Kleibrink, Englot advance to Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Shannon Kleibrink talks about her fifth career Alberta Scotties title.

It was an action-packed Sunday for provincial curling championships.

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts field is just about set with only Ontario left to determine their representative while business is picking up on the men’s side for those looking to reach the Tim Hortons Brier.

Here’s our complete rundown of all the action:

Alberta: Kleibrink wins 5th career Alberta title

Shannon Kleibrink of Okotoks has captured her fifth career Jiffy Lube Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts title.

Kleibrink never trailed in Sunday’s final and held on to defeat Edmonton’s Val Sweeting 6-5.

While it’s the fifth provincial championship for Kleibrink, it’s the first for third Lisa Eyamie, second Sarah Wilkes and lead Alison Thiessen.

The 2006 Olympic bronze medallist Kleibrink had been in and out of her team’s lineup during the event due to a back problem. Two-time Canadian champion Heather Nedohin, who stepped back from competitive curling in 2015, filled in for a couple games during the triple knockout preliminary round and helped Team Kleibrink advance to the playoffs out of the A side with a 3-0 record.

The championship game was a rematch of the A-B page playoffs where Kleibrink stole a point in the extra end to slip past Sweeting 7-6 Saturday.

Sweeting also fell in last year’s final to Chelsea Carey of Calgary, who did not return to defend the provincial title having earned the Team Canada auto-berth to the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Kleibrink started the final with the hammer and made an open hit for a deuce in the first end. Sweeting blanked the second and third ends. The three-time provincial champ went back to the drawing board in the fourth and managed to manufacture a pair of points of her own to make it all square at 2-2.

After Sweeting froze on top of Kleibrink’s shot stone in the fifth, Kleibrink looked to draw into the four-foot circle for two, but kissed off the counter and rolled too far for just one and a 3-2 lead.

Things unravelled in the second half for Sweeting as she aimed to make a runback with her last in six but didn’t get the right angle and missed Kleibrink’s counter for a steal. Kleibrink pulled off a double takeout to sit three in the seventh and Sweeting was off the mark with her last, hitting and rolling to give up two and trail 6-2.

Sweeting struggled again in eight and was only able to hit and stick for just one. Facing a couple in the ninth, Kleibrink peeled out the back one to concede a point, but retained the hammer for the final frame up by two.

Kleibrink didn’t need to toss her last rock as Sweeting was unable to sit two following her final stone and shook hands.

Earlier Sunday, Sweeting advanced to the final with a 5-3 win over Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge in the semifinal.

After blanking the first, Sweeting was forced to hit and stick for a single in the second. Scheidegger blanked three and looked to put zeroes on the board again in four, but hit and stuck for one to knot it up.

Sweeting hit for two in six and a 3-1 lead then limited Scheidegger to another single in eight. The three-time provincial champion Sweeting looked to make a double runback to score in the ninth but misfired and when the dust settled it was Scheidegger’s stone counting for a steal to bring things level again at 3-3.

Sweeting sat two prior to her last in the 10th and didn’t throw again as Scheidegger was heavy with her final rock and shook hands.

Both skips are Grand Slam victors this season with Sweeting taking the Tour Challenge in November and Scheidegger capturing the Meridian Canadian Open earlier this month in her GSOC elite debut.

Manitoba: Englot captures Manitoba Scotties title


Skip Michelle Englot, third Kate Cameron, second Leslie Wilson-Westcott, lead Raunora Westcott, alternate Krysten Karwacki and coach Ron Westcott celebrate with the Manitoba Scotties trophy.

Michelle Englot has punched her ticket to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Englot topped Darcy Robertson 8-6 in the all-Winnipeg final at the Manitoba provincial championship on home ice Sunday at Eric Coy Arena.

The Regina native Englot captured seven Saskatchewan titles before joining Winnipeg’s Kate Cameron, Leslie Wilson-Westcott and Raunora Westcott this season. The trio, along with skip Kristy McDonald, fell to Kerri Einarson’s team in last year’s provincial championship game.

After Englot settled for a single in the first, Robertson looked to draw through a port for one but came up light to give up a point. Robertson, a three-time provincial victor, rebounded with a deuce in the third to tie it.

Englot tapped for two in the fourth end to retake the lead and Robertson made an angle raise to promote her own guard into the house for a single in five. Facing three, Englot looked to draw to the button and came up just light to give up a steal of two and the lead.

Englot chipped out Robertson’s shot stone to leave one of her own around for a single in seven. A great hit and roll to lie bury in eight gave Englot shot stone. Robertson needed to draw fully into the four-foot circle to outmatch and only made it into the eight as Englot stole to pull back ahead 6-5. Robertson couldn’t get her last in for two in the ninth and only got a single that evened the score.

Englot sat two in the 10th and didn’t need to throw her last as Robertson looked to angle raise one of her own but crashed on a counter instead.

Robertson stunned seven-time provincial champ Jennifer Jones 8-6 in Sunday’s semifinal.

It’s the first time Jones has competed in the Manitoba Scotties and not won the provincial championship since 2004.

Jones struggled from the start opening with the hammer and giving up a pair when her last rock rolled too deep. The 2014 Olympic gold medallist sat shot stone in the second and settled for just the single as she couldn’t get the right angle on the raise to knock out Robertson’s rock to score more.

Team Jones fell into trouble in the third end and Robertson looked to capitalize and score three, but her final shot hit and rolled out for just two and a 4-1 lead. Jones bounced back cutting into the lead with a brilliant run double followed by a draw for a deuce on her skip stones in the fourth end.

