Loose bolt nearly screws Alberta rink

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:23 AM ET

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Maybe Alberta’s Shannon Kleibrink is starting to get the breaks.

Because what happened in the 10th end against Newfoundland at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts last night could have been disastrous.

A bolt fell out of the broom used by second Bronwen Webster, but unbeknownst to the Albertans, a washer came flying out, too.

And it wreaked havoc with one of the rocks thrown by third Amy Nixon.

“We didn’t even know there were washers in there,” Nixon said. “It went underneath my rock and threw it right off line. It basically meant my rock was useless. It could have been a big deal.”

Fortunately, Kleibrink’s squad was up two points, with the hammer, and managed to nail down a desperately needed 8-5 victory to improve to 3-2, good for a share of third place.

But the Alberta skip agreed the wayward washer could have been dicey.

“That’s how I ended up having to make a different shot,” Kleibrink said. “If she (Newfoundland skip Stacie Devereaux) would have made her shot, I would have all of a sudden been in some trouble.”

The win snapped a two-game losing streak that threatened to throw a wrench into Kleibrink’s playoff hopes.

But the Olympic medalist thought the nuts and bolts of her team were just fine. They were simply having trouble getting a read on the tricky ice conditions.

The slow start hasn’t left a lot of breathing room for a team looking for its first national title.

“In my mind, three losses is just fine,” Nixon said. “We’ve got a lot of games left, so not much of a cushion.”

And no time to lament the ones that got away against Ontario, Sunday, and Saskatchewan, Monday morning.

Up next, PEI and Manitoba on Tuesday.

“You’ve kind of got to park that stuff,” Nixon said. “We’ve been here long enough. We’ve been around. We weren’t freaking out or anything. Just, you gotta win.”

And keep an eye out for washers.


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