Fowler came into the final round-robin match needing a win and a little help from British Columbia to keep her hopes alive at the 2013 Canadian senior curling championships, and that’s exactly what she got.
Minutes after downing the previously-undefeated Nova Scotia squad, Quebec fell 7-6 to British Columbia’s Karen Lepine in a dramatic 10th end.
With British Columbia sitting shot rock, sandwiched between two Quebec stones, Derick attempted to maneuver through the guards and push back another of her own stones to catch the side of the shot rock while avoiding her other stones. The shot narrowly missed.
It was a gutsy shot, but Derick couldn’t help but go for it.
“It was either that or go for an outside draw,” Derick said. “But I saw that shot there. We just missed it by about a half a centimetre.”
Throughout the game, spectators glanced back and forth across several sheets of ice at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club, trying to follow the action and piece together the consequences.
Three matches ongoing at the same time had vital links to one another. With Alberta and Quebec sitting at a 7-3 (won-lost) record heading in, and Northern Ontario and Manitoba at 6-4, the possibility existed for a four-way tie for the two berths in the semifinal.
To ensure she wasn’t distracted, Alberta’s Deb Santos didn’t even look at the standings before playing her game.
“I purposely didn’t look at anything before I came into the game,” said Santos. “I just knew we had to win, so I just tried to focus on my own game.”
The focus paid off as she defeated Northern Ontario’s Vicki Barrett 9-5 score, cementing her second-place finish.
“I purposely didn’t look at anything before I came into the game. I just knew we had to win, so I just tried to focus on my own game.” - Alberta skip Deb Santos
Santos’ squad went on the offensive in the first half, posting deuces in the first and third ends, and a three-point end in the fourth. They led 7-2 going into the break.
In the second half, Northern Ontario would hold them at bay and chip away at the lead, but a double in the ninth end sealed the victory for Alberta. Barrett conceded and the teams shook on the final end.
Despite this, Santos feels her team didn’t play its best game.
“We didn’t curl as good as we have in some games,” she said. “The ice was a bit tricky, and we hadn’t played on that sheet before. But I think we played fairly well.”
Still unbeknownst whom her team will face tomorrow, Santos said it didn’t bother her either way.
“I don’t worry about who we play, I just make my own shots,” said Santos.
While Derick’s team can take comfort in knowing they defeated Fowler’s on Thursday night, it’ still not an ideal situation to fall into, she said.
“We knew that destiny was in our own hands,” said Derick. “We knew if we won that game we’d be in second place, but now we’re in a tiebreaker tomorrow (Saturday) morning.”
Doing things the difficult way won’t bother her, however.
“We’ll regroup after this loss and we’ll come back,” she added.
The winner of Friday’s tiebreaker will go on to face Santos in the semifinals. The winner of that matchup will face Nova Scotia’s Pinkney in the final on Sunday at noon.