoring two in the extra end to edge Cathy King's Alberta team, 7-5, and extending their winning streak to five games.

They will play the former Canadian and World Champions, skipped by Kelly Scott of British Columbia, this evening in the final.

This weekend has been full of good news for Team Englot, who got off to a rough start this season. But they are still one of the best teams in the world, and it's great to see the results they can get when they play well.

Congratulations to Michelle Englot, Deanna Doig, Roberta Materi and Cindy Simmons, and best of luck in the final.

Not to be biased or anything. ;-)

Englot Wins Quarterfinal!

Team Englot, rolling now, extended their winning streak to four games Monday morning with a quarterfinal victory over two-time World Champion Anette Norberg of Sweden, to stay in contention at the Casinos of Winnipeg Classic. Englot scored four in the seventh end to break a 4-4 tie, and won by a final score of 8-4.

Edmonton's Cathy King knocked off the previously unbeaten hometown team of Jennifer Jones, the current Canadian and World Champions, in another quarterfinal, and will face Englot in one semifinal.

Former Canadian and World Champion Kelly Scott will face Kaitlyn Lawes in the other semifinal. Lawes eliminated Winnipeg's Barb Spencer in an all-Winnipeg quarterfinal match. And Scott knocked off the only other (previously) unbeaten team, skipped by Cheryl Bernard, in the other quarterfinal.

So it's Scott against Lawes in one semifinal and Englot against King in the other.

I'll tell you more when I know more.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

18 Grand Slam Points: Englot Qualifies In Winnipeg

Team Englot earned a spot in Monday's quarterfinals and 18 Grand Slam points with a 7-6 extra-end victory over Stefanie Lawton on Sunday evening.

It was the team's third win in a row and their fifth in seven games (so far) in the Casinos of Winnipeg Classic, and it sets up a Monday morning match against one of the very best teams in the game, the many-time World and European Champions from Sweden skipped by Anette Norberg.

Englot supporters are pleased to see things going so well, and hoping the winning streak will continue. From here on in, the opposition is certainly world-class.

Barb Spencer, Kelly Scott and Cathy King were victorious (by identical 6-4 scores!) in the other C qualifiers, and will join Englot and Norberg in the quarterfinals along with Cheryl Bernard and Jennifer Jones, who qualified through the A event on Saturday, and Kaitlyn Lawes, who took the second B qualifier late Sunday afternoon with an 8-3 win over Lisa Blixhavn.

On Monday morning, Kelly Scott will play Cheryl Bernard in one quarterfinal, while Barb Spencer plays Kaitlyn Lawes in another. The winners of those two games will meet in one semifinal.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Jones will play Cathy King, and the winner of that game will play in the other semifinal, against either Englot or Norberg.

You see how simple it all is? $16,000 and 18 more Grand Slam points await the winner, and only three more victories are required.

Congratulations to Michelle and her team, and Good Curling in the playoffs!

Quick Start Keeps Englot In Contention

Team Englot got off to a quick start against Winnipeg's Kristy Jenion on Sunday afternoon, stealing three points in the first four ends to take a 4-1 lead, and went on to a 7-4 win. The Englot squad, now 4-2, remain in the C event, where they will face Saskatchewan rival Stefanie Lawton on Sunday evening, with a spot in the quarterfinals at stake.

Lawton reached the C qualifier by losing a B qualifier, 6-5, to Sweden's Anette Norberg. Norberg joins Jennifer Jones and Cheryl Bernard in the quarterfinals, and the other five quarterfinal spots remain open ... for the moment.

Big End To The Rescue

Team Englot scored 5 in the sixth end Sunday morning to break a 3-3 tie and went on to a 9-3 victory against Amber Holland, to remain in contention in the C event of the Casinos of Winnipeg Classic.

Four teams remain in the B event. Lisa Blixhavn defeated Barb Spencer, 6-3, and will face Kaitlyn Lawes in one qualifying game. Lawes bested Sherry Anderson, 4-3.

