Surprising success for Streich

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

Certainly, Shauna Streich did not expect such sudden success on the ice.

The Fort Rouge skip took a year off to nurse a torn ligament in her right ankle. Then, she returned to earn a berth into the women's provincials despite wearing a special brace on that ankle up to her calf to protect it from turning when she pushes out of the hack on that foot. Yet, Streich may not even play in those provincials because she is about to give birth to her first child in March.

"I might be missing the provincials because I might be too big," Streich said after beating Brandon's Lisa Blixhavn 8-3 in a semifinal to earn one of two provincial spots available at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Berth Bonspiel in Morden yesterday. "We were certainly hoping to win this because now, we don't have to play zones."

Another advantage for Streich is that the provincials will be held earlier than normal this season -- in Killarney, Jan. 6-10 -- because of the Olympics.

Streich, 39, suffered numerous ankle sprains when she played basketball when she was younger.

"Then I sprained it jogging," she said. "I was actually scheduled for surgery in February to have the ligament re-attached but I'm pregnant so they wouldn't let me have the surgery."

If Streich cannot curl in Killarney, Ainsley Champagne -- the team's fifth -- will replace her.

Streich reunited with third Karen Klein and her sister, Susan McCambridge (who is married to Manitoba Moose assistant coach, Keith) at lead, and added Leslie Cafferty.

"Susan hadn't played for nine years and we had struggled this year but we finally came together this weekend, which is great," said Streich, who had also beaten clubmate Derna Hintz 10-3 in a quarterfinal.

Meanwhile, Wildewood's Karen Porritt nipped Fort Rouge's reigning provincial champion Barb Spencer 8-7 in an extra end in the other semifinal to grab the other spot.

"We had a good weekend with these young punks," joked Porritt, who is skipping a new squad with former Manitoba junior women's champion Calleen Neufeld at third, second Lisa DeRiviere and Jolene Rutter. "We've just gotten stronger as a team and they seem like they have a lot of confidence in me."

Spencer beat Porritt in last year's final.

"We've beaten her three times this year with this team," said Porritt, who had nipped Assiniboine Memorial's Janet Harvey 4-3 in a quarterfinal. "I hadn't beaten her for years."

Porritt is also confident that her new squad will be able to perform at the provincials.

"We'll have just a good a chance to win as any other team I've ever played with because these girls are young and keen and good."

There were two berths available because the women's annual bonspiel will be held after the provincials. Since it was unnecessary to play the final, Streich and Porritt split the $2,600 purse.

BITERS: West Kildonan's Brendan Taylor clipped West St. Paul's Reid Carruthers 6-4 in the final of a Manitoba Curling Tour spiel in Gimli on Sunday to earn $5,200. Carruthers got $2,800 ... Manitoba's Dave Boehmer split his games 1-1 yesterday and is now 2-2 at the national Mixed in Burlington, Ont. ... Alberta's Ted Appelman will be the fifth man for Manitoba's Jason Gunnlaugson at the Canadian Curling Trials in Edmonton. Randy Dutiaume will be the fifth for Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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