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.