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This article was published 8/11/2021 (236 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
KIM Link filled a curling hat trick Monday afternoon.
The 57-year-old East St. Paul skip beat St. Vital’s Norma Purdy 7-4 in the CurlManitoba Senior Women’s Provincial Championship final at the Pembina Curling Club to claim her third Manitoba title in seven years.
Link scored two in the sixth end and stole one in the seventh to lock down the victory.
Her team of third Colleen Kilgallen, second Karen Fallis, lead Renee Fletcher and fifth Lynn Fallis-Kurz qualified for the final through the A side and went 4-0 in the seven-team event.
The event was originally scheduled for March.
"It feels better every time that you do it," said Link.
"My third Colleen, it’s her first time (winning a provincial title) so we’re super excited for her. I just felt good curling with her again in seniors because she wasn’t eligible before. We played such a great game and so did they."
Purdy advanced to the final with a 7-5 triumph over Charleswood’s Maureen Bonar. Purdy’s crew also consisted of Patti Ulrich, Marlene Lang, Gwen Wooley and Nicole Goshawk.
It was the 56-year-old Purdy’s first trip to a provincial final and she savoured the experience with her teammates.
"I’m just happy we made it to the final, you know," said Purdy. "I mean, I’ve never been in one and it feels a bit deflating but not really. It was just nice to curl again...
"I think we had our chances. We had a couple of misses instead and in seven I slid too deep — so they stole one. I mean, if I hadn’t and we were getting our one, we were one down coming home."
The event, not staged in 2020, was a nice comeback for Link after not reaching the playoff round in 2019. Earning a bye to the final, the team did not play Sunday but had a practice session to stay sharp.
Leading 4-3 in the sixth end, Link lamented a heavy draw that turned a three-spot into a two. That was quickly forgotten in the euphoria of another championship.
"It would have been nice to have a three in the sixth but we were we were pretty confident out there and we kept talking to each other and saying, ‘It’s OK, we’re still in the game, we’re still up by two’ or ‘It’s time, we’re coming home and in the even ends just make sure we score,’ " said Link.
"We felt not in control in the fourth and fifth end but after that we started making good shots."
Link will represent Manitoba at the Everest Senior Curling Championships to be staged in Sault St. Marie, Ont., Dec. 6-11.
After representing Manitoba with Karen Fallis, Janice Blair and Allyson Bell at the 2015 nationals and in 2018 with Karen Fallis, Lynn Fallis-Kurz and Renee Fletcher on board, Link is hopeful of a good showing.
"I’d like to make the championship round," she said. "There are some great curlers going into this year’s event so it’ll be it’ll be a tough field but that’s our goal — make the championship round and then we’ll see how we go."
Bonar’s squad consisted of Joelle Brown, Allyson Bell, Deb McCreanor and Susan Baleja.
Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.