Kleibrink tops

ANGELA MACISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:20 AM ET

LETHBRIDGE -- Shannon Kleibrink couldn't watch. With her fate resting in Renelle Bryden's last shot, the Calgary skip went straight to the locker-room and hid.

She poked her head out, looked over at second Glenys Bakker and asked, "Did she win?"

With Bakker's nod, Kleibrink looked skyward, said "Thank God."

That one shot of Bryden's -- a draw to full 4-foot -- meant the difference between Kleibrink playing last night's semifinal and her bye to today's championship game (2 p.m.) at the Alberta Scott Tournament of Hearts.

Bryden's rock slid into place and the Calgarian beat Cathy King of Edmonton 5-4 to ensure Kleibrink was the sole 6-1 team on the leaderboard. Bryden and King had matching 5-2 records and teed off again in last night's semi to determine who would face Kleibrink, the defending champ, in the final.

"We needed Bryden to win and it wasn't looking good," said Kleibrink, who left the ice quickly after she dispatched Cindy Serna of Edmonton 6-2 in nine ends.

Bryden and King were knotted at four, after King stole the tying point, but Bryden had the hammer coming home. Bryden was drawing through tight coverage against one but she made her shot.

"Excellent, good for her," said Kleibrink, stopping a moment to get a hug from husband Richard.

"It does feel really good to get that bye. We wanted to come back and do as well as we did last year and, so far, we're doing that. It's been a harder route this year with a lot tougher games."

Bakker couldn't help but watch the Bryden-King tilt.

She found a spot in the bleachers and couldn't take her eyes off the ice.

"Oh, there was no way I was leaving," she said. "We did better last year because we had control of our own destiny but Renelle just made an absolute pistol with that last shot.

"I was pretty happy to see her make that."

Bakker also was pleased to see her teammates -- Kleibrink, third Amy Nixon and lead Christine Keshen -- pull through for her.

A couple of Bakker's own rocks went awry in the fourth end. Serna was set up for a deuce until Kleibrink threw a dandy to stick for one.

"It was mostly my fault with the jams we got into today," Bakker said. "Some of my rocks curled more than expected or else they just ran straight. We had struggled on that sheet the first time we played on it and I just didn't have a very good game.

"That happens and when it happens, you expect the back end to pick up the pieces and they did that."

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CONFIDENCE BUILDER: The Diane Foster rink from Garrison Curling Club failed to make any noise at the Scott but left knowing it's able to compete.

Settling for a 2-5 record, Foster finished the round-robin yesterday by beating Grande Prairie's Renee Sonnenberg 7-4.

"We don't have to leave here thinking, 'geez, would it have been better if somebody else had been here instead of us representing the south,'" Foster said. "I think this way we're probably giving the south still a pretty good name by knocking off the Peace."


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