Nielson rink misses provincial berth

It may have been their last time together as a team at the Northwestern Ontario junior ladies’ playdowns, but even if it was, the rink of Amy Nielson had much to be pleased with.
Nielson, 17, representing the Fort Frances Curling Club, finished in third place with a 2-4 mark last week in Dryden along with her rink of Jenna Enge, 16, Kate Bondett, 17, and Courtney Beadle, 17 (they were coached by Dave Bondett).
Only the top two teams advanced to the provincial playdowns slated next month.
And with Nielson planning to head to college next year, the team is unsure if it will stay together.
“We’re going to have to meet to talk about things,” said Enge. “But I thought that we did pretty well. We went up there to get more experience and we did that.”
They opened the four-team tournament last Thursday with a 10-3 win over Courtney Lennon (Longlac), but then followed that with a 9-3 loss to Ashley Miharja (Fort William Curling Club).
They lost their first two games Friday, falling 10-4 to Lianna Fossum (Port Arthur Curling Club) and 8-1 to Miharja, but bounced back in the evening draw with a 10-4 win over Lennon.
Nielson then wrapped up round-robin play Saturday morning with an 8-4 loss to Fossum, who advanced to the provincials Jan. 13-15 in Kapuskasing along with Miharja.
Miharja finished the round-robin with a perfect 5-0 mark while Fossum was second at 4-2. Lennon rounded out the field at 0-5.
“We wanted to do better than we did last year and we wanted to compete with the Thunder Bay teams a lot better than last year, too,” said Enge, who added they accomplished those goals though they failed to advance.
“I think we learned how to control our mental game, and we had a lot fun,” she added. “We just wanted to give them the best that we could give them and I think we did that.”