‘Lucky’ breaks help Jackson rink earn provincial berth

In a sport where one or two breaks can change the outcome of a game, Kathie Jackson’s Fort Frances rink definitely benefited from a few “lucky” ones at the Northwestern Ontario ladies’ curling playdowns in Dryden last week.
And they transformed that good fortune into a tie for top spot along with Kelli Perozak (Thunder Bay) at 5-1 after round-robin play–earning both rinks a berth at the provincial playdowns in Niagara Falls later this month.
Jackson, whose rink includes third Kim Beaudry, second Kelly Tolen, new lead Stacy Beacham, and fifth Roz Broman, said while they curled well in earning their second trip to the provincials in as many years, it was nice to be on the receiving end of a few good breaks.
“For once, things were going our way,” said Jackson, who also curled at the provincials in 1989 and ’90.
One of the biggest breaks occurred in their 8-6 extra-end victory over Diane Adams (Adams) when they benefited from a poor shot made by her second.
“We knew if we would beat Diane, then we would have at least a playoff spot,” said Jackson, whose rink placed fourth at the provincials in Kenora last year.
“The first game and the last game were blowouts but the other three games went down to last rock,” she noted.
After opening with a 9-2 lopsided win over Tara Coulterman (Thunder Bay) last Thursday morning, Jackson came out on the short end of a tight 9-7 decision against Perozak that afternoon.
But Jackson never lost another game after that, trouncing Peggy Taylor (Kenora) 9-2 on Thursday night, then beating Joy Lappalainen (Thunder Bay) 7-5 of Friday morning.
She needed the extra end to squeak by Adams on Friday afternoon, then closed out round-robin play with a 15-7 trouncing of Rachelle Johnson (Sioux Lookout) on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Perozak lost her opening draw 6-5 to Adams, then racked up wins over Jackson, Johnson (11-7), Coulterman (8-3), Lappalainen (10-4), and Taylor (no score available) to also advance to the provincial finals.
Coulterman finished the round-robin in second place at 4-2, followed by Adams (3-3), Lappalainen and Taylor (2-4), and Johnson (0-6).
Jackson felt having to play three close games during the round-robin helped her rink keep sharp, and she’s hoping that competitiveness will stay with them in Niagara Falls.
“I think we have a good team if we curl well,” she said. “Our goal is to be one of the three teams that make the playoffs.”
The winner advances to the national championship of the Scott Tournament of Hearts later this year.