Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kleibrink Takes Canada Cup

Shannon Kleibrink, down 4-3 playing the ninth end against Marie-France Larouche, scored a deuce to take the lead, then stole a single in the tenth to cement a 6-4 comeback and win the Canada Cup on Sunday morning.

It's another highlight in a fine season for the Alberta team, which has been nearly unbeatable for long stretches of this long season.

Congratulations to Shannon Kleibrink and her team: third Amy Nixon, second Bronwen Webster and lead Chelsey Bell.

Congratulations also to Larouche and her team of third Annie Lemay, second Joelle Sabourin and lead Veronique Brassard.

I'm sure we'll see both of these teams again before long.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Larouche Reaches Canada Cup Final

Marie France Larouche and her team from Quebec scored a 7-6, extra-end victory over Cheryl Bernard and her Alberta squad to reach the final of the Canada Cup in Yorkton.

Bernard, who started without last rock, trailed four times, and tied the game each time, but could never take the lead.

Larouche will meet another Alberta team, skipped by Shannon Kleibrink, in tomorrow morning's final.

Bernard Starts Too Fast For Englot

Cheryl Bernard stole a deuce in the first end and four more in the second, then hung on for an 8-5 win over Michelle Englot in the Page 2-vs-2 game of the Canada Cup in Yorkton.

Meanwhile, Shannon Kleibrink scored a 6-4 decision over Marie-France Larouche in the 1-vs-1 game to reach the event final. Bernard will face Larouche in the semifinal.

Congratulations to Michelle Englot and her teammates, third Deanna Doig, second Roberta Materi and lead Cindy Simmons, on reaching the final four at such an event.

And congratulations to Larouche, Bernard, Kleibrink and their teams, who have done even better.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Enlgot Wins Tie-Breaker!

Michelle Englot and her Regina team have captured the last remaining playoff spot in the Canada Cup with a 7-6, extra-end victory over Mary Anne Arsenault and her team from Halifax.

The game was a thriller, with the momentum -- and the lead -- shifting back and forth, and back again!

Englot started without last rock but limited Arsenault to a single in the first end, then blanked the second and scored three in the third, establishing a sliver of control.

But that didn't last long, as Arsenault cashed a deuce in the fourth and stole a single in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead at the half-way point.

That lead didn't last long either, as Englot tied it with a single in the sixth, and stole singles in ends seven and eight.

Up 6-4 and finally without last rock playing the ninth, Englot gave Arsenault another single point, to hold the lead and the hammer coming home. And now it was Arsenault's turn to steal a single, tying the game at 6-6 and forcing an extra end.

But the parade of steals was over (although the parade of singles was not), and Englot scored the final point, won the game and advanced to the playoffs.

It's been a bit of a grind for the Englot team, who had to sit all day and then play two games after supper. But they're still in with a shout, and they have another one before breakfast, this time against Cheryl Bernard.

Nothing ever gets easier.

Lawton Knocks Englot Into Tie-Breaker

Stefanie Lawton broke open a close game with consecutive steals in the 7th and 8th ends and handed Michelle Englot a tough 11-4 loss in Friday night's final round-robin draw at the Canada Cup in Yorkton.

It was a strong finish for the Lawton foursome, who started the event poorly but seem incapable of playing badly for more than about three games in a row. Even with the win, they finished out of the playoffs, tied for third place in Group B with a 2-3 record.

The loss dropped Englot into a tie with Mary Anne Arsenault for second place in Group A. Both teams finished the round-robin with 3-2 records, one game behind the group winner, Shannon Kleibrink. Kelly Scott finished fourth with a 2-3 record, and Sherry Middaugh rounded out the group at 0-5.

Kleibrink advances to the Page 1-vs-1 playoff game against Group B winner Marie France Larouche, who like Kleibrink finished at 4-1.

Second place in Group B went to Cheryl Bernard, who finished her round-robin at 3-2. And the other teams in Group B, skipped by Amber Holland, Cathy King and Stefanie Lawton, all shared third place at 2-3.

So it'll be Arsenault and Englot in a late-Friday-night tie-breaker, with the winner advancing to an early-Saturday-morning match with Bernard in the Page 2-vs-2 game.

