Friday, February 22

"It Just Wasn't Our Turn This Year"

No miracle for host team

The Moose Jaw Times Herald | February 22, 2008

Moose Jaw’s Cindy Simmons and her Team Saskatchewan teammates knew they were going to need a miracle if they were to reach the playoffs at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

And it would seem if any team had earned a break or two, the Michelle Englot foursome were that rink — but unfortunately, fate just didn’t have anything good in store for the hometown favourites.

Even though Englot and her Regina Tartan rink of third Darlene Kidd, second Roberta Materi and lead Simmons turned in their best performance of the week in an 8-1 six-end route of P.E.I.’s Suzanne Gaudet, an 8-2 win by Quebec’s Marie-France Larouche over New Brunswick’s Sylvie Robideau in the same draw eliminated Team Sask from competition.

At best, Saskatchewan could finish at 6-5, the lowest any of the top four teams could finish was 7-4.

“We went into today’s game and played well, and it was nice to win handily for once, but all the things we needed to have happen today for us to make the tiebreaker didn’t happen,” Simmons said shortly after watching her team’s final playoff chances slip away.

“Our hopes weren’t that high going into today knowing what the other teams were up against, and things just didn’t turn out.”

With little to play for, Team Sask went on to a 10-3 loss against Alberta’s Shannon Kleibrink, who finished atop the round robin standings at 10-1.

“The way we’re looking at it is that only one team wins it all, and it just wasn’t our turn this year,” Simmons said.

With their swing at the Scotties finished for another season, Simmons plans to throw her support behind another family member the rest of the way — and not the one you might think, at least for the moment.

“I’ll start cheering for Alberta after tonight, my cousin (second Bronwen Saunders) plays for them, we have a nice family connection there, and we all know (lead) Chelsey (Bell), so we’ll be rooting for them,” Simmons said.

Other than that, it’s time for some rest and relaxation the rest of what has been an exceptionally trying week.

“I think we’re all mentally and physically tired after everything that’s happend, so it’ll be nice to be able to relax a bit,” Simmons said. “It’s disappointing given what we’d hoped for going into the event but it’s okay too. It’s been a pretty amazing experience.”

A big part of that was the support of the Brandt Centre fans, who went out of their way to give the Englot foursome all the help they could get.

“I couldn’t ask for a better first Scott for myself,” Simmons said. “The games were amazing, the atmosphere, it’s indescribable what the atmosphere was like on the ice to have a chance to play in front of such a perfect crowd.

“We were laughing because it’s funny just being piped out on the ice and people are clapping and we haven’t even started playing yet... the tingles and the amazing feeling you get out there is incredible.”

And as for the drive to return to the Scotties?

“I can see why (husband and four-time defending Tankard champion) Pat (Simmons) wants to get back so badly every year, it’s an amazing experience and something you want to be a part of as often as you can,” Simmons said. “So I know we’ll do what we can to get back again next year.”