Kleibrink takes two in Scotties, keeps pace with Middaugh

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

REGINA -- It was fitting that Shannon Kleibrink should win the Alberta championship to qualify for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts the same year they're celebrating the 10th anniversary of Saskatchewan's Sandra Schmirler capturing Olympic gold.

"That's pretty cool," Kleibrink said. "Like I was kind of a part of that history because they beat us to go to the Olympics."

Schmirler beat Kleibrink in the Olympic trials final, thanks to "the shot heard around the curling world" -- an in-off for three that's been shown a number of times here this week (with the late Don Wittman calling the shot).

FIRST-PLACE TIE

Kleibrink's off to a good start this week, beating Newfoundland's Heather Strong 6-4 yesterday to improve to 2-0 and a first-place tie with Ontario's Sherry Middaugh heading into last night's draw.

"The first game (a 6-4 victory over B.C.'s Allison MacInnes), we struggled early and played better in the latter half of the game," said Kleibrink.

"If we can play like we did in this game, we'll be fine."

Middaugh defeated Saskatchewan's Michelle Englot 7-4 to keep pace with Kleibrink.

In other action yesterday, Nova Scotia's Mary-Anne Arsenault nipped Manitoba's Jennifer Jones 6-5 in an extra end to move into a third-place tie with Jones at 2-1, while Team Canada's Kelly Scott rebounded from an opening-round loss to beat Quebec's Marie-France Larouche 8-4.


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