Arguin on verge of a playoff berth

Matthew Gourlie
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Saskatchewan rink wins sixth straight at senior women's curling championships

Lorraine Arguin got off to a good start at the Canadian Senior Women's Curling Championships.

Lorraine Arguin's Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre rink is 8-1 at the Canadian Senior Women's Curling championships in Yellowknife.

They've only gotten better from there.

Arguin and her Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre foursome won two more games Wednesday in Yellowknife and clinched at least a spot in a tiebreaker at the national championships.

The Saskatchewan rink of Arguin third DondaLee Deis, second Shelly Urquhart and lead Connie Fritzler beat Marilyn Bodogh from Ontario 9-6 and Alberta's Glenys Bakker 9-0.

"It's the same things as in Unity — we've gotten stronger as we've gone along," said Arguin in reference to their provincial title run. "The girls are playing really well."

Arguin has now won six straight games.

Arguin is tied with Lois Fowler from Alberta — the only team that has beaten Arguin — on top of the standings. Both rinks have 8-1 records. Bodogh and Heidi Hanlon from New Brunswick are both 6-3. Bakker fell to 5-4 with the loss.

Barring a tiebreaker, the top three teams will advance to the playoffs. The first-place finisher will advance to the finals, with second and third will play a semifinal. A win Thursday will get Arguin into the semifinals at least.

"We play New Brunwsick and that's going to be another big game for us. Hopefully we can play well and knock them down," said Arguin who can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win on Thursday.

Arguin began her day by Wednesday by beating Bodogh, a two-time Scotties and world champion.

"No one is unbeatable out here. As long as we're making our shots, then that's the key thing," said Arguin.

"That was a big win. She was one of the favourites coming in here because of her history. We've watched 40 people throw rocks down the sheet here and no one throws them perfect every time. We've just been trying to have fewer misses than the opposition. It's been working out well for us. We've been able to notice some weaknesses on every team after two or three ends and we've been trying to play to our advantage."

The game didn't start well as Bodogh scored three with the hammer and then stole a point to take a 4-0 lead after two ends. Arguin picked up three in the third end and stole in the fourth to tie.

"We had a really tough start. They got their three on us and we had a couple of misses," said Arguin. "In the third end, she was trying to guard my tap for one and I had made an angle raise for three. I don't know if she noticed that I had it there, but I could see it all along. We got three and that kind of deflated them a bit and got us back in the game."

Arguin scored four in the ninth end to take the lead and ran Bodogh out of rocks.

In the night draw she faced Bakker, the second on Shannon Kleibrink's bronze medal winning team from the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics. Arguin cruised to the win.

Saskatchewan took a 2-0 lead with the hammer after blanking the first two ends. She then stole in four straight ends — including a steal of three in the sixth — to take the game 9-0.

"We've been just getting the perfect little hit-and-rolls," said Arguin. "In four when I stole one, I had to make an angle freeze behind some guards to stop them from getting three or four. The next end we made some perfect hits, taps and rolls. It's been working out."

The competition is divided between the Yellowknife Arena and the Yellowknife Curling Club. Going between the two types of ice isn't easy, but Arguin is feeling more confident as the week has progressed.

"The arena ice has straightened out a little bit so it's easier to read and it's more consistent, she said. "We have no problems with the curling club side. If I'm not battling the ice I feel a lot more comfortable putting the broom down."

Arguin will play Hanlon from New Brunswick and Jennifer Scott from P.E.I. to conclude the round robin.

Organizations: Yellowknife Curling Club

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Alberta, New Brunswick Yellowknife New Brunwsick Turin P.E.I.

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