Ashern celebration

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -- They were likely raising their mugs in celebration of their favourite daughter in Ashern yesterday.

Team Canada second Sasha Carter, who originally hails from the Interlake town, was expecting her cellphone to be flooded with messages from those cheering her from afar after Kelly Scott captured her second straight Canadian curling crown.

BEERS AND CHEERS

"I think there's probably a few people having a few beers and cheering there," said Carter, whose dad still lives in Ashern. "It feels great. It's not that it's melodramatic but we just wanted to go out and play really well and felt we had a good chance of winning.

"It feels nice that we can set our year for next year a little bit, too. I can see why Colleen (Jones) wanted to do it all those years time after time."

Carter won the 1995 junior women's title with Scott before a sparse gathering in Perth, Scotland, so she wasn't worried about playing at the worlds in an empty arena in Aomori, Japan.

MESSAGING: Scott, by the way, was asked if she had a message for Sweden's Anette Norberg, the defending world champ.

"We're ba-ack," she replied, then laughed. "We'll see what we can do against that Swedish machine team."

NO FANTASY: Saskatchewan skip Jan Betker did not allow herself to imagine what it would have been like to enter next year's Hearts as Team Canada in Regina -- 10 years after she had made a triumphant entrance there as an Olympic gold medallist.

"There was no point to doing that," she said. "We were just thinking about what we had to do in this game to play well and unfortunately, we just didn't do it."

Betker was unsure if she would continue to play next season.

GOOD NUMBERS: Yesterday's final drew a crowd of 4,934 at the Enmax Centre. The week's total of 79,975 is the fifth-highest total in Scott history.

BLUEPRINT: Things are going according to Scott's plan this season.

"Our gameplan over the next few years is just to get into as many finals as possible," said Carter. "And get comfortable in that environment, get comfortable with all the media, all the hype, all the stress, all the pressure, the five-minute beaks between ends, play your best and see what happens to prepare us for 2010 (Olympics)."

LAST GASP: At the age of 50, Manitoba lead Janet Arnott likely enjoyed her last Hearts as a competitor.

"I thought we gave it our best shot and it just didn't have it," she said after losing Saturday's semifinal to Scott. "I just know I was excited to be here, excited to play and whatever happened, happened."

Arnott even drew some all-star votes in her ninth appearance.

Manitoba's Jennifer Jones, by the way, got $11,500, 25 CTRS points and some baubles for finishing third.


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