Thursday, February 21

"We're Here To Curl"

Englot team turns focus to curling

Murray McCormick, Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-Post
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2008

REGINA -- Michelle Englot has attempted to take control of the off-ice distractions at the Canadian women's curling championship.

Englot returned to action Wednesday at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts after attending a funeral service for her father, Joe Englot, in Montmartre on Tuesday. She was beaten 7-5 by Heather Strong of Newfoundland-Labrador on Wednesday and proclaimed to the media that was she was fine.

"The funeral went fine and we're here to curl," Englot said after falling to 4-4.

Englot and her teammates -- Darlene Kidd, Roberta Materi and Cindy Simmons -- have formed a unified front in dealing with the media's questions regarding the squad's off-ice emotions.

"Our team motto is, 'The funeral is done, we've said our good-byes and we're going to focus on curling,'" said Simmons. "We have to keep our heads into the game and not worry about the media."

Joe Englot, 74, died Friday at the family farm in Montmartre after suffering a heart attack. Englot has played through her grief and was able to keep her emotions in check. That was until after Tuesday's 8-6 loss to Nova Scotia's Mary-Anne Arsenault. The Brandt Centre crowd saluted Englot with a standing ovation, which led to the skip breaking down.

"It was just getting caught up in the moment," Englot said. "We knew that we had some tough things to deal with that day and we've dealt with them. We've decided to concentrate on curling and that's all that we're thinking about."

Englot fell behind 6-2 to Newfoundland-Labrador after five ends after giving up steals of one in the fourth and fifth ends and a steal of two in the sixth. She closed the gap to 6-5 in the eighth but that was as close as she could get.

"We were chasing them the whole first half of the game," Englot said. "We turned it around and finally had them chasing us. It was too little, too late."
© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008