Sweeping away losing habits

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:10 AM ET

Competing at provincial curling championships has become something of a habit for Kanata's Jenn Hanna.

She'll wear the red-white-black provincial colours for a ninth straight year when she leads her team into the Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts, which begins today at the Rideau Curling Club.

Her streak began in 1997 as a junior and has taken her to various locales across the province.

"I'm very proud of that," said the 25-year-old skip, who begins the tournament this afternoon against Guelph's Chrissy Cadorin as the 10-team round-robin's only Ottawa team.

One habit she'll be trying to break is a three-year string of Scott playoff losses. Last year in Sudbury, Hanna led her squad to an 8-1 record and first place in the round-robin, but lost a semi-final heartbreaker to the Soo's Elaine Uhryn.

The previous year in Brampton, as vice for Rideau's Darcie Walker, she lost the championship game to Anne Dunn.

And in 2002 at Thunder Bay while playing second for Anne Merklinger, she was eliminated in a semi-final against Sherry Middaugh.

"I've knocked on the door a lot of times," said Hanna, who has one Ontario title -- the 1998 junior crown which she won as a skip.

"It's actually comforting to know that you've been close so many times because there's an unwritten rule that, at some point, you're going to win it."

Hanna and teammates Pascale Letendre, Dawn Askin and younger sister Stephanie Hanna had a great season on the money tour and cruised through the zone and regional playdowns by going undefeated in six games to earn a berth in the provincials.

They expect to hit a few more bumps during the Scott.

"Looking at the schedule, it's like you can't see any easy games in there," said Hanna. "There's going to be some tie-breakers at the end of the week and it's going to come down to the last day of the round-robin to determine who's in the playoffs."

Big names Middaugh, the defending champ, and Rideau's Merklinger won't be competing in the tournament as both teams did not get through their respective regional playdowns and challenge rounds.

Brantford's Jo-Ann Rizzo, who won the Canada Cup East last month at the Rideau, is considered one of the favourites along with Hanna.

"It's an even field, but if we bring our A-game, somebody is going to have to be a lot better to beat us," said Hanna. "You can't control anything but your own game."

The winner of Sunday's final gets a berth in the national Scott Tournament of Hearts next month in St. John's.

ONTARIO SCOTT TOURNAMENT OF HEARTS

Kathy Brown, Sutton; Chrissy Cadorin, Guelph; Tara George, Thunder Bay; Jenn Hanna, Ottawa; Janet McGhee, Uxbridge; Kim Moore, St. Catharines; Jo-Ann Rizzo, Brantford; Krista Scharf, Thunder Bay; Dawn Schwar, Sudbury; Elaine Uhryn, Sault Ste. Marie

When -- Round-robin, two draws daily starting today and running through Thursday. One draw held on Friday. Playoffs held on Friday and Saturday. Final at 1:30 on Sunday.

Where -- Rideau Curling Club, 715 Cooper St. (corner of Percy St.) in Centretown.


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