The other qualifier features Sweden's Anette Norberg against Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon. Lawton beat Jan Betker of Regina, 7-5, while Norberg won a 5-3 victory against Winnipeg's Kim Link.

Blixhavn or Lawes and Norberg or Lawton will join Cheryl Bernard and Jennifer Jones in the quarterfinals. And I will be back.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bernard And Jones Qualify; Englot Drops A Close One

Team Englot suffered a second defeat in the Casinos of Winnipeg Classic when Barb Spencer scored a single in the 8th end for a 4-3 victory.

Englot drops to the C event for a Sunday morning match against Amber Holland.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Bernard and Jennifer Jones qualified for the quarterfinals with the fourth straight win for each team. Bernard beat Winnipeg's Kaitlyn Lawes, 7-2, while Jones defeated Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon, 6-2.

Englot Wins A Blowout

Team Englot made short work of Shannon Kleibrink's Alberta foursome this morning, stealing two consecutive three-enders on the way to a 7-0 victory. The game lasted only four ends and must have done wonders for the Regina team's spirits. They remain in the B event and will play Winnipeg's Barb Spencer this evening. I will try to keep you posted.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Englot Wins!

Team Englot broke a seven-game losing streak with a deuce in the 8th end for a 5-4 win against Winnipeg's Holly Scott on Friday evening to remain in the B event and possibly even establish some momentum.

They'll play again Saturday morning against Shannon Kleibrink, whose team has been very sharp lately. It will be a good test for the Englot foursome, who may have suddenly regained their form. Who knows? We can hope. And we'll find out more tomorrow.

Englot Loses A Squeaker

Team Englot began play in the Casinos of Winnipeg Classic with a 7-6 extra-end loss to Ontario's Colleen Madonia and dropped to the B event where they will face Winnipeg's Holly Scott in the next round.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kleibrink Wins a Thanksgiving Festival of Blowouts

One-sided games were the rule in the playoffs at the Trail Appliances Curling Classic, and Shannon Kleibrink won the last of them, defeating Cheryl Bernard, 8-2, in a game that went five whole ends.

Kleibrink had beaten Sherry Middaugh, 8-2, in a four-end semifinal; Bernard reached the final with a five-end 9-1 win over Stefanie Lawton.

Lawton had set the tone for the day in the quarterfinals, with a 7-0 four-end victory over Sherry Anderson. Middaugh followed suit, beating Kristie Moore, 9-4; and Kleibrink did too, beating Heather Rankin, 8-4. Bernard's 5-4 quarterfinal win against Barb Spencer was the only close game of the day.

Congratulations to Shannon Kleibrink and her team, and to Cheryl Bernard and hers.

Englot supporters will hope for better things in Winnipeg.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kleibrink, Lawton, Spencer, Moore win C qualifiers

Shannon Kleibrink, Stefanie Lawton, Barb Spencer and Kristie Moore have reached the quarterfinals with victories in the C event finals at the Trail Appliances Curling Classic in Calgary.

Kleibrink stole six points in the first four ends to eliminate Kaileigh Strath of Winnipeg. The final score was 8-2.

Lawton had a tougher time against Japan's Moe Meguro but scored three in the seventh end and went on to win, 7-3.

Spencer scored a deuce with the hammer in the 8th to edge Amber Holland, 6-5.

And Moore blanked the seventh and scored a single in the eighth for a 4-3 victory against the Russian team skipped by Liudmilla Privivkova.

It was an especially disappointing finish for the Russians, who started with three straight wins, including two against eventual qualifiers (Spencer and Rankin). But Privivkova's squad then dropped three of their next four, which is never a good idea.

Quarterfinals start Monday morning with Bernard against Spencer, Anderson against Lawton, Middaugh against Moore and Rankin against Kleibrink. I'll have a report for you at some point. In the meantime, good curling!

