Canada's secret weapon

JIM BENDER

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -- She may be the most underrated shooter in women's curling.

That was even after Team Canada's Jeanna Schraeder was voted the all-star third at last year's nationals.

Schraeder has led all thirds in shooting percentages (85%) once again at this week's Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the main reason Kelly Scott posted an impressive 10-1 record, earning first place overall.

"That's why we practise, right?" said Schraeder, 30.

Schraeder won three B.C. provincial titles, once as a lead and twice as a skip. She hooked up with Scott when the native Manitoban moved to Kelowna and they played their last year of juniors and their first year of women's together at the same time. Schraeder (nee Richard) then curled with her mother for a couple of years before reuniting with Scott.

Schraeder missed the Hearts tournament two years ago because she was giving birth, which may explain why Scott issued a no-baby edict to her teammates leading up to last year's Olympic trials.

With Schraeder back at vice-skip, Scott made it to the trials final, losing to Alberta's Shannon Kleibrink.

Then, she won last year's Hearts, defeating former Manitoba junior teammate Jennifer Jones in the final. And now they are on the verge of being able to defend their title.

"How do you put into words to a Canadian championship?" said Schraeder, a data warehouse architect. "It's what you grow up dreaming for, to play in the Scott and win the Scott. And to be able to defend it, well, not too many people have been able to do that. So, it would feel pretty good."


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