Beaudry rink off to Bantam provincials
Lindsay Cain buried her head into her third’s shoulder in half-joking fashion, not really wanting to see what was about to unfold.
The Atikokan skip needed divine intervention but it was Hailey Beaudry and her Fort Frances rink whose prayers were answered Saturday at the Stratton Curling Club.
Cain was trailing 7-6 but lying two—and possibly even three—in the eighth and final end of Game 2.
But she also knew her exposed rock in the back of the eight-foot was there for the taking.
Beaudry knew it, too, and made no mistake—delivering a tapback to secure a spot for her and her rink of third Nicole Hartlin, second Erin Tomalty, and co-leads Tori and Anika Beaudry at the Tim Hortons Bantam girls’ provincial championship Jan. 30-Feb. 2 in Sault Ste. Marie.
“This is the last year that myself and Nicole are able to go to the [Bantam] provincials,” noted the thrilled skip.
“It came down to the last rock last year and it was the same thing this year,” she added.
“It’s great that we get to go.”
Beaudry looked home free after Cain wrecked on a Fort Frances stone with a take-out attempt in the sixth end and rolled out, while leaving Beaudry’s rock to count as a steal of one for a 7-4 lead.
But a mishit by Beaudry left Cain staring at a free draw for three to tie things up in the seventh.
Cain came up two inches light, though, and had to settle for two while surrendering the hammer.
Then in the eighth, each member of the Beaudry rink took turns missing the mark to leave Cain in good position for a multiple-point steal for the win to force a deciding Game 3 later Saturday.
But with her last rock, while trying to guard her shot stone, Cain instead pushed it out the back of the rings to give Beaudry the chance for the decisive shot.
“This is a big confidence-booster for us and we’re proud of ourselves,” Beaudry declared.
The key end may have been the fifth, with Beaudry leading 5-4 and lying one in the back of the 12-foot.
Cain’s last rock looked to have good weight out of the hack but her front end inexplicably stopped sweeping without the skip telling them to do so.
They reapplied the brooms quickly—but it was too late to prevent the stone from jamming Beaudry’s rock back onto their own and having the shooter roll out to give the Fort crew a steal of one to lead by two.
“That steal was very important,” said Anika Beaudry, who played lead in Game 2 after Tori Beaudry handled the position in a 7-3 victory in the opening game Friday.
“It was very close the whole game. I was so nervous,” she admitted.
Tomalty echoed her teammate’s comments.
“It was definitely nerve-wracking today,” she remarked. “Both teams played really well.
“We just had to get out there and go do it.”
“Winning [Game 1] was important coming into [Saturday],” noted Hartlin, whose older sister, Taylor, will travel with the team to the Soo as coach.
“Both games I think we curled really good,” added Tori Beaudry.
The win means Fort Frances will have female and male reps at the Bantam provincials after Christopher Silver skipped his rink to a qualifying berth last month in Sioux Lookout.
“Getting a girls’ and boys’ team from the same town to qualify for provincials doesn’t happen that much,” enthused Hailey Beaudry.
“It shows how good our junior program and how good our coaching is.”