Sunday, April 19, 2009

Englot Qualifies For Olympic Pre-Trials

The results of the Canadian Curling Association's Olympic Qualification Process are finally in, and for fans and friends of the Englot team, the news is very good!

Team Englot -- and 11 other teams -- have qualified for the pre-trials event to be held in Prince George in November, at which they will have an opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Trials, which will be held in Edmonton in December.

Four teams -- skipped by Jennifer Jones, Shannon Kleibrink, Cheryl Bernard and Stefanie Lawton -- have already qualified for the Trials and will bypass the pre-trials event.

They will be joined in Edmonton by the top four finishers from the pre-trials field, which will include: Kelly Scott, Sherry Middaugh, Marie-France Larouche, Heather Rankin, Rachel Homan, Crystal Webster, Cathy King, Krista McCarville, Amber Holland, Sherry Anderson, Eve BĂ©lisle and -- hooray! -- Michelle Englot.

Congratulations once again to Michelle and her teammates: third Deanna Doig, second Roberta Materi, and lead Cindy Simmons.

To them, to their families and friends, and to everyone else whose summer holiday just got a little bit sunnier: Cheers!

We'll see you all again in the fall...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

3 In 8th Is Golden: Jones Wins Players Championsip

Jennifer Jones scored a big three in the eighth end of the Players Championship final, erasing a 6-5 lead and emerging with an 8-6 win against Shannon Kleibrink.

Eight was a good total in this event: Jones reached the tournament final with an 8-4 win over Cheryl Bernard in the semifinal round, while Kleibrink earned her final berth with an 8-3 win over Kelly Scott.

Three was not so good. In the quarterfinals, Scott beat Krista McCarville, 6-3; Bernard beat Heather Rankin, 4-3; Kleibrink beat Rachel Homan, 5-3; and Jones beat Sherry Middaugh, 9-2.

Congratulations to the winners: skip Jennifer Jones, third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn Askin. And congratulations to all the other teams who reached the quarterfinals (or better) in this very strong event.

We will see many of these teams again soon. (And the results may very well be different!) But first, does anyone need to be told to enjoy their summer?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rankin Comeback Eliminates Englot

Heather Rankin scored a deuce in the seventh end to take a 6-5 lead, then stole a single in the eighth for a 7-5 win over Michelle Englot and one of the remaining qualifying spots at the Players Championship.

Englot and her teammates finish at 2-3 with the loss, and will watch the upcoming playoffs, hoping they have already done enough to earn a spot in the Olympic pre-trials.

It's been a tough year for the Englot team, with some fine performances ruined by one or two a really bad ends, but in some ways it's been a more productive campaign than 2007-8 (when they were provincial champions). I don't have to pretend to be neutral; I applaud their accomplishments and I hope they've done enough to stay in the hunt.

We'll know more soon enough.

Englot Drops A Close One

Regina's Michelle Englot battled back from a 4-1 deficit and took a late, slim lead against Kelowna's Kelly Scott on Friday afternoon at the Players Championship. But the lead was too slim, and the time was too late, and when Scott scored a deuce in the eighth end, it was good enough for an 8-7 victory.

Scott qualifies for the playoffs here with the win, while Englot drops to the "C" event for another chance to qualify -- and that game, which starts later this afternoon, will be against Heather Rankin.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Englot Edges Holland To Remain In "B" Event

Regina's Michelle Englot stole single points in the fifth and sixth ends, then took a single in the eighth for a tense 5-4 victory over Amber Holland and her team from Kronau, Saskatchewan.

Englot remains in the "B" event of the Players Championship with the win, and will play again on Friday afternoon against Kelly Scott. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bernard Too Tough For Englot At Players

Cheryl Bernard scored early and often against Michelle Englot on Wednesday night, winning a quick 10-2 decision and sending Englot to the "B" event of the Players Championship.

The Englot foursome are now 1-1 and their next game will be Thursday afternoon, against another Saskatchewan team, skipped by Amber Holland.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Englot Starts Players Championship With A Win

Michelle Englot and her Regina team got off to a slow start against Medicine Hat's Crystal Webster, and trailed, 7-4 after five ends of the scheduled eight.

But Webster never scored again. Englot scored two in the sixth, stole two in the seventh, and stole three more in the eighth end for an 11-7 victory.

Next for Englot is a familiar foe: Cheryl Bernard, who also had a 7-4 lead but managed to hang onto it in defeating Barb Spencer.

It's a triple-knockout and Englot is still in the "A" event. I'll tell you more when I know more.