Teamwork helps Team Belisle

BEN LEESON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. -- Quebec's entry in the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts may bear the name of skip Eve Belisle.

But the 30-year-old Montrealer is aware as anyone that her curling team has four members.

And she's thankful for it, too.

Belisle herself was a little off her game in the early going at provincial women's championships earlier this month.

"I struggled, but my team kept us in it," said Belisle, whose rink is rounded out by third Brenda Nicholls, second Martine Comeau and lead Julie Rainville. "And then, in the playoffs, I came up and played better."

Those playoffs were capped with a 7-5 victory over Marie-France Larouche in the championship game, giving the Belisle rink a first Scotties berth after coming up short in both the 2008 and 2009 provincial finals.

Belisle, a research associate at Ecole Polytechnique's Center for Research in Computational Thermochemistry, was a provincial women's champion in 2006 and a provincial mixed champion in both 2005 and 2007. She will play in her second Scotties beginning Saturday at Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

She joins a field which includes a few of her fellow veterans, such as Team Canada skip Jennifer Jones, former Scotties champion and B.C. skip Kelly Scott, Ontario's Krista McCarville, New Brunswick's Andrea Kelly and Quebec's Eve Belisle.

Also appearing at Essar Centre are Alberta's Valerie Sweeting, Saskatchewan's Amber Holland, Nova Scotia's Nancy McConnery, Prince Edward Island's Kathy O'Rourke, Newfoundland and Labrador's Shelley Nichols and Northwest Territories and Yukon's Sharon Cormier.

"There are some surprises in there, but the games will always be tough," Belisle said. "There are no easy games at the Scotties.

"I think we have a good chance of making the playoffs."

At the 2006 Scotties, Belisle's foursome went 7-4 through round-robin action, putting her in a tiebreaker with Newfoundland's Heather Strong. Quebec won that game, but dropped its next contest against defending-champion Jones.

"We have got more experience now," Belisle said. "The first time you do it, you're so impressed by the big crowd and the media and everything. I think that this time we'll play much better."

Round-robin play runs through Feb. 4, with tiebreakers, page playoffs and semifinals set to go Feb. 5 and 6.

The championship game is Feb. 7 at 2:30 p.m.


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