Rankin, Anderson Reach the Quarterfinals

Heather Rankin and Sherry Anderson have won the qualifying spots from the B event, joining Cheryl Bernard and Sherry Middaugh in the quarterfinals.

Rankin stole 5 in the 7th end to crack open a close game against Stefanie Lawton, and won 9-3.

Anderson scored deuces in the first and third ends, and stole two more in the sixth, en route to a 7-4 win.

Kleibrink and Lawton join the other teams with two losses in the C event, from which four more teams will qualify for Monday's playoffs.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Home For Thanksgiving

It hasn't exactly been the best of curling weekends for Team Englot. Steals of two and three gave Moe Meguro a 5-0 lead after three ends, and the Japanese team hung on for a 7-3 victory, to make Englot's tenure in the C event a short one.

It could be worse for the Englot foursome. It's Thanksgiving weekend and now the players will have a chance to spend some time with their families.

They'll be back on the World Curling Tour in two weeks, at the Casinos of Winnipeg Women's Curling Classic, which begins October 24th.

In other action, Cheryl Bernard and Sherry Middaugh have qualified for the quarterfinals after winning four straight in the A event. And five other teams have been dismissed, including Georgina Wheatcroft, Renee Sonnenberg, and China's Bingyu Wang, who has been undefeated in qualifying in the previous two events.

That's all for now, but I'll be back.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Try, Try Again!

Michelle Englot got off to a slow start against Barb Spencer on Friday evening, giving up a steal of one in the first end, taking a single in the second and giving up a deuce in the third.

Down 3-1 after three, the team started their comeback with a deuce of their own in the fourth to tie it at 3-3 ... but then Spencer scored three in the fifth, held Englot to a single in the sixth, and scored two more in the seventh on the way to an 8-4 win.

It's been a tough day for Team Englot, who now drop into the C event, where they will face Japan's Moe Meguro tomorrow evening.

Heather Rankin, Kelly Scott, Cheryl Bernard and Liudmilla Privivkova remain unbeaten at 2-0 in the top half of the A draw, and eight teams in the bottom half are 1-0 and playing at the moment.

With their 0-2 record, Michelle and her team now need to win four in a row to reach the quarterfinals, and seven in a row to win the championship.

Even though they've started poorly, I wouldn't put it past them!

If At First You Don't Succeed ...

Team Englot started on the wrong foot this morning against Alison Goring, falling behind 5-0 after two ends in a game that ended 8-2.

So now it's off to the B event, where Englot's next opponent will be Winnipeg's Barb Spencer, who lost a 5-4 decision to Russia's Liudmilla Privivkova.

This morning's other games were won by: Amber Holland, Cheryl Bernard, Kristie Moore, Kelly Scott, Heather Rankin and Shannon Kleibrink ... and I'll be back when I know more.

Triple Knockout In Calgary

Team Englot returns to the World Curling Tour for a weekend in Calgary, where the Trail Appliances Curling Classic is about to begin. It's a triple-knockout preliminary, with 8 of 32 teams qualifying for single-knockout quarterfinals.

Team Englot's first game will be this morning against Ontario's Alison Goring. If they win that game, and three more in a row, they will get one of two qualifying spots from the A event.

Two teams with one loss each will qualify from the B event, and four teams with two losses each will qualify from the C event.

I might not be able to blog much this weekend but I will post updates when possible. In the meantime, you can follow the team's progress here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A New Team Photo

Here's a picture of the new team. You can click on the image to enlarge it.

From left to right: skip Michelle Englot, third Deanna Doig, second Roberta Materi and lead Cindy Simmons.

Team Saturn of Regina. Long may they rock.

Kleibrink Wins The Schmirler

Shannon Kleibrink has defeated Krista McCarville, 7-6, to win the CUETS Scmirler Curling Classic in Regina.

