In past years, a number of city teams have flocked to country zones where they expected easy pickings to earn a provincial spot.
But this year, dangerous Allison Anderson decided to pull a switcheroo and entered the Scotties Tournament of Hearts city playdowns instead of competing in perhaps the toughest rural zone outside of Brandon.
"We thought we'd go the other way this year," Anderson said from Gimli yesterday. "But it's hard anywhere. The Interlake is a really hard zone so that was part of it."
Last year, Anderson lost the A-side final to eventual winner Kim Link of East St. Paul and was eliminated by Selkirk's Kerri Flett on the B side. Both Link and Flett are back.
Anderson, 25, also considered that there would be no fear of facing St. Vital's Jennifer Jones in the zones because she is already returning to the nationals as defending champion.
Anderson has been playing out of both Gimli and the Deer Lodge Curling Clubs the past few years because half of her competitive team now lives in Winnipeg. While she played in a nine-team rural zone last year, she now finds herself in a three-team one in the city with Fort Rouge's Holly Scott and St. Vital's Marlene Lang.
"We just thought we'd try something different this year," said third Amber Cousins, 27, who also makes the weekly trek from Gimli to play at the Lodge. "It should be interesting because we've never played at the Fort Garry Curling Club before."
Anderson plays Lang at the Fort Garry tonight at seven.
Actually, Anderson's squad entered the city zone playdowns once before.
"We beat (former Manitoba champion) Janet Harvey in our first game, then went bang-bang," Cousins recalled.
Meanwhile, because there are only two teams in her zone, Fort Rouge's top-seeded Barb Spencer could earn a trip to the provincials as soon as tomorrow morning. But she would need to beat Fort Rouge's Derna Hintz in two straight games.