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Barker wins Men's Bonspiel

A women's team win the championship final of a men's bonspiel might be surprising to some, but it is nothing new for Penny Barker

A women's team winning the championship final of a men's bonspiel is just another day at the rink for the Penny Barker rink. Barker and her rink of third Deanna Doig, second Christie Gamble and lead Danielle Sicinski went undefeated through four games to take first place in the 20-team Moose Jaw Men's Bonspiel this past weekend at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre, a result that she hopes will bode well when they take the ice at Viterra Scotties provincials beginning Jan. 22 in Humboldt.

“We were just really looking forward to some good games heading into provincials and we definitely got some good games this weekend,” said Barker, who took an 8-3 win over Ryan Wenarchuk in the championship final. “Everybody is throwing well and it's good to get some games in since it's been awhile since we've had a spiel.”

Barker opened the event with an 8-3 win over Wade Gray before downing Team Behm 8-4 in the quarter-final and Team Krupski 6-2 in the semifinal.

Taking the ice against men's teams is nothing unusual for Barker and crew – her squad in the Original 16 Superleague is currently in second place and regularly successfully duels with the top rinks in Moose Jaw curling.

“It's different styles at times, they can throw a lot more weight and clear things out of the house,” Barker said of how playing men can help her rink's game. “I think it's good to play against that kind of strategy as well as the stronger sweeping and things like that. It never hurts to get in games like that, it all helps us prepare.”

And on that note, things are obviously looking good.

“We're trying to gear up and we're on the right track; we're feeling good and feeling confident and we just have to keep that going the next couple of weeks,” Barker said.

The 'B' final saw a bit of an upset as David Gray's junior team put together an impressive run after losing their opener 7-6 to Team Brister. Gray proceeded to rattle off four straight wins, eventually hitting and sticking in the eight foot with his final shot of the tournament to take a 7-6 win over Team McConnell of Regina.

Murray Stroeder stole one in the seventh to take a 5-4 win over Team Brister in the 'C' final, while Behm took a 5-4 win over Ben Gamble in the 'D' final and Stan Barnsley rolled to an 11-3 win over Team Cornea to claim the 'E' final.



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