Ice on the cake

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

GRANDE PRAIRIE -- Cathy King has been through plenty of on-ice battles in winning seven provincial women's curling titles.

On a tricky ice surface that's been tripping up her opposition, King is drawing on all her experience and toughness at this year's event.

After Day 2, King remains the only undefeated team at 4-0 after scoring a four-ender in six in a dramatic 8-7 win over Crystal Webster last night.

Third Lori Olson needed to make a pair of sensational double-raise takeouts and then King needed a perfect tapback on her own rock after Webster hogged her last rock.

"That's why we pay her the big bucks," joked King, about Olson's two money shots. "I'd never be able to make a shot like that. It's quite a finish.

"I was going, 'Oh, oh. What am I going to have for my last one? An angle-raise or something to the button?' We were fortunate enough that both of Lori's rocks made it easier for me."

It's one thing to come out on top when the talent level on other teams are every bit as good ... quite another when ice conditions are changing.

"We weren't even sure who was shot," said King about the situation she faced when she stepped into the hack.

"I didn't really want to throw it because I though I could screw up my own shot here. I threw it and made it, so that's good."

King has a long history of being much harder to take out once she gets the conditions figured out.

"We've got some tough teams to play yet," said King.

"We keep battling back every game. It's fun out there. We're a scrappy team that seems finds a way to win somehow.

"We're scrappers if we're three down, we're still fighting," said King.

Renee Sonnenberg has been curling in this club for a dozen years since moving here from Beaumont. Yet, even with the home-ice advantage, she could not prevent a 10th end steal by Edmonton's Atina Johnson to knock her out of the undefeated ranks.

"The ice is a little tricky, but it's the same everywhere," said Sonnenberg. "It's definitely a little bit of an advantage because we trust it."

SHORT STRAWS: When Atina Johnston's team surprised themselves by qualifying for the provincial, they let out a big gulp.

Since each team member has a child under two years of age, they'd curtailed their cashspiel activities and had no team sponsors.

The team quickly had to find $2500 to make up a shortfall from their Northern Alberta Curling Association travel subsidy. They managed to round up some quick cash, including from the Grande Prairie branch of an engineering company Scott Pfeifer's dad, Brian, works for in Edmonton.

"Otherwise, it would have cost us a lot of money just to come here," said Johnston.


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