Williamson squad plays seed-slayer

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

SOURIS -- Kristen Williamson assumed the role of seed killer on opening day of the Scott Tournament of Hearts provincial women's curling championship.

Scott participants vote to determine only the top-eight seeds for the event, but Williamson's Brandon rink wasn't among them. That didn't stop her from beating two seeded squads yesterday when round-robin action began at Murray Arena.

Williamson opened with a 7-6 win over St. Vital's Kristy Jenion, the No. 6 seed, and she added a 6-5 triumph over Fort Rouge's Ainsley Champagne, the No. 7 seed. It was Champagne's second loss of the day.

Williamson will find out just how good she is today; she takes on No. 3 Jennifer Jones of St. Vital this morning, and then meets No. 2 Barb Spencer of Fort Rouge this afternoon. Jones and Spencer, who won in 2002 and 2003, respectively, are also 2-0.

"There are six teams that could easily win the pool and we need to come hard for every single game, but particularly the first two days," Williamson said.

"It's way too early (to think about a playoff spot). ... We have a huge day (today) and then it will be just as huge of a day on Friday."

In the other pool, a pair of Brandon rinks -- defending champ Lois Fowler and Liza Park -- lead the way at 2-0. Fowler opened with a 7-5 win over The Pas' Lois Mosiondz and then needed only six ends to dispatch of Morden's Gwen Wooley 9-3 last night.

"We're happy with our play today," Fowler said. "Overall we played very consistent as a team."

The biggest upset of the day was Wooley's 8-5, extra-end win over Fort Rouge's Joelle Duguid, the No. 4 seed. Duguid bounced back with a 10-5 win over Mosiondz.

THOMPSON GIRLS: The Scott is going north once again.

The Manitoba Curling Association has all but named Thompson the host of the 2006 provincial women's curling championship, which will take place Jan. 25-29 at C.A. Nesbitt Arena.

The MCA will make the Thompson bid official at its management committee and board of directors meeting in March.

Thompson also hosted the Scott in 2001 and turned a profit of more than $20,000.

"It's a great community, a great place, and they put together such a good package," MCA president Lorne Hamblin said yesterday.

One of the key components of Thompson's Scott package in 2001 was a deal with airline Calm Air, which offered cheap flights in and out of the city. It's expected a similar arrangement will be made next year.

PEBBLES: Small towns always open their hearts, but Souris has opened its homes. Since most teams are staying in Brandon, which is 50 km northeast of Souris, the host committee found about a dozen local families that are allowing rinks to lounge in their houses between draws ... Cathy Gauthier, the lead for Jones, has asked all rinks to donate $5 per win this week. The proceeds will go to south Asia tsunami relief.


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