Brandon’s Lois Fowler is looking to win her third straight Curlettes league title this season. (FILE PHOTO)
The Stream ‘n’ Wood Curlettes season is one week away and two-time defending champion Lois Fowler still isn’t sure what her team will look like.
Fowler’s third, Gwen Wooley, will be away from the team for a couple weeks while trying to recover from a concussion and regular lead Joan Robertson has decided not to play in the league this season. Fowler has picked up Jill Hazlewood, who will now be a regular on the front end, and Lori Manning has moved up to third. However, Fowler is still looking for another player to fill in while they wait for Wooley to return.
While that could be bad news for Fowler, she’s taking it in stride. She views the Curlettes as an opportunity to prepare her team for the provincial senior women’s championship, which will be held in Souris in February.
She hopes the seven Curlettes games will benefit Manning the most.
"If Lori does have to remain on the team as a third, it gives her a chance to gain some confidence and her and I can work together and we’ll see what happens for the remainder of the season," said Fowler, who went 6-0 in the Curlettes league last year.
This year’s league will feature eight teams, with Fran Dagg’s foursome joining the seven returning squads.
They will play at the Brandon Curling Club on Wednesday mornings at 9:15, starting next week.
Although she ran the table last season, Fowler knows the league will be tough.
"You can’t take anybody lightly," she said. "It’s good curling."
Fowler would like to win a third straight title, but that’s not her ultimate goal for the season. She wants to get back to provincials and avenge her loss in last year’s final. She’ll do everything she can to make that goal a reality.
"We certainly want to get back to senior provincials," she said. "That’s why we curl in the league and we do play in the open league Wednesday night. It gives us a couple of games together during the week, even though our team’s not going to be together in the Curlettes. Three of us will be, so we’ll see what we can do."
BERTH BONSPIEL: Neil Cowie’s Brandon Curling Club foursome is the only Westman team competing at the junior men’s provincial berth bonspiel, which runs from Friday through Sunday. The 15 teams in the field will compete for one berth in the provincial championship.
WCT: Portage la Prairie will be hopping from Friday through Monday with the Canad Inns Prairie Classic men’s bonspiel and the Manitoba Lotteries Women’s Curling Classic, both World Curling Tour stops. Teams skipped by Brandonites in the men’s event include the Rob Fowler, Terry McNamee and Scott Ramsay foursomes. Former Brandonites Mike McEwen and William Lyburn are also in the field. Brandon’s Maureen Bonar, who plays third for Kim Link, will play in the women’s bonspiel.
MCT: McNamee is in a tie for fourth place in the MCT rankings, with 30 points, while Ramsay’s team is in the five-way tie for fourth place. Winnipeg’s Sean Grassie leads the way at 55 points.
In the women’s rankings, Carberry’s Tina Kozak is tied for ninth place with 7.5 points. Stonewall’s Kate Cameron is first, with 35.
CTRS: Lyburn is in ninth place in the Canadian Team Ranking System with 28.525 points, while McEwen is 14th with 20 points. Fowler doesn’t have any points yet.
EXTRA ENDS: The Brandon Curling Club will hold a steak/chicken dinner night to raise money for the provincial junior curling championships, which it will host in January. The dinner, on Nov. 9 at the Canad Inns Roadhouse, starts at 5 p.m.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by contacting Sharon Shannon at 204-729-9009 or Barry Rabe at 204-725-8830.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 18, 2012