'Roar of the Rings' - Women's Preview

November 26, 2009

The 2009 ‘Roar of the Rings’ will consist of 8 of the best women’s teams in the world, all vying for the right to represent Canada at our home games in Vancouver. Regardless of who wins, the champion will carry the expectation of Gold. Only in ’98 were these expectiations realized, but at least we’ve never come home empty handed.

The teams who will be looking to add the second gold medal to the Canadian Women’s Trophy Case are:


Team Jones
Home Province: Manitoba
Team: Jennifer Jones, Cathy Overton-Clapham, Jill Officer, Dawn Askin
Resume: 6 Provincial Titles, 3 National Championships, 1 World Championship
Current CCA Ranking: 2nd

Widely regarded as the top Women’s team in the world, Jennifer Jones goes into the ‘Roar’ as the probable favourite. 5 straight Scotties appearances, with three victories and a world championship along the way will do that for you. Jones qualified in a number of ways, but the first was the as the winners of 2006–07 Players' Championship.

At the ‘Roar’ Jones will look to have a much better showing than the 2006 Trials where she finished a dissapointing 5-4, missing the playoffs. This time around, Jones can almost certainly be counted on at least play into the weekend, and obviously anything short of victory would be a disappointment for her.

Second Jill Officer can be found on twitter @jillofficer


Team Kleibrink
Home Province: Alberta
Team: Shannon Kleibrink, Amy Nixon, Bronwen Webster, Chelsey Bell
Resume: 3 Provincial Titles, 2006 Olympic Trials Winner, 2006 Olympic Bronze Medal
Current CCA Ranking: 1st

Team Kliebrink enters the ‘Roar’ with history on their side. In 2006, Kliebrink went through the round robin at 6-3, before taking it all by knocking off Kelly Scott in the finals where she took 3 in the 10th for a 8-7 come-from-behind win.

The 2006 Trials winner will come to Edmonton looking for a repeat win, and a chance to improve on her Bronze Medal from Turin.

Kleibrink first qualified as a result of her CTRS point total from 2006–07 to 2008–09.

In some ways, Kleibrink comes in as an undeserving underdog. She is the reigning champion of this event, and ranked #1 by the CCA. Despite these facts however, Jennifer Jones will still undoubtably be given the ‘favourite’ label.

Vice Amy Nixon can be found on twitter @amy_nixon


Team Bernard
Home Province: Alberta
Team: Cheryl Bernard, Susan O'Connor, Carolyn Darbyshire, Cori Bartel
Resume: 4 Provincial Titles
Current CCA Ranking: 4th

Cheryl Bernard comes to Edmonton as one of a number of local Alberta rinks. It must be highly frustrating to be a curler in Alberta, having to defeat world-class competition to just get out of your province. Most countries would kill for even one of the these teams. But I digress…

Team Bernard enters the ‘Roar’ as a direct qualifier, based off their CTRS points total from 2007-08 to 2008-09. Prediciting a finish for Bernard is somewhat difficult, just because I can seem them at either end of the spectrum. I could see them in the finals, or I can seem them finishing the week with a quiet 2-7 record. The truth is probably somewhere in between, with Bernard being a fringe playoff team.


Team Lawton
Home Province: Saskatchewan
Team: Stefanie Lawton, Marliese Kasner, Sherri Singler, Lana Vey
Resume: 2 Provincial Titles
Current CCA Ranking: 5th

At the 2006 Trials, Stefanie Lawton was a bit of a surprise…going 6-3 through the round robin at only 25 years old. After defeating Ontario’s Sherry Middaugh in a tiebreaker, Lawton fell to eventual champion Kliebrink in the Semi’s. She’ll look to take it all the way this time.

Since that run in 2006, Lawton has struggled a bit, undergoing lineup changes and facing stiff competition in her home province of Saskatchewan. She made her return to the Scotties last year however, making the playoffs before losing to Jones in the 3-4 game.

Lawton enters as a result of her CTRS points total from 2007-08 to 2008-09.


Team Webster
Home Province: Alberta
Team: Crystal Webster, Lori Olson-Johns, Sam Preston, Stephanie Malekoff
Resume: No Provincial Championships
Current CCA Ranking: 11th

Yet another team from Alberta, Webster is the first of the entrants who qualified via the ‘Road to the Roar’. In that competition, she tore through the ‘A’ Side with four straight victories over Holland, Middaugh, Homan and Scott.

Although there is no doubting that she enters as a team on a roll, the depth of competition at the ‘Roar’ will be stiffer than that at the ‘Road’. It will be interesting to see if Webster will be able to continue her streak from Prince George, or if she’ll fall to the favourites such as Jones and Kliebrink.

Personally, I think she’ll be in tough to make the playoffs…but I do recall being proven wrong three weeks ago at the ‘Road’….


Team Scott
Home Province: British Columbia
Team: Kelly Scott, Jeanna Schraeder, Sasha Carter, Jacquie Armstrong
Resume: 5 Provincial Titles, 2 National Titles, 1 World Championship
Current CCA Ranking: 6th

There is no doubt that through the middle section of the decade, Kelly Scott was the top women’s team in the world. 5 Scotties appearances from ’03-’08 and wins in ’06 and ’07 are pretty hard to argue with. Throw in the follow-up World Championshop from ’07, and you have a world-class resume…one capable of winning gold in 2010.

And not one bit of that makes me want to be our representative in Vancouver. I don’t know what it is, but I just cannot stand watching this team on TV. The ‘Roar’ will pretty much be an ‘anybody but Kelly Scott’ event for me. Uggghh….

Scott almost joined Gushue in the upset column at the ‘Road to the Roar’, losing both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ finals before finally defeating Sherry Middaugh in the ‘C1’ Final. Add that to her fall to the #6 ranking spot on the CCA Chart, andvthe fact that she failed to qualify for the ’09 Scotties, and Scott limps into this event pretty badly. She’ll have to turn it around very quickly if she’s going to have a chance to go to the Olympics in her home province of BC.


Team McCarville
Home Province: Ontario
Team: Krista McCarville, Tara George, Kari MacLean, Lorraine Lang
Resume: 3 Provincial Titles
Current CCA Ranking: 14th

Well, at least there is one team from east of Manitoba...

McCarville will enter the team as the junior entry on the competition at only 27 years old. Despite that age, she has three Ontario Championships to her name already (2006, 2007, 2009), having faired decently at each of them…if not making the playoffs. McCarville qualified by defeating Kelly Scott in the ‘B’ Finals of the ‘Road to the Roar’, after having run the bracket. Along the way she also topped Rankin, Homan and Holland.

Probably a bit of an underdog to see the playoffs, she should probably be at best considered an upset special.


Team Holland
Home Province: Saskatchewan
Team: Amber Holland, Kim Schneider, Tammy Schneider, Heather Seeley
Resume: No Provincial Championships
Current CCA Ranking: 16th

Amber Holland is a bit of an enigma, with not much exposure on the national scene as a result of the depth of talent in Saskatchewan. As with Webster, Team Holland enters with no Scotties appearances to their credit.

Holland qualifies after taking out Larouche in the ‘C2’ finals of the ‘Road to the Roar’. That being said, I’d be pretty surprised to see her in any finals this time around.

Roar of the Rings Overview
Men's Preview
Draw and Standings


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