Jenkyns scores last-shot victory in women's final
Fourth women's city banner for St. Albert Curling Club at Edmonton and area Tournament of Champions
Saturday, Apr 15, 2017 06:00 am
Ellerslie Curling Club – Lauren Jenkyns delivered in the clutch with the city crown on the line.
Despite some anxious moments in the hack, the St. Albert skip made her last shot count for the winning points in Wednesday’s final at the 54th annual Edmonton and area Tournament of Champions.
“I actually did have some little jitters. I took a couple of deep breaths before I threw that one,” said Jenkyns of the decisive deuce in the 6-5 decision against Abby Marks of the Saville Centre.
“We were second shot so I needed to do the nose hit to get the two. I thought I threw it pretty good but it was just a hair tight so I knew we had to go right at the release but the girls held it and the rest is done.”
The fourth city banner for the St. Albert Curling Club since the women’s draw was added to the Tournament of Champions format in 1993 was also the third for Kathy Piper at third and Laurie Conrad at second, Jenkyns’ second and the first for lead Christina Monk.
“It means a lot for us,” Jenkyns said. “It was also nice to pull it off together and win it for Christina.”
Visit www.stalbertgazette.com to view the team picture.
The 12-team, six-day bonspiel featured the 2017 metro Edmonton club champions.
Cathy King was the inaugural women’s champion at cities curling out of St. Albert and the 2010 winners were Piper at skip, Nicole Bellamy at third, Jackie Rae Greening at second and Conrad at lead.
Jenkyns skipped the 2014 championship rink with Piper, Conrad and Cindy Bobowik in the lineup.
“The first one was the most exciting for myself because it was the first time. There was no Travelers (provincial club championships) so the cities was kind of the ultimate. That’s what you tried to get to so that was always what we strived to get, which was the banner,” Conrad said.
“This is the ultimate,” Piper added. “We won the (President’s Cup) club championship, (northern Alberta) Travelers, (St. Albert) ladies bonspiel and now cities this year.”
The Wednesday night team closed out a successful season with only three losses and one tie overall in league play, President’s Cup playoffs and cities.
“We just have that kind of never-give-up sort of attitude,” said Jenkyns, the 2015 finalist and 2016 semifinalist at cities. “We come out and we want to win so we try our best and try not to get down on ourselves when things do go wrong and this game was a good example of that because we did have our hiccups and we came back and brought it.”
The rematch of the St. Albert bonspiel final in February – 5-3 against the junior Alberta Pandas – started off with three consecutive singles by Jenkyns before the U18 Optimist provincial champions tacked up a three-spot in four.
“We started out fairly strong and then in the fourth end we were pretty lucky that we only gave up three,” Jenkyns said. “It shook us up a little bit, well me mostly. I think we were zero-for-eight for shots that end and that just gets in your head so we just had to regroup a little from there.
“Christina started us off pretty good in the fifth and we all kind of followed suit in order to make some shots and get that confidence back up.”
After the single in five, Marks drew for two in six for the 5-4 lead.
Jenkyns blanked the next end by knocking out the only rock in the house, located on the edge on the top rings.
“Getting one in the fifth was pretty huge in trying to get some of that momentum back and then in seven just being able to play that open end was kind of nice to just throw the rocks and get some nice releases and then build up that confidence for coming home in eight,” Jenkyns said.
The junior rink of Marks, Paige Papley and Jamie Scott were missing their lead, Brittany Brezinski, because of exams but the trio was still a handful for the veteran St. Albert foursome to match shots and wits against.
“It’s not a disadvantage playing with three. The other two get to throw three rocks and they just get more used to the ice,” said Marks, a St. Albert resident and Grade 12 Ecole Secondaire Sainte Marguerite d’Youville student.
“The other team played really well and my team played really well too, it just would’ve been nice if I had a made a few more shots for my team. Unfortunately I didn’t do that today.”
The juniors knocked off the Avonair, Derrick and Crestwood en route to the final
“There is definitely some really, really good teams here that gave us the kind of games that we needed to get ready for nationals,” said Marks, who learned how to curl when Monk was an instructor for the Little Rock program in St. Albert.
Nationals start Tuesday at Superior Propane Centre in Moncton, N.B.
“We are so, so excited,” Marks said. “We’re just going to play our game and make shots.”
The team of three high school students and one university student qualified for nationals by going 5-0 in the provincial round robin last month in Leduc.
“We were all close to averaging 80 per cert that weekend so I was super proud of my team,” Marks said.
The juniors also qualified in all five bonspiels entered and during the course of roughly a 70-game season finished 9-1 in the U18 playdowns and 6-7 in the U21 playdowns while surpassing the 40-win mark overall.
We’ve definitely played very, very well this season and I’m super proud of them,” Marks said. “We all get along really, really well. We’re all really good friends. We’re also a really strong-hitting team which really helps us against U18 teams.”
Jenkyns will be cheering the juniors on from her living room couch after wrapping up the season at cities following a 4-0 performance at the northern Travelers last month in Sherwood Park for a berth at the Alberta Travelers Club Championships, Oct. 20 to 22 at the Avonair.
Northerns consisted of the 2016 club champions from throughout northern Alberta and Bobowik was the team’s lead in Sherwood Park.
“We were playing quite well at Travelers so we were happy with that,” said Jenkyns, who will curl in her fourth Alberta Travelers in five years with Piper and Conrad and the trio were victorious in 2013 for a berth at the club nationals.
“We kind of took a little bit of a mental break after Travelers and then we just didn’t come out as sharp as we wanted to for cities but we were able to scrounge it together.”
After losing the city opener against the Shamrock, Jenkyns needed an extra end to get by the Granite and victories over the Thistle and Derrick were followed by another extra-end outcome in Tuesday’s semifinal against Sherwood Park.
“We definitely got off to a shaky start. The problem with (the first game) was we just weren’t in the right mindset. Most of us were volunteering for Ford Worlds that was going on at the same time and we had other commitments there so it was just tough to get into the right mindset but losing (to the Shamrock) kind of snapped us out of it and then we were able to start making a few shots and we kept going from there,” Jenkyns said.