Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Caution: Blixhavn rink has baby on board

Scotties skip is 4 1/2 months pregnant

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Lisa Blixhavn's Brandon Curling Club team personnel adds up to 5 1/2 people.

Lana Hunter plays third, Rhonda Ritchie is second, Tanya Enns throws lead rocks, and Kristy Jennion, has been brought on as the fifth member.

Adding that little bit of extra team spirit, is Blixhavn's unborn baby. "I don't know if it is a boy or a girl yet," said the 4 1/2-months pregnant Blixhavn. "I really don't want to know."

The extra personnel was working fine during the Zone 4 playoffs on Saturday as Blixhavn trounced Stacey Fordyce, also of Brandon 13-5, and then beat Lisa Park of Deloraine 9-7 to win her zone and qualify for the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts Jan. 6-10, at the Shamrock Centre in Killarney.

Other teams qualifying through the zone playdowns are: Zone 1, Tannis Fortin, The Pas; Zone 2, Kari Goethe, Swan River CC; Zone 3, Liza Park, Wheat City; Zone 5, Terry Ursel, Plumas; Zone 6, Chelsea Carey, Morden CC; Zone 7, Kaleigh Strath, Winkler CC; Zone 9, Karen Rosser, Springfield; Zone 8, Kim Link, East St. Paul; Zone 10, Janet Harvey, Assiniboine Memorial; Zone 11, Barb Spencer, Fort Rouge; Zone 12, Linda Stewart, Fort Rouge; Zone 13, Jill Thurston, Deer Lodge; Zone 14, Joelle Brown, Fort Rouge.

Shauna Streich (Fort Rouge) and Karen Porritt (Wildewood) had both already qualified by earning berths through the Scotties Berth Bonspiel held in November.

Blixhavn described her game with Fordyce as "tight for the first couple of ends, but we had a really good fourth and got a three. It was one of our strongest games so far."

Against Park, they ran out of time, but she didn't have to throw her last rock for the win.

Last year the Killarney resident finished 5-2 at the Scotties.

"We just missed making the playoffs," she said. "Everyone else was 6-1 or 7-0, so that was a disappointment, but at the same time it was good. It was my first time as a skip. Going into the last draw we needed to win, and we needed help, but you can't always count on help."

Blixhavn brought her former skip of four years -- Jennion -- on board this year as insurance, in the event that her first-ever pregnancy interferes with her ability to play.

"Pregnancy is a funny thing," she said, "some days you are okay, and other days you are down for the count. So far it has been on and off, things have been okay, but it is better to be safe than sorry."

One other change to her rink, is the addition of Ritchie, in place of Jamie Campbell, who had a baby last year. "We've had a good year so far," said Blixhavn. "We've qualified in every bonspiel we've been in except for one. We haven't won a bonspiel, but that's okay. We do what we can do and for us it's mostly for the fun."

The team isn't going to rest from now until the Scotties.

"MCT championships are in Brandon Dec. 18-20, and that's really good competition," said Blixhavn.

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 8, 2009 C3

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