Amazing Autumn

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

At this rate, Shannon Kleibrink could take an early vacation.

Perhaps the gameplan is to win everything until Christmas and then take the rest of the year off.

"That's always the plan, but it never seems to work out like this," Kleibrink said with a smile yesterday after winning her third straight World Curling Tour event.

Kleibrink beat fellow Calgarian Cheryl Bernard 8-2 in the final of the 31st Annual Trail Appliances Curling Classic at the Calgary Curling Club.

"We've been fortunate in all three spiels, winning at the right time," Kleibrink said of her team's dominant streak.

"We've lost a few, but they've been early or when it didn't matter.

"So we've been pretty lucky."

Kleibrink pocketed $14,000 for yesterday's win, but she was more excited about scooping up another 36 qualifying points for next year's Olympic Trials in Edmonton.

She's the runaway leader with 102.15 after three events. But the veteran skip insists it's not as comfortable a lead as it may seem.

"I wouldn't say it's massive," Kleibrink said. "It's only October 13th.

"It's a nice lead to have, but we can't quit there.

"There's still lots of big spiels left -- and four more slams."

Yesterday's final was basically decided in the second end when Kleibrink executed a beautiful double-takeout to take a commanding 4-1 lead.

"We could have, just as easily, wrecked and been down 3-0," Kleibrink said. "Instead, we're up 4-1, so that was a huge shot."

She stole two more in the next end to go up 6-1, and the two teams shook hands after Kelibrink scored another deuce in the fifth end.

Kleibrink's rink -- consisting of third Amy Nixon, second Bronwen Webster and lead Chelsey Bell -- became the first Calgary team to win the Autumn Classic since Heather Rankin in 1997.

"That's what Cheryl said when we went on the ice -- that a Calgary team hasn't won in 11 years," said Kleibrink, who last won the event in 1996.

"So finally, we were guaranteed another Calgary win."

Bernard took home $11,000 but, like Kleibrink, was more interested in the qualifying points.

"We got some good points," Bernard said. "The slam events are always really big.

"It was nice to go undefeated through the A (event)," Bernard said. "We played really good this weekend, and I was proud of my team."

The lopsided score in yesterday's final didn't reflect how well Bernard's team played throughout the $55,000 slam.

"Finals can sometimes be like that," Bernard said. "They can be blowouts or they can be close. We just got in trouble in the second end and weren't able to come back."

And there's no shame in losing to the hottest rink in the country.

"They've been on a little bit of a streak," Bernard said. "And sometimes when you run into a team that's on a streak like that, they can be tough to beat.

"But we'll be back, and we'll play them lots this year."

Super stars

Scores from Week 2 of the Calgary Premier Super League: O'Connor 6, Webster 4; Hill 9, Kent 1; Yablonski 10 Bailey 4, Mackey 9 Simpson 2; Anholt 9, Zubot 3; Foster 7, Gregor 1; and Pendergast 9, Rutherford 2.

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FINAL TRAIL TRIALS

SCORES YESTERDAY AT CALGARY CURLING CLUB

QUARTERFINALS

Bernard 5 Spencer 4

Lawton 7 Anderson 0

Middaugh 9 Moore 4

Kleibrink 8 Rankin 4

SEMIFINALS

Bernard 9 Lawton 4

Kleibrink 8 Middaugh 2

FINALS

Kleibrink 8 Bernard 2


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