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.