Bernard keeps cool

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:19 PM ET

For the first time in a long time, Cheryl Bernard has started a World Curling Tour season in a relaxed state of mind.

Her win at the 2009 Alberta women's championship in Sylvan Lake and trip to the Scott Tournament of Hearts helped the Calgary skip gain some breathing room.

Bernard is one of four rinks already in the gate for the Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials here in December -- along with Jennifer Jones, Shannon Kleibrink and Stefanie Lawton.

And, it seems she's picking up where she left off last season as she nailed down a spot in today's playoff round of the September Shootout at the Saville Centre.

"Yeah, well, it's early in the year," said Bernard, undefeated at 4-0 heading into last night's final round-robin game.

"There's still things we're trying to tweak but so far, so good. If we can get better from here, it'll be all right."

Bernard has had success here before, winning a Canada Cup qualifier a couple of seasons back. And she feels confident heading into today's action.

"This club seems to be good for us," said Bernard. "The ice here is always amazing. It's like arena ice out there. We love it."

Bernard likes the fact her team is already in the Trials. Her trademark nervousness will come, like it does at every big event, but Bernard has shown an ability to make that energy work in her favour.

"It makes it a different year," said Bernard. "We usually burn ourselves out because we're going so hard for points. We get to have an easy year, but still try and stay intense."

The team has taken a much more relaxed approach to the season. They'll appear in six WCT events and take every second weekend off and slowly build up to a peak in early December.

"That's what the theory is," said Bernard. "We'll see how it works."

Bernard's team finished No. 3 on the WCT money list with $47,050 in earnings last season.


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