Lee falls just short of provincials

A late entry almost pulled off the big upset at the district ladies’ playdowns in Terrace Bay last weekend.
With Tara George (Fort William) having already nailed down the first berth to the Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts later this month in Thunder Bay, Angela Lee of Stratton squared off against Jodi Judd (Port Arthur) in the final draw of the round-robin Saturday with the second spot on the line.
And while Lee, a first-year skip in the ladies’ competition, jumped out to an early lead, Judd battled back to win 7-5 and advance to the provincials.
Judd wound up with a 5-2 record while Lee had to settle for third place at 4-3.
Lee, who failed to advance to the districts after finishing third at the zone playdowns in Dryden last month, accepted a last-minute invitation to compete in Terrace Bay when no rink from the host club entered.
Against Judd, Lee grabbed a 3-1 lead after three ends but Judd roared back with a pair in the fourth and a steal of two more in the fifth.
After Lee tied the score at 5-5 after the seventh, Judd regained the lead with one in the eighth and then iced the victory with a steal of one in the ninth.
“We were down in the ninth, hit, and rolled the wrong way,” said Lee. “From there, they basically ran us out of rocks [in the 10th]. We needed two to tie. They just peeled well and ran us out.”
“But [Judd] had a strong team. We knew she’d be one of the top teams,” she added.
The Stratton rink actually made up of three Thunder Bay players, including third Kelli Smith, second Rachelle Neilson, and lead Amy Staciw.
Lee, the lone Stratton native, played under her home club’s name for their run at the Scotts even though she now lives in Thunder Bay to attend college—and was happy with their showing.
“We’re definitely pleased with the weekend. We were just hoping to get experience,” said Lee, who was competing at the ladies’ level for the first time along with Staciw.
“We put the team together just for these playdowns.”
Lee had held a share of top spot after starting off 3-0. But she dropped three of her last four games, including losses were to Diane Adams (Rainy River) and George.
“[Early leads] keep your morale up. It does help going in playing good teams, especially with the young team we had,” Lee reasoned. “It’s good to have that confidence.”
Meanwhile, Adams, a former world champion with the Heather Houston rink in 1989, loss two of her first three draws and was never in the running. She wound up finishing in a four-way tie for fourth place at 3-4.
This was the first time a rink from this zone hasn’t qualified for the Ontario Scotts in four years. Kathie Jackson’s foursome (Fort Frances) had been a regular fixture at the provincial showdown but she opted not to compete this year.