Scott primed for run at namesake event

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:28 PM ET

As a marketing manager by profession, British Columbia second Sasha Carter knows it would be a sponsorship marriage made in curling heaven if her Kelly Scott rink captured the like-named Scott Tournament of Hearts title this week.

Interestingly enough, it was the act of matrimony that sparked the reunion of Carter and skip Scott, longtime buddies from Manitoba and 1995 world junior champions who have been playing out of the Kelowna Curling Club for the past handful of years.

"Kelly and I have been great friends for a long time and I was maid of honour at her wedding (to husband Chad Scott)," the 31-year-old Carter said yesterday.

"She had moved to Kelowna and I had been out there and it was a time in my life where I had finished school (a degree in education at the University of Manitoba) and I was looking for a place to live. She (Scott) had curled with some B.C. girls for a couple of years and I had curled in Manitoba but we talked about it and I made the move and it's worked out great."

The 28-year-old Scott, who was Kelly MacKenzie of Winnipeg when she and Carter, then Sasha Bergner of tiny Ashern, Man., teamed with Joanne Fillion and Carlene Muth to win the 1995 Canadian junior women's championship in Regina, Sask., and the world junior in Perth, Scotland.

Now playing on the Left Coast with third Jeanna Schraeder and lead Renee Simons, Scott and Carter are making their second straight appearance at the Canadian women's curling championship.

The B.C. rink lost the semifinal game to Ontario's Jenn Hanna last year in St. John's, Nfld., and the heartbreak was compounded at December's Olympic trials final when Scott surrendered three in the 10th end to fall 8-7 to Shannon Kleibrink for the high-profile trip to Turin, Italy.

Kleibrink is coming back to Canada with an Olympic bronze medal and the B.C. women admit it has been a chore to get past the thought that it could've been them at the big show.

"We cheered hard for Canada the whole way and rooted for Shannon and watched as much as we could on TV," Carter said.

"But it was a little bit tough. It helped that we had to turn our attention and get ready to come to London for another Scott. In a way, this week is about redemption for us."

Though Scott got off to a rough start with a 6-5 loss in 11 ends to Saskatchewan in the opening draw, the B.C. foursome is looking to fare better than the most recent Kelowna team to compete at the John Labatt Centre. The Western Hockey League champion Kelowna Rockets finished 0-3 at the Memorial Cup here last year.

"Hopefully, we can play well enough all week to earn a playoff spot," said Scott, who rebounded with a 6-3 win over P.E.I. in the second draw last night.

"That's really what the goal is. Like any big tournament, there are a lot of good teams here and anything can happen."


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