Kleibrink, down 3-2 without last rock after 5 ends, stole 3 in the 6th and another in the 7th to take a 6-3 lead. McCarville scored 3 in the 8th to force an extra end, but Kleibrink scored the last point of the day and took home the big bucks!

The final was a rematch of the Pool A game in which McCarville handed Kleibrink her only loss of the event, but she who wins last wins best. Kleibrink's record for the event was 7-1; McCarville finished at 7-3.

Congratulations to Shannon Kleibrink and her teammates, Amy Nixon, Bronwen Webster and Chelsey Bell. Congrats also to Krista McCarville and her team of Tara George, Kari MacLean-Kraft and Lorraine Lang.

The Kleibrink team will be in Vernon for the Twin Anchors Houseboat Cashspiel next weekend, and the following week we'll see them again, in Calgary, at the Trail Appliances Curling Classic.

Until next time ... good curling!

McCarville Reaches The Final, Will Face Kleibrink

Krista McCarville has reached the final of the CUETS Scmirler Curling Classic with a 10-3 semifinal victory over Cindy Street.

Shannon Kleibrink led Bingyu Wang, 6-0, after 3 ends of the other semi, and hung on to win despite a deuce and two steals by the Chinese team.

So it's Kleibrink and McCarville in the final. Soon.

Semifinals Set At Schmirler Classic

At the CUETS Scmirler Curling Classic, the quarterfinal games are all finished, and the semifinal matchups are set.

Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay handed Cheryl Bernard of Calgary her first loss of the event, and she'll face Cindy Street, who won a Pool D rematch against Heather Rankin, in one semifinal.

The other semifinal features Shannon Kleibrink, who stole 4 in the 8th to beat Sherry Middaugh, against China's Bingyu Wang, who eliminated Saskatoon's Stephanie McVicar to remain undefeated -- that's right: the only unbeaten team left in the field comes from China!

So it's McCarville vs. Street, and Kleibrink vs. Wang.

And I'll say more when I know more.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Big Ends Lift Street Over Englot

In their fifth game of the round-robin, Team Englot stole three singles through the first four ends against Cindy Street and held a 3-0 lead at the halfway point. But Street scored 3 in the 5th and 4 more in the 7th for a 7-4 victory.

Street's win left her record at 4-1, which proved good enough to win the pool when Heather Rankin defeated Stefanie Lawton in their final round-robin game. Rankin and Lawton finished tied for second in the pool with 3-2 records; Englot wound up at 2-3.

Street will be joined in Monday's quarterfinal round by the other group winners: Shannon Kleibrink and Sherry Middaugh, who also finished at 4-1, and Cheryl Bernard and Bingyu Wang, who won their pools with perfect 5-0 records.

Rankin, Lawton and eight other teams with 3-2 records advanced to the tie-breaker round, from which three additional quarterfinalists -- Rankin, Krista McCarville and Stephanie McVicar -- have also advanced.

Steal of 3 in 7 Proves Costly, Englot Now 2-2

Stefanie Lawton stole 3 points in the 7th end to break a 3-3 tie and hand Team Englot a second straight loss Saturday night. Team Englot now stands at 2-2 and will be hard-pressed to qualify for the playoffs, apparently. But strange things have been happening in this spiel and I'm not making any more predictions.

I've been posting information from the official website of the World Curling Tour, where several hours ago Stefanie Lawton's record was listed as 3-0 and she was scheduled to play Michelle Englot on Sunday afternoon. Now it says Lawton beat Englot on Saturday night but it lists her record as 3-1, and it now says she lost her first game, against Cindy Street. I don't know what happened but I assure you I'm not making this up.

Pool D standings at the moment, according to the official site, show Lawton and Street at 3-1, Englot and Heather Rankin at 2-2, and Chelsea Carey and Aileen Sormunen at 1-3. Rankin plays Lawton on Sunday while Street plays Englot, and a four-way tie at 3-2 is possible. That would lead to multiple tie-breakers, which are always fun -- for somebody!

