Best Betker

ANGELA MacISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- Every game means something for Jan Betker.

Although she clinched a Strauss Canada Cup playoff berth yesterday morning, the Regina skip didn't sit back for her afternoon tilt against Calgary's Shannon Kleibrink.

Betker, a 1998 Olympic gold medallist with the late Sandra Schmirler, dumped Kleibrink 6-3 to finish the round-robin 5-0 -- the only undefeated team on the women's side.

"You can't take any game lightly," said Betker. "We've played Shannon a few times in the last couple of years and we owe her a game or two."

Betker, who beat Michelle Englot of Davidson, Sask., 7-6 yesterday morning, took control of the game with a deuce in the sixth.

In the seventh, Kleibrink made a tough choice -- going for an in-off for two instead of a hit for three. The shot overcurled, knocked her own second shot back and gave Betker a tide-turning steal of one.

Kleibrink said she'd still go for the in-off.

"The hit, I thought, was harder," she said. "We had to get so tight to our own. If we touch our own, she steals anyway. It was an easier shot, I just overcurled it."

Kleibrink's third, Amy Nixon, agreed her skip made the right choice.

"We had to absolutely nose it," Nixon said. "We could have overcurled and tapped it too far, giving them one or two. It was just one of those throws that didn't come out the way we needed it. We needed, if anything, to miss it the other way because we were shot rock. I think we still play the same shot. We just didn't make it happen."

With the loss, Kleibrink dropped to 3-2 and faces a tiebreaker today against six-time Scott champ Colleen Jones.

Jones survived the round robin by beating Heather Smith-Dacey of Halifax 9-5.

Stealing four over the sixth and seventh ends, Jones said she, third Kim Kelly, second Mary-Anne Arsenault and lead Nancy Delahunt can run the table.

"I think we've been playing very well," said Jones, who lost 8-4 to Jo-Ann Rizzo of Brantford, Ont., in the morning.

"We just have to keep doing what we've doing, not a whole lot more. I had a flat game this morning. I was really close to making some great shots and was always on the wrong side. But I like how we've been playing."

The problem is Kleibrink, Nixon, second Glenys Bakker and lead Christine Keshen are feeling confident after already beating Jones 7-6 Wednesday.

Nixon said the team would drop in on Martini Night at the Extra End Pub at Sport Mart Place but take it easy. Bakker is four months pregnant with her second child.

"We have a second who's fighting the tiredness a bit but she's holding on," said Nixon. "It's going to be tough tomorrow but we know Jones is beatable. A lot of teams have proved that before we did."

Jones isn't looking at the battle as a rematch.

"We had a great game against her," she said. "I had a slow start so they got off to a 3-0 lead. I don't want to give that to them again."

Betker faces the 3-1 Ottawa team skipped by Anne Merklinger in the Page 1 playoff game. Rizzo awaits the winner of the tiebreaker for the Page 2 game.

Betker isn't showing any rust, despite sitting idle since a disappointing performance at the Saskatchewan provincials in early February.

"You'd never know we haven't been playing," Betker said. "That's what I said to the girls, 'Geez, that break did us some good.' "


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