Lethbridge rink wins curling classic

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December 3, 2015 8:15 AM

Lethbridge skip Casey Scheidegger remained perfect against Biggar, Sask. skip Brett Barber, scoring two in the final end of the Boundary Ford Curling Classic to win the bonspiel 5-4.

It improved her record to 6-0 lifetime against Barber on the World Curling Tour, and it was the closest game they have played against each other since first meeting at the Boundary Ford Curling Classic in 2010.

Barber went into the 10th end of Monday’s final up by one, but Scheidegger’s rink had two stones in the house when Barber released her final stone. Unfortunately, a pick in the ice sent the blue stone crashing into a guard, giving Scheidegger’s rink the championship.

“We had a good weekend,” said Scheidegger. “There was a couple little slip ups in a few of the games but we managed to battle through and come out on top.”

Scheidegger and her rink, which included third Cary-Anne McTaggart, second Jessie Scheidegger and lead Stephanie Enright, went 6-0 over the weekend, which included a 7-0 victory over the 2011 champion Jessie Kaufman rink in the quarter-finals and 5-4 a victory over the 2010 champion Shannon Kleibrink rink in the semifinals.

The victory earned Scheidegger and her team $5,000 in winnings, but also earned them a bye in playdowns for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts provincial qualifying. Now the Lethbridge team will move straight into the provincial tournament, looking to represent Alberta in this year’s Scotties tournament.

“It’s a great team building bonspiel and nice that we get the 10 ends as well to lead us into provincials,” said Scheidegger. “We were pretty nervous, especially in our semifinal, because we really wanted to get to that final.”

For Barber, while her team did make it to the final and earn $3,000 in winnings, it wasn’t an easy road considering they dropped their first two games of the bonspiel, including the first by forfeit due to illness. Barber herself was in the hospital until Thursday morning and her third, Robyn Despins, had the flu on Friday. Unable to make the trip for their opening game, they forfeited and went in the C side of the bracket on Saturday needing to win in order to make playoffs.

With decisive victories, winning 9-1 and 8-2, Barber got into the quarter-finals and scored 13 on the Sherry Anderson rink in a 13-8 high scoring game. An 8-4 victory over Chelsea Carey’s rink put them into the final, a respectable finish to a weekend that started off on the very wrong foot.

“It was quite a weekend considering I’m still really under the weather,” said Barber. “So I think we did a really great job coming up, (although) falling a little bit short in the final, but we curled a really great weekend.”

With two new players on her team, being runner-up at the Boundary Ford Curling Classic, right before playdowns, is a great sign for the team who believe they are peaking at the right time in order to make a run at the provincial championship.

“We have curled in a lot on bonspiels and this is the best we have done this year,” said Barber. “So we are definitely peaking at the right time and looking forward to getting to Estevan for the first start of playoffs.”

This year’s field had only 18 rinks, a drop in six rinks from last year and 14 from 2012 when the tournament welcomed 32 rinks.

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