A rough start turned into a sweet ending for Moose Jaw’s Penny Barker.
The Barker rink went undefeated over the weekend to capture the World Curling Tour’s Dekalb Superspiel in Morris, Manitoba. Barker knocked off Winnipeg’s Briane Meilleur, 7-6, in an extra end in the final on Monday to capture the title.
“The team was lights out,” said Barker on the team’s play over the weekend. “We didn’t have one game where all four of us weren’t putting shots together for the game. That’s great and it’s nice to be on this type of roll heading into provincials because we really want to put a good showing together and get back to the national stage again.”
After missing the team’s first game on Friday due to some flight issues, Barker arrived in time for their second match-up and helped the team put together a 6-0 record overall at the event.
The rink won 11-0 in their opening game against Emily Anderson without their skip.
“I can’t say enough about my team, they played the first game without me because my flight was cancelled,” said Barker. “They drove and I took the next flight out, which was the next morning, and they battled through and they won that first game and now here we are.”
In the final, two big ends helped propel Barker to the win. They opened with a deuce in the first end, but Meilleur was able to answer back with two of her own in the third end.
Barker had a big answer of her own however, scoring four in the fourth on a big double with her final shot to take a big lead.
“I was excited to play a shot, there wasn’t a whole lot of risk involved, if we just kill one and roll out, we give up one and it was a tie game at that point and we’d been curling well, so I wasn’t really concerned about going down if we needed to,” said Barker.
“I knew I just needed to throw it straight and let the sweepers do the rest and it turned out great.”
Meilleur was able to chip away at the lead over the next four ends though, scoring one in the fifth and then stealing two in the seventh and one in the eighth. Barker pulled things together in time to secure the win with one in the ninth.
“They played so well in that back half, they put the pressure on us,” said Barker. “In that eighth end, we saw the game flash before our eyes, but they played a great game and we needed to get that extra end and I’m glad that we pulled it through.”
The Barker rink has now won three of their last four events as they start to ramp up their game towards the provincial Scotties in January.
“We were all rookies at the Scotties last year and the experience was amazing and it will only help us when we go back there, but we’ve got to work that much harder to get back there,” said Barker.