Ontario rink has its own guardian angel

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:58 AM ET

ST. JOHN'S -- Three years ago at a cashspiel in Red Deer, Alta., Jenn Hanna bought her mother a gold necklace with an image of a guardian angel. "She told me if would keep me safe," said Val Hanna.

Now, it seems that cherished piece of jewelry is watching over Jenn Hanna's team.

Last month, during the Ontario championships, Val couldn't find the necklace and Hanna's team began the tournament with four losses in its first five games.

So Val searched the family's home from top to bottom before finding it.

"I tore the place apart," said Val.

She began wearing the necklace to her daughter's games at the Rideau Curling Club, and the team went on an eight-game winning streak, which culminated with a victory in the provincial final.

Val clutched the necklace often during yesterday's semi-final win over Kelly Scott of B.C.

"I didn't get nervous in this game until probably the seventh end is when I started to feel jitters," she said. "Before that, I was calm, but as the game went on, I was feeling for the girls and I was throwing every rock they were throwing."

The parents of the four women on Hanna's team are experiencing similar emotions at this event as they did last month during the provincials.

"It was really hard at the provincials because they went through eight sudden-death games, but (today) will be just as hard," said Wayne Askin, father of second Dawn Askin.

"We've got everything we own crossed."

Corey Brownlee, fiancee of vice Pascale Letendre, travelled many miles to arrive in Newfoundland.

He was in Seattle attending a conference earlier in the week, but left the West Coast to return to Ottawa on Thursday.

"I was in Ottawa for just enough time to do some laundry," he said.

Brownlee got back on a plane Friday morning and arrived in St. John's in time to watch the team win its second tie-breaker and the Page Playoff game against Saskatchewan.

"They have already exceeded their expectations for this week by a long shot," said Denis Letendre, Pascal's father. "They've played so well all week."

KEEPING UP WITH JONES: Manitoba's Jennifer Jones predicts an aggressive game with plenty of rocks in play during this afternoon's Scott final against Hanna. "I'm expecting a lot of great shots to be made," said Jones. Hanna is 0-2 lifetime against Jones, who whipped Ontario 9-2 in the round-robin.

CHANCE TO MAKE HISTORY: A win in today's final would not only give Hanna a national championship, but also a curling record. Hanna has four straight playoff wins and a fifth would set a national women's final record, besting the mark of four shared by Kelley Law in 1998 and Heather Houston in 1988.


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