Joyce McDougall and her Brandon Curling Club team shuffled their lineup and reversed their fortunes on their way to a third straight provincial masters women’s curling championship in Winnipeg over the weekend.
McDougall bounced back from a 1-2 record in the round robin to win all three of her playoff games, including a 9-1 victory over Rita VandeVyvere’s Winnipeg squad.
Only four teams curled in the event and all four made the playoffs, which McDougall was thankful for as it gave her team a chance to figure out the ice that had vexed them early in the event.
“Everybody was in the playoffs and we kind of laughed when we first saw it,” McDougall said. “But we definitely needed those (round-robin games) to get into the ice because it was a lot different, swingier ice than we were used to curling on.”
To jump-start their progress, all four curlers switched positions. McDougall continued to hold the broom, but moved up to third in the lineup, with Van Daele throwing fourth. The front end of Cheryl Orr and Karen Dunbar also switched spots, with Orr moving up to lead.
“We weren’t doing what we were supposed to be doing,” said McDougall, who is also a four-time provincial senior women’s champion. “The little shake-up didn’t hurt us at all.”
It certainly didn’t hurt them in the final against VandeVyvere. McDougall cracked a four in the third end for a 5-1 lead, then ended the game by stealing four more in the fourth.
The win will give the team a chance to win its second national title at the Canadian masters championships, April 8-14 in Thunder Bay, Ont. McDougall won gold at nationals two years ago before finishing fourth last spring.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 4, 2013