The winner of the 1-1 game will get a spot in the final, and the loser of that game will play the winner of the 2-2 game in the semifinal. And I will return soonest, with news from the tie-breaker.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Englot Cruises Past Middaugh To Grab The 'A' Pool Lead

Michelle Englot stole a pair of three-enders against Sherry Middaugh on Thursday night, and left the ice early with a 9-3 win and a 3-1 record. The victory moves Englot to the top of the table in the 'A' pool, followed by Mary Anne Aresnault, Shannon Kleibrink, and Kelly Scott, who are all 2-1. Middaugh rounds out the pool at 0-4.

Englot plays again Friday evening against Stefanie Lawton, who is still winless in this event but will be a most formidable opponent. A win for the Englot squad will guarantee them at least a tie-breaker.

Englot Topples Arsenault To Share Top Spot

Michelle Englot got off to a fast start against Mary Anne Arsenault on Thursday afternoon, and weathered a strong comeback before scoring a deuce in the tenth end for a 7-5 victory. Englot's record improves to 2-1, tying Arsenault for a share of first place in the 'A' pool. Shannon Kleibrink, who beat Amber Holland in the afternoon, and Kelly Scott, who knocked off Cathy King in the morning, also share top billing, for the moment. All four teams lead winless Sherry Middaugh by two full games, with two games remaining for each team.

Englot resumes on Thursday evening against Middaugh.

In the 'B' pool, Marie-France Larouche remains unbeaten at 3-0, followed by Holland at 2-1. Cheryl Bernard and Cathy King are both 1-2, while Stefanie Lawton is still winless at 0-3. Englot finishes the preliminary round on Friday night against Lawton.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kleibrink Too Much For Englot (This Time!)

Shannon Kleibrink avenged an early-season shutout loss with a six-end triumph over Michelle Englot in the fourth draw of the Canada Cup on Wednesday evening. Kleibrink scored two deuces and a three-ender to lead, 7-3 at the break, then stole two more to make the final score 9-3. Both teams are now 1-1, tied with Kelly Scott for second place in the 'A' pool. Mary Anne Arsenault leads the table with a 2-0 record, while Sherry Middaugh is 0-2.

Amber Holland and Marie-France Larouche lead the 'B' pool with 2-0 records; Cathy King is 1-1, and Cheryl Bernard and Stefanie Lawton are both 0-2.

Englot resumes tomorrow with games against Arsenault and Middaugh, before meeting Lawton in the final draw on Friday. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the playoffs.

Englot Off To A Great Start At Canada Cup

Michelle Englot, held to a game-tying single in the 10th end, stole the extra end to defeat Kelly Scott in opening-draw action at the Canada Cup in Yorkton this morning.

Englot now leads the 'A' pool with a 1-0 record; Scott and Sherry Middaugh are both 0-1, and the other teams in the pool -- skipped by Shannon Kleibrink and Mary Anne Arsenault -- are just getting started.

Each team will play five games: four in the pool and one cross-over. Englot resumes this evening against Kleibrink, plays Arsenault and Middaugh tomorrow, and finishes the preliminary round on Friday against defending champion Stefanie Lawton.

Lawton got off to a rough start this morning, losing 10-4 against Cathy King. King stole four ends worth six points as Lawton found the hammer toxic. Sometimes it goes that way. But only for a while, and the Lawton foursome will certainly be tough on Friday.

Amber Holland beat Cheryl Bernard, 8-5, in another 'B' pool match this morning, the same score by which Marie-France Larouche beat Middaugh in the morning's crossover game.

The top two teams from each pool will advance to a true Page Playoff, with the pool winners meeting for a spot in the final, while the pool runners-up meet for a spot in the semifinal. And those games will be on TSN later this weekend.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Englot To Play In Canada Cup

Team Canada's victory in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts sends them to the World Championship in Korea, which -- unfortunately -- conflicts with the Canada Cup, for which Jennifer Jones and her team had already qualified.

Fortunately, the team next in line for a berth in the Canada Cup just happens to be available. So when play begins on March 18th, Michelle Englot will be there, along with the rest of her team: Deanna Doig, Roberta Materi and Cindy Simmons.

Yorkton, Saskatchewan. March 18-22, 2009. Be there if you can.

Michelle starts at 12:30 Wednesday afternoon (local time) against Kelly Scott.

And I'll keep you posted.