Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

How a Hall of Fame team was born

Gauthier recalls fateful phone call that created a powerhouse

  • Print

Like all good ideas it started with a spark, a flash of genius.

And so it was back in the early 1990s when Cathy Gauthier's phone rang and one of this province's greatest curling teams -- the Connie Laliberte squad of 1992 and 1995 that will be inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame this spring -- was born.

"I got a phone call from Laurie Allen," said Gauthier Thursday at a press conference announcing the 2011 inductees. "And she said, 'We've all skipped. We've all played third, but we're not seeing the best Manitoba could have. What would you feel like if instead of playing skip or third you played second? I'm going to step down and play third, Connie's going to skip. What if we put a team together that we think is a dream team? We all have the same work ethic, we all care about this game and we all want to win. What do you think?'

"I took two seconds and I was in. And it was magic, it really was. I think what our team was really good at doing is showing that not everybody has to be a skip or a third, that if you put four great players on a team and work hard that's when the results come. And, I tell ya, I'd rather be a second on a winning team than skipped a team that never got anywhere."

Gauthier, Allen, Laliberte, Janet Arnott and Cathy Overton-Clapham formed a team that were provincial and Canadian champions and captured bronze in 1992 and silver at the 1995 Women's World Championships.

Actually, "capturing" silver at the '95 championship in Brandon isn't how Gauthier would describe it.

"It's tough. In '95 we worked really hard, we were the team of the week, we had great percentages, we loved the ice and the crowd was our extra teammate. And then in the seventh (end of the final) Elisabet (Gustafsson, of Sweden) made a shot and instead of the game being over all of a sudden we were in a really tight game and we ended up losing in an extra end.

"I had flashbacks -- as did Connie and Janet and Cath -- for years. And the fact I'm still talking about it drives me crazy. It's such an accomplishment to win a silver but we really felt we lost gold."

Gauthier, by the way, was doing all of the reminiscing at Thursday's induction announcement as Overton-Clapham is in Charlottetown skipping Manitoba's entry at the Scotties; Arnott is the fifth for Jennifer Jones' Team Canada while Laliberte is there, too, as a coach.

Two notable inductees -- Orest Meleschuk and Clare DeBlonde -- were in Palm Springs and didn't attend the induction press conference. Joining them at the 24th annual induction dinner on May 2 will be families from Robert Gourley's 1931 team and Fred Smith, inducted as part of the veteran curler category, and builders Jerry Brown and Sylvia Erickson.

"It was always important to give back to the game," said Erickson. "I've been busy in the game... it keeps me out of mischief."

"I was just flabbergasted when I got the call... I still am," said Brown. "I've always been a volunteer, but never thought of anything like that. I loved doing it.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 18, 2011 C3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Winnipeg Jets Bogosian-Little-Ladd

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Do you think Ray Rice should be given a lifetime ban from the NFL?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google