SUMMERSIDE – What a difference a day makes.
Julie Tippin and her Woodstock, Ont., team of Chantal Duhaime, Rachelle Vink and Tess Bobbie carried a 7-1 fifth-end lead Sunday into a berth in next month’s Canadian Olympic women’s curling qualifying tournament in Ottawa.
Tippin, whose team also consists of coach Barry Westman, went on to win Sunday’s Home Hardware Road to the Roar Olympic Pre-Trials B final at Eastlink Arena 7-3 over a Winnipeg rink skipped by Briane Meilleur.
That’s the same team that Tippin lost to in the semifinal of the A section playoffs on Saturday.
In Saturday’s game, Tippin led 4-0 after three ends before the wheels came off. Meilleur was up 6-4 after six ends, and won the game 7-5.
Tippin took 4-1 lead after three ends on Sunday, but this time there was no Meilleur comeback, although there was a chance of one in the fourth end.
Tippin was counting one and three when Meilleur prepared to throw hammer in the fourth looking for a double to score three. She hit the rock she wanted, but that rock jammed on the other, and Tippin escaped with a steal of one. She stole two more in the fifth, and never let Meilleur get set up the rest of the way.
“We just needed to keep focused and keep playing,” Tippin said of how her rink answered back on Sunday. “We played great throughout the week, and we knew that we just had to come out and play our best and focus on every shot right to the end, and we did.”
She admitted the fourth end got scary, and they got lucky.
“That was huge,” Coach Westman said of stealing one instead of giving up three in the fourth.
Westman considered Sunday’s final, and the chance it provides for Team Tippin to play in the Olympic qualifier (2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings), made the B final the biggest game the team has ever been in.
Westman said his pre-game advice was that “although it’s a big game, we just have to keep doing the little things that we do well.”
There’s only a day’s rest for Team Tippin before they enter a Grand Slam event in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., where they will face some of the teams that have already qualified for the Roar of the Rings.