Robertson was forced to draw for a single in the fifth while facing three counters. Jones was short an inch with her draw in the sixth to give up a steal as Robertson regained the three-point advantage to go up 6-3.

Jones looked to be back in control erasing the deficit with a deuce in seven and a steal of one in eight when Robertson was light with her draw and the sweepers kicked it off early.

But the woes continued for Jones as she hogged a rock in the ninth to open the door for Robertson to set the table and make a wide-open hit to score a couple and pull back ahead by two. It was handshakes in the 10th as Jones fell short of the house on her first skip stone with no chance to tie the game.

Jones was on a roll to start the tournament, posting a 7-0 record in round-robin play, until falling to Englot 9-5 in Saturday’s 1 vs. 1 page playoff match.

Robertson clipped Shannon Birchard 7-6 in the 2 vs. 2 page playoff game.

Englot, Robertson and Einarson all went 5-2 through the round-robin. Englot advanced straight through to the 1 vs. 1 game based on aggregate draw-to-the-button scores while Robertson drilled Einarson 12-3 in a tiebreaker to eliminate the defending champion.

New Brunswick: Adams tops Mallais in final

Melissa Adams of Fredericton has captured the New Brunswick Scotties title in Miramichi.

Adams scored four in the sixth to power past Sarah Mallais of Saint John 9-6 in Sunday’s final.

Newfoundland & Labrador: Gushue to play in hometown Brier

Brad Gushue will compete for the Tim Hortons Brier in his hometown of St. John’s, N.L.

Gushue captured his 14th career men’s provincial championship defeating Adam Boland 6-2 in Saturday’s final.

We can't wait to wear this crest in a few weeks, see you at The Brier in St. John’s!

A photo posted by Team Gushue (@teamgushue) on

It was only Gushue’s third tournament of the season after missing the opening three months due to a hip/groin issue. The 36-year-old hasn’t missed a beat since his return making it to the semifinals at the Boost National last month and capturing his seventh career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title just three weeks ago at the Meridian Canadian Open.

Gushue, the 2006 Olympic gold medallist, has yet to win the Brier finishing runner-up twice including last year’s event in Ottawa. Calgary’s Kevin Koe topped Gushue in the final and returns to the men’s national championship with the Team Canada auto-berth.

Meanwhile, Stacie Curtis will make her fourth appearance for Newfoundland and Labrador at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Curtis went on a 4-1 run through the women’s provincial championship capped with an 8-4 win over Shelley Hardy in the final.

Nova Scotia: Mattatall takes down defending champ Brothers

Mary Mattatall defeated defending champion Jill Brothers 10-4 in Sunday’s final at the Nova Scotia Scotties in Halifax.

Meanwhile, Jamie Murphy outlasted Stuart Thompson 9-7 in an extra end to claim his fourth career Nova Scotia Deloitte Tankard in six years.

Murphy will compete in a pre-qualifying tournament against Eddie MacKenzie of P.E.I., Jim Nixon of Nunavut and Yukon’s Craig Kochan with the winner advancing to the Tim Hortons Brier.

Saskatchewan: Barker outlasts Silvernagle in final

Penny Barker of Moose Jaw has captured her first career Viterra Saskatchewan Scotties championship.

Barker scored four in the 10th to outlast Robyn Silvernagle 10-7 in Sunday’s final in Melville.

Silvernagle opened with the hammer, but it was Barker who jumped out to a 4-0 stealing the first trio of ends.

The North Battleford native Silvernagle rallied back with a deuce in four. The teams alternated with singles in five and six, Silvernagle stole one in seven and Barker settled for one in seven to stay ahead 6-4. Silvernagle went ahead by one with a three-ender in nine to set up the dramatic finish as Barker battled back to win.

Earlier Sunday, Barker stole three in the 10th to slip past Saskatoon’s Stefanie Lawton 8-6 in the semifinal.

2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts teams

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts runs Feb. 18-26 in St. Catharines, Ont.

Team Skip/Competition Dates
Canada Chelsea Carey
Alberta Shannon Kleibrink
B.C. Marla Mallett
Manitoba Michelle Englot
New Brunswick Melissa Adams
Newfoundland & Labrador Stacie Curtis
Northern Ontario Krista McCarville
Nova Scotia Mary Mattatall
Ontario Jan. 30 – Feb. 5
P.E.I. Robyn MacPhee
Quebec Eve Belisle
Saskatchewan Penny Barker
Northwest Territories Kerry Galusha
Nunavut Geneva Chislett
Yukon Sarah Koltun

Note: New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon will play in a pre-qualifying tournament Feb. 16-18.

2017 Tim Hortons Brier teams

The Tim Hortons Brier runs March 4-12 in St. John’s, N.L.

Team Skip/Competition Dates
Canada Kevin Koe
Alberta Feb. 8-12
B.C. Feb. 8-12
Manitoba Feb. 8-12
New Brunswick Feb. 8-12
Newfoundland & Labrador Brad Gushue
Northern Ontario Feb. 8-12
Nova Scotia Jamie Murphy
Ontario Jan. 30 – Feb. 5
P.E.I. Eddie MacKenzie
Quebec Jean-Michel Menard
Saskatchewan Feb. 1-5
Northwest Territories Jamie Koe
Nunavut Jim Nix
Yukon Craig Kochan

Note: Nova Scotia, Nunavut, P.E.I. and Yukon will play in a pre-qualifying tournament.

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