Manitoba curlers still rock

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

They put on quite a show for the 25th anniversary of the Scott Tournament of Hearts in London town, Ontario last week.

And here are just some of the more memorable impressions of a Canadian championship that was capped off with a former Manitoban, Kelly Scott, clipping Team Canada's Manitoba-based Jennifer Jones in Sunday's final. (And where are those who kept telling us that Manitoba's women curlers are no good?)

HONOURS

First things first. Kelly Scott, the petite skip with the gracious smile who was such a sweet interview all week, was awarded the Marj Mitchell Award for sportsmanship by her peers. And not only was Scott co-ordinator Robin Wilson honoured for her induction into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame at the opening banquet, but she was given a ruby ring at the closing banquet for her 25 years of efficient, classy service.

Canada skip Jennifer Jones also won the award for shot of the week, her double kill for four that punctuated her semifinal victory over Nova Scotia's six-time Scott champ Colleen Jones.

NAME YOUR POISON

Nova Scotia second Mary-Anne Arsenault swooned from the overwhelming scent of a competitor's perfume that she believed was Poison, or something similar, during a game against Manitoba's Janet Harvey and was rushed to hospital by ambulance. But she was OK.

Afterwards, the Scott issued a ban on players wearing perfume or cologne on the ice. Ironically, Arsenault said she is a "perfume junkie."

STRANGEST OBJECTION

To this day, Harvey will insist that she was not guilty of a hogline violation with her last brick versus Colleen Jones. Harvey was caught by the hogline detection device that has yet to be proven faulty. The rock was tested after the match and was OK. Jones suggested Harvey would have missed anyway.

MOST TOUCHING MOMENT

When Newfoundland third Shelley Nichols stopped during the Ford Hot Shots to watch her brother, Mark, help Newfoundland's Brad Gushue win an Olympic gold medal on the screen on the scoreboard above the ice at the John Labatt Centre. Nichols wiped tears from her eyes before sailing an attempted draw through the house.

MOST ENGAGING NEWCOMERS

Give it to Shelley Nichols and New Brunswick skip Andrea Kelly, who was still young enough to play junior this year but was impressive in her Scott debut.

MOST REFRESHING NEWCOMER

Quebec's Eve Belisle, who declared she could beat any team in the Scott field, then almost did, earning a playoff spot. She was also refreshingly honest, saying she could make the shots but needed help from her teammates.

MOST QUOTABLE

Nova Scotia skip Colleen Jones, once again, win or lose. And she even had the best quote: "To curl or not to curl, that is the question."

If she does retire, she will be sorely missed.

And if she does retire, will the younger Arsenault skip a squad of her own?

BIGGEST SURPRISE

Quebec's unknown Belisle, whom we picked to finish last and Newfoundland's Heather Strong, who rebounded from a 1-10 record last year, to finish 7-4.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS

Alberta's Cathy King and Harvey, who somehow lost their games crossing the Manitoba-Ontario border.

NO OUTCRY

Some were wondering why there was no outcry when TSN decided to tape delay two draws (one in Ontario only) after all the TV kerfuffle last year. Thing is, people are so happy that TSN is back, they don't care.

BIGGEST FRUSTRATION

Lots of well-deserved kudos for Robin Wilson, who essentially runs the Scott, but you would expect she would be able to ensure that reporters be allowed to file their stories before the media bench is torn down around them.


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