I'll try to keep you up to date.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Too Late For Me

The next game in Pool D is too late for me tonight; hopefully I will be able to post something about it tomorrow morning. In the meantime, here's a look at the standings in all five pools.

There's a 3-way tie with one game remaining in Pool A. Shannon Kleibrink and Stephanie McVicar are both 3-1 and will face each other on Sunday; the winner is assured of at least a share of first place in the pool. Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay is also 3-1 and can grab a share of top spot with a win against Rene Miettinen (currently 2-2). Jan Betker (1-3) and Maureen Bonar (0-4) will meet in the other game of the final Pool A draw.

All the other teams have played 3 games each and it's too soon to speculate on their results ... or is it?

In Pool B, there's a three-way tie among Sherry Middaugh, Jolene McIvor and Janet Harvey (all 2-1). Mirjam Ott, Cathy Trowell and Mandy Selzer are all 1-2.

China's Bingyu Wang leads Pool C with a perfect 3-0 record; Penny Roy and Karen Porritt are both still in the hunt at 2-1. Sherry Anderson and Andrea Kelly are probably out of it at 1-2, and Leslie Rogers is definitely out at 0-3.

In Pool D, which we are following most intently, Stefanie Lawton leads at 3-0, and Michelle Englot is second at 2-1. All the others -- Heather Rankin, Cindy Street, Chelsea Carey and Aileen Sormunen, are 1-2.

Cheryl Bernard sits atop of Pool E at 3-0; Chantelle Eberle and Kerry Galusha are 2-1. Binia Feltscher and Kerri Flett are 1-2, and Amber Holland is 0-3.

The top team in each pool and the three teams with the next best records will advance to the quarterfinals, which begin Monday morning. And I'll be back with more tomorrow.

Third Time Not So Lucky

It was over after four ends: Rankin 7, Englot 0. Michelle had the hammer for the whole game. Not the sort of thing we like to see.

But there's still a long way to go, and Team Englot at 2-1 stand second in Pool D, trailing only Stefanie Lawton, against whom they play tomorrow in a rematch of last year's provincial final.

But first, a game against Cindy Street, later tonight. And we'll be hoping for a big rebound.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Second Game Proves A Tougher Test

In their second game of the round-robin at the CUETS Schmirler Curling Classic, Chelsea Carey of Winnipeg got off to an early 4-1 lead and Team Saturn have been chasing them ever since.

As I write this, Michelle is down two with last rock playing the eighth end of an eight-end game. It's not the ideal position, but it's not impossible to win from there. (Check with Mark Dacey and/or Pat Ryan, both of whom overcame 2-point deficits in the last end of a Brier Final). I'll have more....

UPDATE: A three-spot in the eighth did the trick, and Team Saturn snuck away with a 7-6 victory. Michelle and her team are now 2-0, tied for first place in Pool D with Stefanie Lawton. They'll play Heather Rankin (now 0-2) and Cindy Street (1-1) on Saturday, and Lawton Sunday. The playoffs are Monday, and we'll have more right here.

Team Englot Starts Off On The Right Foot

Michelle Englot and her team started their season in fine style, scoring a deuce in the first end and stealing three more in the second on the way to an 8-3 win in their first game of the 2008 CUETS Schmirler Curling Classic in Regina.

The victory, over Aileen Sormunen and her team from Duluth, Minnesota, gave Team Saturn a temporary share of first place in Pool D, which is full of good teams, including those skipped by Heather Rankin and Stefanie Lawton.

There's a long way to go but that's a great start. We can follow the team's progress here, I'll have more later, and there's a chance Michelle may be able to join us online during the weekend. We'll see.

But in the meantime, congratulations to the team on a good start.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Meet The Team

Lead: Cindy Simmons

Cindy Simmons [on the right in this photo] was born April 11, 1974, in Regina. She started curling at the age of 8, and learned the game from her parents, Anita and Gary Ford.

