Bryden needs a win

ANGELA MACISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:52 AM ET

LETHBRIDGE -- Renelle Bryden has gone from can't lose to must win. After a 5-4 extra-end loss to fellow Calgarian Shannon Kleibrink last night, Bryden stands on shaky ground for a playoff spot at the Alberta Scott Tournament of Hearts.

She needs a victory against Cathy King of Edmonton to stay out of a tie with Grande Prairie's Renee Sonnenberg, who beat her 7-5 earlier yesterday, should Sonnenberg beat Diane Foster of Calgary in the final draw of the round-robin.

"We play for Ws so that was a very, very disappointing game for us," Bryden said after giving Kleibrink a steal of one in the extra end. "But there's lots more curling left for us."

Bryden was off to a 4-0 start before yesterday's defeats. She knew heading into last night's game it was going to be a barnburner and, on a night of blowouts, the two Calgarians provided the almost-full house some great entertainment.

The three other games were all done early with Deb Santos of Edmonton shellacking Foster 11-1 in six ends, Sonnenberg dumping Jodi Busche of Fort St. John 11-2 in six ends and King thrashing Cindy Serna of Edmonton 10-2.

"Both teams were playing so well," Kleibrink said. "That could have gone either way."

Kleibrink aced double takeouts on her first shot of the second and third ends to prevent Bryden from getting any more than a single. Bryden blanked the second and hit for one in the next, tying the game at 1-1.

Kleibrink regained a one-point lead in the fifth but the tide looked to turn in Bryden's favour in the sixth when she was able to set up a deuce.

The two teams traded points in the next two ends. Down one coming home with the hammer, Kleibrink got the tying point when she threw another rocket to clear two and stick.

Bryden looked at a draw to the 4-foot against one for the win and everything seemed to be going right with the shot.

But luck turned the other way and she fell short by a hair.

"That's the first rock that's grinded on us in any of our games," the skip said. "We didn't worry about it when I let it go and, all of a sudden, it just started grinding down. It was only about half an inch short."

Kleibrink, who earlier noted she liked the 'cat-and-mouse' game she and Bryden usually employ against each other, couldn't believe the good fortune as she, third Amy Nixon, second Glenys Bakker and lead Christine Keshen had a group hug in relief.

"I thought it looked pretty good until it hit the hogline," Kleibrink said. "It started to die and I still wasn't sure. It was really close."

Nixon said prior to the tilt she and her crew had to slow down the game a bit, as opposed to Bryden, who likes to keep it moving.

"We noticed Thursday night we didn't talk about a few shots that maybe we could've," said Nixon, referring to a 9-6 loss to Cathy King of Edmonton.

"Sometimes, it's not about even changing a shot but everybody getting on the same page."

That task, she said, is made easier knowing each member of the team can make a big shot when called upon.

"And it really helps to have a leader in the house to convince you," Nixon said. "If you're not sure you want to play something, go talk to Shannon. She's extremely intelligent and she's good at explaining 'OK, this is why I'm doing this.' "

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CAN'T BEAT HIM: Off to a 3-0 start at the Canadian Open, John Morris of Calgary ran up against his old nemesis last night.

And Randy Ferbey of Edmonton won again, this time scoring four in the 10th end to stake a 10-7 victory.

Earlier in the day, Morris rattled off a 7-2 win over Vic Peters.


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