King and queen

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

When she decided to change up her lineup late last season, Edmonton's Cathy King took her chances with a diamond in the rough.

Two-time Canadian junior women's champion Kaitlyn Lawes, formerly of Winnipeg, had skipped Canada to bronze- and silver-medal performances at the worlds the last two seasons.

With King already in the gate for the pre-trials event in Prince George in early November. The new back-end combination is off to a roaring start this season.

The team, which includes second Raylene Rocque and lead Tracy Bush, beat Calgary's Cheryl Bernard 7-3 to win the September Shootout at the Saville Centre yesterday.

King won $3,500 and Bernard went home with $2,500.

"We're pretty excited to have a new player join our team and start this way," said King, whose team ran off a seven-game win streak after dropping their opening game.

"I'm really happy about that. It's a really big year for us and to get off to a good start is really exciting."

Lawes has established residency here, has a part-time job at Kevin Martin's store at the Saville Centre and is taking some distance courses at the University of Manitoba.

As a two-time Canadian junior champ (1977-78), King could appreciate Lawes's accomplishment and so far, the relationship has been all King had hoped for.

"It's been awesome," said King. "She's a great little shooter. Her and I get along fantastic. She's a proven little shooter, that's for sure."

She has been building her confidence by playing and winning the Saville Summer League.

"You betcha," said King. "We were talking about this weekend just being a building weekend. We're not curling 100% every game.

"There's lots to work out when you add a player to the team. There's still things to work on when you add a new player to the team."

King stole six of her seven points as Bernard struggled with her delivery.

"I guess luck's our way," said King. "Onward and upward."

King will be in Regina this weekend as the team will appear in five spiels before Prince George.

Lawes, who appeared in King's lineup for two Grand Slam events last year, decided a move here from Winnipeg would be the best way to help build team chemistry.

"Cathy and the team asked me to come here for the season," said Lawes. "Ideally, we wanted to be able to work together all year and not just have me come in for the bonspiels."

In addition to coming in for the pre-trial period, Lawes plans to be in the lineup for the provincial playdowns with King, the 1998 Canadian women's champion.

King is a six-time Alberta champion who last won in 2006.

"The timing is right for me," said Lawes. "I didn't really have too many commitments to tie me down at home. It was a good chance to come out here and learn."

Lawes is comfortable knowing three other team members are Winnipeg-born.

"Right now, it's just a one-year thing and we'll see how things work out," said Lawes, "I love it. It's gorgeous out here. It's been a ton of fun so far."

Especially when her new team has been so strong coming out of the gate so early in the season.

CON.GRIWKOWSKY@SUNMEDIA.CA

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SEPTEMBER SHOOTOUT AT SAVILLE CENTRE

MEN

Bob Ursel ($4,500)

001 000 5x--7

Randy Ferbey ($3,000)

000 002 0x--2

Semifinalists ($1,750): Pat Simmons, Jamie King.

Quarterfinalists ($1,250): Ted Appelman, Kerry Burtnyk, Brent Bawell, Fengchun Wang.

WOMEN

Cathy King ($3,500)

301 21x xx--7

Cheryl Bernard ($2,500)

030 00x xx--3

Semifinalists ($1,500): Renee Sonnenberg, Heather Nedohin.

Quarterfinalists ($1,000) Xindi Zhang, Sauer, Tiffany Odegard, Megan Kirk.


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