Cindy lives in Moose Jaw, with her husband, Pat Simmons (the skip of the men's provincial champions), daughter Makena (3) and son Max (1). She works at the Royal Bank there, as a Financial Planner.

Second: Roberta Materi

Roberta Materi [on the left in the photo above] was also born in Regina. She came to curling as a teenager, learning the basics from her high school coaches. Roberta lives in White City, SK, with her husband and their three children, and she works as a Human Resources Manager for SaskTel.

Roberta is the longest-serving member of the Englot team, having played (with Lorie Kehler and Joan Stricker) on the 2001 Provincial Champions and in the Olympic Trials later that year.

Third: Deanna Doig

Deanna Doig was born March 13, 1972, in Bethune, SK, She started curling there when she was 10, and learned the game from members of the local curling club.

Deanna lives in Emerald Park, SK, with her husband, Shawn Doig, and two children, Aiden (4 1/2) and Anna (3). She works for TransCanada, where she manages Field Operations for the Qu'Appelle area.

Deanna is new to the team this year [and we're still waiting for a photo] but she's no stranger to elite curling. She's been a member of the National Training Center in Calgary for the past decade, and was chosen to represent Canada at an international event in Karuizawa, Japan, in 2003. She has spent the past past four seasons with Heather Rankin's very successful team, appearing in two Canada Cups, three Players Championships and two Alberta provincial championships.

Skip: Michelle Englot

Michelle Englot was born in Montmartre, SK, on January 22, 1964. She started curling there at the age of 12, learning the basics from her grade 6 teacher, Mr. Jim Schnell, before playing on a team with her dad, her mom, and her older brother.

Michelle reached her first national championship in 1983, when she was a junior. Since then, she's played in seven other nationals (once in mixed and six times in women's play), finishing as high as third (twice).

Michelle lives in Regina, where she works for SaskTel as Manager of Corporate Communications. She has two sons [and we have a photo!]; Bret (19) is attending Northwood University in Cedar Hill, TX, on a golf/academic scholarship, and Derek (18) will be starting in Business Administration at the University of Regina next month.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Schedule of Events for 2008-2009


Sept. 26-29: Regina, SK
CUETS Schmirler Charity Curling Classic

Oct. 10-13: Calgary, AB
Trail Appliances Curling Classic

Oct. 24-27: Winnipeg, MB
Casinos of Winnipeg Women's Curling Classic

Nov. 7-10: Saskatoon, SK
Colonial Square Ladies Curling Classic

Nov. 14-17: Abbotsford, BC
Wayden Transportation Women's Grand Slam

Dec. 11-15: Ottawa, ON
John Shea Insurance Canada Cup Qualifier


January: Regina, SK
Provincial Playdowns begin

And then, perhaps...

Feb 21-Mar 1: Victoria, BC
Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Mar 18-22: Yorkton, SK
Canada Cup

Mar 21-29: Gangneung, Korea
Women's Worlds

April: Victoria, BC
Player’s Championship

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Saturn of Regina to Sponsor Team Englot

Saturn of Regina will be the exclusive sponsor of Team Englot for the 2008-9 curling season, according to an agreement reached last week.

Congratulations to skip Michelle Englot and her teammates, (new) third Deanna Doig, second Roberta Materi, and lead Cindy Simmons.

And congratulations to Saturn of Regina as well.

May this be the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Team Englot Online!

Hooray! Michelle Englot and her team now have a website. It's in its early stages and still none too pretty, but I'm pleased to be working on it. It's an exciting new project for me, and I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun.

Michelle is looking forward to a new season with a really good team, and she has some unfinished business to attend to, so we're excited about 2008-9 already.

We'll try to fix up the place and keep you up-to-date as the season approaches, and then ... hopefully we'll be able to keep up with the action.

So please excuse the mess while we get set up properly, and don't forget to join us again in the fall.