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Barker, Holland drop down to ‘C’ side at Viterra Scotties

Silvernagle wins first playoff berth, ‘B’ final set for Sunday night
The first playoff position has been decided and a pair of rinks with Moose Jaw connections are still in the hunt at the Viterra Scotties provincial women’s curling championship in Melville.

Robyn Silvernagle and her defending champion rink from North Battleford took a 7-6 win over Regina’s Michelle Englot in the ‘A’ final on Saturday night to earn the first spot in the Page playoffs.

Silvernagle will have a bit of a wait before her next game – the playoff round doesn’t begin until Monday during the 7:30 p.m. draw, meaning she’ll have all day Sunday and most of Monday on the sidelines.

Moose Jaw’s Penny Barker and her Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre rink of third Deanna Doig, second Christie Gamble and lead Danielle Sicinski ran into a familiar face in their ‘B’ side semifinal contest in Amber Holland’s Regina Callie foursome.

Holland, third Cindy Ricci, second Laura Strong and lead Deb Lozinski had earlier taken a 7-2 win over Saskatoon’s Jana Tisdale but wouldn’t have as much luck against the 1997 provincial champions.

Barker led 4-3 through six ends and picked up a pair to go up 6-3 in the seventh, but Holland was able to keep the pressure on with a deuce of her own in the ninth. Barker would make perfect use of the hammer in the final end, though, picking up two more to land an 8-5 win.

That sent Barker into the ‘B’ semifinal, where she’d run into Saskatoon’s Sherry Anderson, who defeated Regina’s Mandy Selzer 9-1 in her quarter-final contest.

Barker carried a 4-1 lead into the fifth end, but after Anderson scored one in the sixth, draw weight became a bit of an issue for the Moose Jaw rink, as facing three in the seventh, they came in heavy on her final shot to give up a steal of one. Things were even tougher the next end, as again facing three, Barker’s last shot would end up at the back of the 12-foot, giving Anderson the steal of three and a 6-4 lead.

Things got back on track in the ninth, as Barker put both of her final shots into the four-foot for a deuce and 6-6 tie into the 10th without the hammer.

Barker forced Anderson to draw half four-foot with her final shot of the 10th, and after a heavy amount of sweeping right out of her hand, Anderson drew full four for the 7-6 win.

Anderson will now face Saskatoon’s Ashley Howard in the ‘B’ final Saturday night after Howard took an 11-8 win over Englot in the other ‘B’ semi.

Barker is also back in action Saturday night in the ‘C’ semifinal against Swift Current’s Kristen Streifel, with the winner of that game taking on the winner of Englot and Regina’s Rae Williamson on Monday afternoon for a spot in the playoffs.

Holland, meanwhile dropped down to the ‘C’ side and eliminated one of her fellow Moose Jaw competitors in Candace Newkirk, playing third for Regina’s Shalon Fleming. Holland scored three in the first end, stole four in the second and another two in the third for a 9-0 lead and would go on to a 12-1 victory.

Holland is back in action on Sunday night in one of the ‘C’ semifinals, where she’ll take on Selzer with a spot in a playoff qualifier on the line.

The tournament champion will advance to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw from Feb. 14-23.

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