Middaugh cool as ice

DONALD DUENCH -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

MISSISSAUGA -- Sherry Middaugh's team had the momentum at the right moments yesterday -- and hopes it continues that way.

The veteran skip drew to the four-foot for a 9-8 win over Maggie Mazzuca last night after a 12-7 win over Arynn Frantz in her early game at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts provincial women's curling championship.

The wins gave Middaugh a 3-1 record, tied with two other teams for second place behind leader Jenn Hanna of the Ottawa Curling Club, who is 4-0. Middaugh and Hanna face each other tonight.

"The key to success (tonight) will be getting the momentum and keeping it," Middaugh said.

Middaugh easily could have wound up with two losses yesterday in the back-and-forth games, but her experience helped her team to two victories.

Middaugh said the consistent, but quick, ice at the Dixie Curling Club has allowed her to just throw the rock and let her sweepers do the rest on draws. Against Mazzuca, of the Copper Cliff Curling Club, Middaugh's final rock was a little light, but all three of her teammates brought it in.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Against Arynn Frantz of the Coniston Curling Club, Middaugh trailed 6-4 after six ends. The margin could have been wider, but Frantz missed on her opportunity to score four points in the sixth end, and wound up with only one point.

Middaugh, of the Coldwater & District Curling Club, then had four-point ends of her own in the seventh and ninth ends before handshakes were offered.

"Our experience prevailed," said Middaugh, who has won three provincial titles. By contrast, Frantz is skipping at the provincial bonspiel for the first time after two previous appearances as a lead and second.

Hanna kept her record perfect with wins over the two Brant Curling Club entries, Jo-Ann Rizzo (8-5) and Karen Bell (5-4).

Krista Scharf of the Fort William Curling Club fell to 3-1 after a 7-6 loss to Sara Harvey of the Unionville Curling Club.

The other 3-1 team is Alison Goring's foursome from the Bayview Golf & Country Club, which won both of its games by an 8-3 score. Goring beat Harvey in eight ends, and needed only five ends to top Jo-Ann Rizzo of the Brant Curling Club.

Against Rizzo, Goring stole three points in both the first and second ends. "We got lucky in the first couple of ends," Goring said. "The girls are hitting really well."

The bonspiel ends on Sunday, with the winner advancing to the national Tournament of Hearts in Lethbridge, Alta., on Feb. 17-25.


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