Lesser-known curlers show their mettle with shot at title
WHITBY, Ont. — There will be a new, first-time Ontario women’s curling champion on Sunday.
Three teams that aren’t household names to the average curling fan have survived the triple-knockout format and Page playoffs and will battle to wear the trillium at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton, B.C. later this month. And that’s a good sign.
Because while other provinces may have a better reputation for their depth of quality in women’s curling, the upsets that occurred this week at the Whitby Curling Club proves that southern Ontario is quite competitive as well.
“There truly are so many good teams,” Danielle Inglis said. “And this week the underdogs are coming up and showing what Ontario is made of.”
With a field that included the likes of Jacqueline Harrison, Allison Flaxey, Julie Tippin, and Sherry Middaugh in the 12-team field, few would have guessed that Inglis, Cathy Auld, and Hollie Duncan would be the last skips standing.
Inglis and her team of third Jessica Corrado, second Stephanie Corrado, and lead Cassandra de Groot advanced to Sunday afternoon’s final with an 8-5 win over Auld in the Page 1-2 game on Saturday.
Two ends made the difference for the team from the Dixie Curling Club. In the sixth she sat two on either side of the house, ready to concede a single. But Auld’s final shot slid too far, resulting in a steal of two. In the ninth, Inglis made a double takeout to score two and take a three point lead coming home.
“I felt at the beginning of the game I haven’t been as sharp as I have been all week,” Inglis said. “But I was feeling good towards the end of the game, and I don’t think those girls really missed.”
“We’re a completely different team than we have been all season. We’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
Inglis, originally of Whitby, is in her second provincials as a skip and fourth overall.
Auld still has a chance for her first title in 18 Ontario championship appearances. Her Listowel Curling Club team of third Lori Eddy, second Katie Cottrill, and lead Jenna Humphrey will play Duncan in the semifinal on Sunday morning.
Duncan scored a 5-4 win over Heather Heggestad in the Page 3-4 game, taking the winning point in the 10th end by rubbing her stone on the four-foot and hitting an opposing stone on the button the few inches required to stick for the win.
Earlier in the day, both Duncan and Heggestad scored upset wins. Duncan beat 2017 finalist Harrison 6-5, scoring two with last rock in the 10th. Duncan and her team of third Stephanie LeDrew, second Cheryl Kreviazuk, and lead Karen Sagle from the Royal Canadian Curling Club lost their first two games but have been on a roll since Thursday.
“Having our back against the wall is a good thing,” Duncan said. “We’ve tended to lose our first game at tournaments. We start a little bit slow. So it isn’t something we aren’t used to.”
Heggestad and her team of third Ginger Coyle, second Michelle Laidlaw, and lead Lauren Harrison from the Oakville Curling Club needed an extra end to beat Grand Slam regular and Olympic trials participant Flaxey 7-6. Heggestad improved on the 2-5 record she posted in her provincial debut last year.
“Anytime you have an experience at a provincials you always learn something,” she said.
“You take those lessons and you move forward with it.”
The semi-final begins at 9:30 a.m. with the final at 2:30 p.m.
Cathy Auld of Listowel Curling Club will take on Hollie Duncan.