Snow White in St. John's

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Once upon a time, when TSN was still covering curling, Cathy King got herself a nickname.

Snow White, Vic Rauter called her at the 1995 Scott Tournament of Hearts at the Max Bell Arena in Calgary.

It became a fairy-tale ride. She knocked off the legendary Sandra Schmirler (then Team Canada) in the semi before succumbing to the Ice Queen, Connie Laliberte of Manitoba in the 1995 final.

Then, exactly 20 years after winning her second of two Canadian junior titles (1977-78), King emerged as the Canadian women's champion.

Wearing Team Canada colours at Charlottetown in 1999, King was dethroned in the final by an improbable week by Colleen Jones.

"Once upon a time, she could hardly beat us," said King, whose quest to dethrone Jones starts tomorrow at the Scotts in St. John's, Nfld. "In the eight end, we had her wired for four. She missed the shot she called, then it's wick, wick, wick and all of a sudden she gets in there in a place where I couldn't get her out."

CURLING MONSTER

That win converted Jones into a curling monster. The Halifax skip had a series of nondescript Scotts appearances since winning in 1982. Since beating King in 1999, Jones has won four straight and five times in the last six years.

After going through some tough times and painful rebuilding, King is ready to challenge again. This will be her fifth appearance at the Scotts.

"It's always great to get back to the Scotts," said King, whose championship foursome broke up after a sub-par showing at the 2002 event. "Any time you get a chance to play in the Canadian championship, it's exciting."

After a rebuild supporting cast finished one game out of the playoffs in 2003, King brought in Raylene Rocque to play second. She's got Lori Armitstead throwing third and Tracy Bush at lead.

"It's a tough field," said King. "There's a bunch of veteran teams and three of the newcomers have played in Canadian junior finals. We know the future is coming right up."

SETTING THE TABLE

Kelly Scott (McKenzie) of B.C. won in 1995 representing Manitoba and went on to win the world junior. Scott won the Canada Cup West at the Saville Centre in December.

Ontario's Jenn Hanna was runner-up in 1998. And Saskatchewan's Stephanie Lawton (Miller) won in 2000.

It's King's opening-round game against Lawton that will set the tables for King, who has some extra motivation heading into this week.

"We still have a chance to get to the (Olympic) Trials," said King. "We're pretty excited about that, so we'll use that. As long as we know what we have to do, we'll keep playing away.

King kept her Trials dream alive with a must-win performance at the provincials in Medicine Hat.

Now, it all depends on how her Scotts supporting cast can respond in a field that's a mix of familiar and fresh faces.

"We're going there to win," said King. "Not just to see what we'll do."


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