Consistency the key to perfection

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

HALIFAX -- Four years ago, Ontario's Sherry Middaugh was one of the favourites to win the Canadian Curling Trials.

But she was almost an afterthought this year, until now.

Middaugh overwhelmed Saskatchewan's Sherry Anderson 8-5 in a battle of the unbeatens yesterday and emerged as the only team left without a loss on the women's side at 3-0.

"That's fine with us, the fact that we're coming in under the radar," said Middaugh, who jumped to a 6-0 lead, then coasted to victory.

"We still have a long haul. We still have six tough games and when you're a front-runner, people are willing to knock you off because they need the win. So, we're just going to have to play consistent."

BURNED ROCK: Alberta third Amy Nixon fell and burned a rock in the seventh end against Manitoba's Jennifer Jones.

"I'm all right," Nixon assured after the match. "I fell on my arm and it was feeling a little weak after that. But I made my next two shots."

Jones cracked a deuce that end but Nixon said the shot she burned would have jammed anyway.

BETKER WINS: Saskatchewan's Jan Betker finally posted her first win of the week when she clobbered Quebec's winless Marie-France Larouche 9-2.

"It didn't matter that we thumped somebody, it mattered that we got results and that we felt comfortable," said Saskatchewan second Joan McCusker. "This was huge, big. We all knew that this was great effort. Two losses right now, not so good."

OT: When B.C.'s Kelly Scott fell to Saskatchewan's Stefanie Lawton 8-7 in an extra end, it was the third straight time she had gone into OT here.

"It was just too much to ask for to do it again," said Scott, who joined Jones, Anderson, Saskatchewan's Stefanie Lawton and Nova Scotia's Colleen Jones at 2-1.

COPYCAT: Like his old skipper Randy Ferbey, before him, B.C.'s Pat Ryan is now calling the shots and throwing third rocks -- with Jim Cotter as 'The Nedohin' of his foursome (throwing last brick).

"It's a combination of things between two players if they're comfortable jockeying around like that," said Ryan, the oldest player here at 50. "Jim's comfortable with it and he's happy with whatever ice I call."

Cotter made a circus shot to win Ryan's trials spot in a Canada Cup West spiel versus Manitoba's Kerry Burtnyk.

"It's not that I don't like (throwing last)," said Ryan, a Winnipeg native. "I enjoy every position but I kind of enjoy doing this and letting Jim have his day in the sun because he's a very good player."

BROOM CAPER: Nova Scotia skip Mark Dacey was upset with his team for showing up missing a broom for Saturday's trials opener.

"How that happens, I have no idea," Dacey told the Daily News. "How the hell can you get to the rink for the Olympic trials and you're missing a (expletive deleted) broom? We had to take a few ends to calm down after that."

Dacey lost to fellow Nova Scotian Shawn Adams but rebounded with a 7-6 extra-end victory over Ontario's Glenn Howard yesterday morning. He had to call for a replacement broom for third Bruce Lohnes from a member of his wife's team (Heather Smith-Dacey).

"When we mess up, we're not a team that's afraid to admit it," Dacey said. "And I'll take 25% of the blame for that."


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