SUMMERSIDE – Shannon Birchard pretty much summed up the story of the week so far for the women’s teams in the 2017 Home Hardware Road to the Roar Pre-Trials curling event.
“It’s anybody’s game right now; it's wide open,” said the skip from Winnipeg.
Birchard’s Thistle Curling Club team had just knocked the Kelsey Rocque foursome from Edmonton out of the ranks of the undefeated. Birchard goes into Thursday’s draws with a 2-2 (won-lost) record while Rocque is 2-1.
Birchard, who skipped the same team of Nicole Sigvaldason, Sheyna Andries and Mariah Mandor to a Canadian junior silver medal in 2013, took full advantage of hammer to score a deuce in the opening end en route to a 7-5 victory.
“That’s a huge goal of ours to get hammer,” she said of the pre-game practice last-rock draws.
While Birchard was downing Rocque in their A pool game, Briane Meilleur from Winnipeg was giving the same sort of treatment to the B pool’s only unbeaten team. Meilleur downed Kerri Einarson from East St. Paul, Man., 8-3.
Einarson now shares a 2-1 record in the B pool with three Ontario rinks – Coldwater’s Sherry Middaugh, Thunder Bay’s Krista McCarville and Mississauga’s Jacqueline Harrison. Meilleur is even at 2-2.
Thrilled to be competing
“We’re really thrilled to be here, and we worked hard to get here,” said Julie Tippin after just skipping her Woodstock, Ont., team to a 7-3 victory over Theresa Breen and her Mayflower Curling Club team from Halifax.
The win put Tippin at 2-1, and dropped Breen to 2-2 in the A pool.
“Everyone predicted it was going to be really tight right from the beginning; the field is so even,” said Tippin. “There are so many good teams in it, any game can go any way. It makes for a great, exciting event.”
Tippin admitted her team struggled with their weight on Monday.
“The last two days the ice is really great, and the draw weight has been really consistent and we’ve finally been able to really get a handle on it,” said Tippin, who skipped Ontario to a 7-5 record at the 2002 Canadian junior curling championships in Summerside. “And that’s what was key for us today: I finally had my draw weight, and that makes all the difference.”
Tippin praised her teammates – Chantal Duhaime, Rachelle Vink and Tess Bobbie. “They’re playing great,” she went on to say. “Everyone just works so hard every game on every shot, and in all aspects of the game.”