Support just too Strong?

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:36 AM ET

Heather Strong and her Newfoundland team got a lot of support from the home-town fans during yesterday's opening draw. Maybe a bit too much.

Down 5-0 to Jennifer Jones of Manitoba, Strong staged a comeback and tied the game before losing 6-5.

During the home team's rally, the fans at Mile One Stadium not only cheered every successful Newfoundland shot, but also the Manitoba misses, a no-no under curling unwritten system of etiquette.

Strong said she appreciated the support, but mentioned the fans needed to be educated about cheering for missed shots.

Ottawa's Jenn Hanna, who meets Strong in this morning's draw, doesn't believe the crowd will become a factor.

"You miss a shot, they cheer against us, it's nothing personal," she said. "They're cheering for their favourites."

Hanna, who considers Strong a friend, spared for the Newfoundland team a few years ago at the Welton Beauchamp Championships in Ottawa when one of Strong's players couldn't make the trip.

CALM UNDER PRESSURE: Prior to the tournament, Ontario second Dawn Askin confessed her phobia for playing on TV and wearing a microphone for broadcast purposes. She passed her first test playing on national TV when the CBC aired yesterday's Hanna vs. Colleen Jones match. "I was nervous, but not over-the-top nervous," said Askin. "After I got my first two shots out of the way, I felt comfortable with my slide and everything."

BEHIND THE WHEEL: Jenn Hanna won the Ford Hotshots competition yesterday, beating Nova Scotia skip Kay Zinck in the final. Hanna won a two-year lease of a new Ford minivan, a vehicle befitting of a 25-year-old nicknamed Mom by her teammates. "That was a really cool way to start the week," said Hanna.

HEART BEATS: Hanna's team all scored well with their shots in the opening draw, based on the Canadian Curling Association's scoring system for shooting. Lead Stephanie Hanna and Askin both rated 89%, vice Pascale Letendre and the skip both scored an 84 ... Hanna has a bye in the afternoon draw, but meets Manitoba's Jones, considered a favourite, in the evening draw.

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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