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The Road to Red Deer: New Brunswick Update

The Gage Golf & Curling Club team of skip Rebecca Atkinson, fourth Andrea Kelly, second Jillian Babin and lead Jodie de Solla captured the 2012 New Brunswick Scotties Tournament of Hearts at their home club in Oromocto on Sunday, January 29 with a 7-5 win over a determined Fredericton Capital Winter Club foursome.

Andrea Kelly, throwing fourth stones for skip Rebecca Atkinson, returns to the Scotties for the fifth time (Photo Andrew Klaver)

Mary Jane McGuire, her sister Megan and front-enders Abby Burgess and Alice MacKay controlled the final game to its midpoint by building up a 4-2 lead. After the break, a revitalized Atkinson team responded by taking 1 in the sixth and then stealing 1 in the seventh and 3 in the eighth en route to the victory.

Atkinson and Moncton’s Sylvie Robichaud finished tied atop the eight-team round robin field with 6-1 records, but the Oromocto squad advanced directly to the championship final based on results from head-to-head play with the Curling Beausejour foursome. Their Sixth Draw showdown went all the way to an extra end before the Atkinson team stole a 7-6 triumph.

Robichaud, who teamed with Danielle Nicholson, Marie Richard and Kendra Lister, faced off against McGuire and company in the semi-final game on Saturday night. It proved to be a defensive battle from the outset. The teams traded single points and blank ends throughout the match and after nine frames, things were knotted at three apiece. With the advantage of having last rock in her pocket in the tenth end, McGuire was able to score the decisive single point and a 4-3 victory.

Andrea Kelly, who throws fourth rocks for the newly crowned New Brunswick champions, will be appearing in her fifth Canadian Women’s Curling Championship when she takes to the ice in Red Deer for the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts later this month. The twenty-six-year-old won the Canadian Junior Women’s Championship in 2005 when it was played in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Action at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts begins February 18 at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta.