Webster has right to Roar

TODD SAELHOF, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

Lori Olson-Johns sent a message yesterday to fellow Calgarian curlers Cheryl Bernard and Shannon Kleibrink and national champion Jennifer Jones.

"We're going to Edmonton," said Olson-Jones, pointing at the TSN camera just seconds after qualifying for the 2009 Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials in the Alberta capital, Dec. 6-13.

There's good reason for confidence among the Crystal Webster ranks.

Yesterday's 9-7 win over B.C.'s Kelly Scott capped an undefeated run at the 2009 Road to the Roar Olympic Curling Pre-Trials this week in Prince George, B.C.

Webster, third Olson-Johns, second Sam Preston and lead Stephanie Malekoff executed a perfect 4-0 performance at the pre-trials to earn one of four women's berths for the much-ballyhooed Roar of the Rings, from which both the Canadian men's and women's curling representatives will be determined for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

"That's just what we put this team together for a few years back," said Webster following yesterday's trials-clinching victory. "And it just feels so good to accomplish that goal.

"We finished strong every single game we played here," continued Webster of the Calgary Curling Club. "So we're really proud about that."

Webster jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead on the first end, when Scott, the 2007 world champion, threw the hammer through the house while facing four enemy rocks.

But Scott fought off the early-end shakes to take back two in the second and steal one in each of the third and fourth, as Webster struggled to find her own draw weight.

Webster finally counted two in the fifth for a 6-4 lead, but Scott continued to keep the Calgarian close in what was a 7-7 contest after eight ends.

In an effort to blank the ninth, Olson-Johns made a rare mistake when she missed on a hit-and-roll, leaving a Scott rock in the rings that could have forced Webster into counting just one. But two shots later, Webster picked up her third by executing a double take-out that allowed the Calgary rink to blank the end and hold the all-important last rock coming home.

In the 10th end, it went according to plan for Webster and Co., as they kept the sheet clean enough to allow the skip to make the routine hit and stick to count two.

Meanwhile, Calgary's Heather Rankin plays Ontario's Sherry Middaugh in a must-win matinee today at 2 p.m. The loser is eliminated from the Olympic qualification process.

Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton met Saskatchewan's Pat Simmons in the men's 'A' final last night for the right to advance to the Olympic Trials.

TODD.SAELHOF@SUNMEDIA.CA


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