McLeod exceeds Scotties expectations


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Lisa McLeod had modest expectations at the beginning of this week’s provincial women’s curling championship.

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Lisa McLeod had modest expectations at the beginning of this week’s provincial women’s curling championship.

The skip and her Portage la Prairie team quickly blew those projections out of the water, bolting from the gate with three consecutive wins before finishing the preliminary round with a 3-2 record.

“Before we would have played this event my goal would have been let’s go 3-2 and see if we can make the next round,” said McLeod Friday afternoon before dropping a 6-5 decision to Assiniboine Memorial’s Beth Peterson in championship round action at the East St. Paul Arena Friday night.

“So we’ve truly have accomplished that. It’s just because we started so strong and started 3-0, our new goal on the second on the third day was to cap it off with 4-1 to give us a better shake going into the championship round.”

McLeod and her crew of third Janelle Lach, second Hallie McCannell and lead Jolene Callum lost a 10-8 decision to St. Vital’s Grace Beaudry to finish second in the Asham Express Red Group.

McLeod guided Miami’s Jennifer Clark-Rouire team to a 0-5 showing at last year’s Scotties in Carberry.

Her play this week evoked memories of a splendid run at the 2012 Provincial Scotties when, playing in her hometown, she went 5-2 in the preliminaries before being beaten 8-5 in the 3-4 Page playoff by Jennifer Jones.

“Last year was kind of a kick down and you don’t feel so great afterwards,” said McLeod. “After that, you’re second-guessing yourself. It’s nice to feel a little bit of confidence and really remember that you can make really good shots again on this beautiful ice.”

Meanwhile, No. 3-seeded Abby Ackland’s East St. Paul team held a 4-0 lead after two ends on Jones Friday afternoon before giving up one in the third and five in the fourth en route to a 10-7 loss.

“I thought yesterday we were kind of rocky but the first day we were really good,” said Meghan Walter, who throws skip rocks for the Ackland crew.

“So I think we had a bounce back game today from yesterday and one bad end kind of killed us.”

Ackland finished third at 3-2 in the Red Group before losing 12-7 to No. 1 seed Kaitlyn Lawes of Fort Rouge in Friday’s championship round.

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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