Local curlers joining Calgary team

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Team Prince Edward Island's Erin Carmody, left, and Geri-Lynn Ramsay laugh while playing against Team Nova Scotia during the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on Feb. 2.

Crystal Webster's trip to Prince Edward Island last month didn't produce a Canadian women's curling title, but it did produce a new team.

The Calgary skip travelled to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts as the alternate for Shannon Kleibrink's Alberta squad, and shortly before leaving she was told that her own team was breaking up.

Her third, Lori Olson-Johns, was asked to join Cheryl Bernard's new team, while her second, Joanne Taylor, decided to play with Val Sweeting next season.

But during her 10 days in Charlottetown, she managed to convince two of the country's brightest young prospects, Erin Carmody and GeriLynn Ramsay, to move west.

They'll join Webster and her longtime teammate Sam Preston on a new team for the 2011-12 curling season.

"It's exciting, because we didn't really know where we (she and Preston) were going to go with our team," said Webster, who skipped at the 2009 Olympic Trials and missed the playoffs at the Scotties Alberta women's championship in January in Camrose.

"We still have aspirations of qualifying for the (2013) Trials process, and I think this gives us a good lineup to give that a go."

Carmody and Ramsay made a splashy debut at the women's level last season after brilliant junior careers. Teaming with Island veterans Kathy O'Rourke and Trish Affleck, they lost a heartbreaking final to Team Canada's Jennifer Jones at the 2010 Scotties in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., with Carmody throwing skip rocks (O'Rourke called the game) and Ramsay tossing third stones.

Carmody was named the playoff MVP at the Scotties, despite the extra-end loss to Team Canada.

Ramsay was planning to move to Alberta with her boyfriend, who has a job here, and Carmody was pursuing educational opportunities off the Island, and after meeting with Webster during the Scotties, the team was put together.

The Calgary-based team will feature Preston and Ramsay on the front end and Webster and Carmody on the back, with the final rotation yet to be decided.

"It's a little bit tough because we don't have a whole bunch of experience with them, but they obviously had some great success at the Scotties last year and proved that they could play well under pressure in big games," Webster said.

"Nationals experience is something that Sam and I don't have, and that's an advantage to bring to our team. They're young, they're passionate about the game and they have the time to put into it. So for all of those reasons, I think it's a good fit."

Organizations: Team Canada

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Calgary Charlottetown Camrose Sault Ste. Marie

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