Provincial dreams dashed for Kleibrink
Curling: Okotoks skip falls in extra-end at Southerns
By: Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013 06:00 am
There will be a noticeable absence when the Alberta Scotties hit Sylvan Lake in January.
For the first time in her competitive career Shannon Kleibrink failed to advance to the final round of provincials after the Okotoks skip bowed out of the Southerns in Black Diamond losing in the C semifinal 5-4 in an extra-end to Norma Brown, Sunday night at the Oilfields Curling Club.
“We ran into a hot team, (Brown) beat us twice in the event,” Kleibrink said. “We had a little bit of difficulty with the ice. Really it was a crapshoot. There were lots of picks, I think we had 11 in our last game.
“That’s going to happen every once in a while, but I think it’s the only Southerns that we can certainly say were not really decided on skill.”
Kleibrink, third Bronwen Webster, second Kalynn Park and lead Chelsea Matson, forced an extra-end by scoring two in the 10th against Brown before the Strathmore skip won it with the hammer in the 11th.
“I think it was because it was so warm outside and it’s a tin rink so (the ice) was too soft. And it depended what time of day, some games were worse than others,” she said. “Other than that it was a great place to have the event because we love to play near home and the team all stayed in Okotoks so it was really fun.”
Kleibrink opened the ‘spiel Friday morning with an 11-6 win over Tanilla Doyle and an 8-6 loss to Casey Scheidegger to drop into the B-event. The 45-year-old beat Jackie Brett 10-3 and then dropped an 8-3 result to Brown to fall down into the C-event.
After losing to Brown on Saturday, a perturbed Kleibrink switched places with Park and had the 25-year-old throwing last rock for the team’s final three matches on the weekend.
“I was getting a bit frustrated so I thought ‘you know what, someone else give it a whirl’, but really she didn’t have a whole lot more luck,” Kleibrink said. “We were hoping that maybe because she threw more rotation maybe her rocks wouldn’t pick so often.
“She did a great job.”
After dropping down into the C-event, the Okotoks skip rattled off a pair of convincing victories to inch closer to qualification. Kleibrink beat former teammate Glenys Bakker 9-1 and eliminated Tanilla Doyle, out of the Highwood Curling Club, with a 7-3 score on Sunday morning.
“It’s really hard to say if we were playing well because honestly the teams we played just had really bad breaks,” Kleibrink said. “The games we won quite handily were because they had a lot of picks.”
The exit from Southerns for Kleibrink, a four-time Alberta Scotties champion, marks the end of her run of qualifying for every provincial competition she’s made a bid for.
Cheryl Bernard, the 2010 Olympic silver medalist, won the A-event at Southerns, Lethbridge’s Casey Scheidegger qualified for her fourth straight provincials through the B-event and Crystal Webster earned the last spot through the C-final.
“It’s disappointing, but at the same time it is such a great field (at Southerns) and luckily two of the best teams did make it out, which is a good thing because it might not have gone that way,” said Kleibrink, the 2006 Olympic bronze medallist. “Alberta is just a really deep province right now and it’s difficult to get out of for sure.”
Kleibrink, who won’t be shooting for the 2018 Olympics, said she expects to continue to contend for provincial and national Scotties titles.
For the full list of results from the Southern Playdowns go to saca.ca and find the playdowns tab.