Hanna's got new life at the Scott

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:51 AM ET

The players combined to throw close to 7,000 shots during the Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts round-robin, and the playoff fate of two teams, including Kanata's Jenn Hanna's, hung in the balance on the very last one. Hanna and her mother, Val, huddled together as they watched Thunder Bay's Tara George slide out of the hack to deliver the stone that would give the only local team in this tournament a chance to win this event -- or finish its hopes.

Her father and coach, Bob, stood at the back of the Rideau Curling Club lounge away from the windows overlooking the ice surface, refusing to participate in the drama.

The rock slid into the house and rested on the button. George had scored at least two against opponent Janet McGhee of Uxbridge, and a measurement determined that a third stone for the Thunder Bay team was a counter, giving George an 8-7 win that also put Hanna and Sutton's Kathy Brown into the playoffs.

A wide-eyed Hanna couldn't believe it. Moments before, she had been speaking about the consolation of taking pride in a four-game winning streak to complete the round-robin with a 5-4 record.

"We're really, really happy that we ended the week so strong, even if whatever out there doesn't happen for us," said Hanna, who beat Kim Moore of St. Catharines 9-4 in her last game of the round-robin.

One minute later, a fan watching the George vs. McGhee game casually glanced over her shoulder and informed Hanna that George had a chance to win.

After the shot, measurement and a brief celebration, Hanna attempted to make sense of the moment.

"I don't know how to describe this. Shock, I guess," she said.

Her team started the tournament with just a single win in its first five games, but rallied strongly and got help from George to clinch a tie-breaker spot. "After that many losses and to get into the playoffs ... wow," said Hanna.

She and teammates Pascale Letendre, Dawn Askin and Stephanie Hanna will meet McGhee who rebounded from the loss by beating Brown in a tie-breaker last night at 9 this morning in the tournament's second tie-breaker.

McGhee, Brown and Hanna finished the round-robin with 5-4 records, but Hanna got a bye because she beat the others during the regular portion of the event.

The winner this morning will advance into a Page playoff semi-final against Brantford's Jo-Ann Rizzo, who slaughtered the Soo's Kelly McLellan, substituting for Elaine Uhryn, 8-1 in six ends yesterday.

A win by Uhryn's team would also have guaranteed Hanna and Brown a spot in the playoffs, but Uhryn caused controversy when she didn't take the ice and was absent from the building.

McLellan said the team had decided prior to the tournament that it would rotate spare Lindsay Miners into games if it had been eliminated.

"She played for us (Thursday) night, and we knew she was coming in (yesterday)," said McLellan. "She played with us at every position all through our year, and she deserved to be out there."

Chrissy Cadorin of Thornhill and Krista Scharf of Thunder Bay, the youngest skips of the tournament at ages 24 and 22 respectively, will meet in tonight's semi-final at 7 with the winner advancing into tomorrow's championship at 1:30.

Cadorin clinched first place at a 7-2 round-robin record with a 10-7 victory over Scharf yesterday.

"It feels pretty good, but there's still potentially three games left, so we have to stay focused and keep our mind where we want it to be -- which is curling," said Cadorin.

Scharf finished the round-robin at 6-3. "We know we can beat them," said Scharf, who beat Cadorin 6-5 during the round-robin of last year's provincials in Sudbury. "We just have to work on it and come out firing."

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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