Streich stays within striking distance

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:59 AM ET

THOMPSON -- She is beginning to curl like it's 1999 again.

And the party will get started if Shauna Streich could get one step further this time around.

Streich had served noticed as an up-and-comer back then, losing the provincial Scott Tournament of Hearts final to the legendary Connie Laliberte.

Just like back then, Streich has quietly stolen her way up the leader board in her pool at this year's Scott. Her Fort Rouge foursome ripped Roseland's Kristen Williamson 7-1 at C.A. Nesbitt Arena last night to improve to 5-1 and a share of first place in her pool with St. Vital's Karen Porritt.

"We haven't been to the final since 1999, we haven't been close since '99," said Streich, still supported by third Karen Klein but has added second Krista Novotny and Robin Campbell. "So yeah, we want to get back up there, for sure."

But Streich, now 35, has failed to meet loftier expectations ever since.

"Once you've done it, you put pressure on yourself instead of just focusing on the game," suggested the case manager for the Workmen's Compensation Board. "There's so many good teams, you can't worry about winning or losing, you just kind of go out and throw your rocks and hope, at the end of the game, you have a shot to win it.

"(Losing the 1999 final) certainly gave you a taste to get back and you appreciate having that opportunity again."

Streich can clinch top spot and a berth in the first-versus-first Page playoff match with a victory over Spencer today.

"That would be great to get to that 1-1 game and give us two chances to get into the (final)," said Streich. "You've just got to keep winning. It's just like sudden-death if you ask me because if we lose, it could be a tie-breaker."

NITTY GRITTY: Porritt nipped Fort Rouge's second-seeded Barb Spencer 6-5, which guarantees her at least a tie-breaker.

"We're just happy to keep on playing," said Porritt, the No. 3 seed who had dropped a 7-6 decision to Streich earlier for her only loss. "It's not likely you can go through undefeated. I'd be nervous going into the final if we hadn't lost yet. We've got a long way to go yet."

Porritt plays Williamson today.

Spencer, who dropped to 4-2 after losing both games yesterday, faces Streich today.

"Yeah, it's coming down to the nitty gritty now," she said. "Obviously, we have to beat Streich. If we beat her, we'll have to play her again."

AILING: Baldur skip Gwen Wooley could not finish her morning game because she has been battling the flu all week. St. Vital's Marlene Lang whipped Wooley 8-1 in six ends. Wooley started the match but left before the last end.

Third Lori Manning moved up to skip the afternoon match versus Thompson's Debbie Cripps, with Denise Podolski sparing at third. Cripps won 6-4.


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