It was a tough end to the 2019 Meridian Canadian Open for North Battleford’s Robyn Silvernagle.
The Biggar-born skip fell in a tight match to Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni 6-1, ending her run in front of the hometown crowd. Silvernagle put together a strong tournament after winning her first two games before falling to Rachel Homan 8-3.
Silvernagle rebounded in the following game, defeating Tirinzoni 8-4 yesterday to secure her spot in today’s quarterfinals. She knew they’d have to be on top of their game in this matchup.
“We definitely struggled a little bit today. The ice was a little bit straighter than we were expecting,” she said. “We knew they were going to come out firing after yesterdays game. We just didn’t play where we needed to play.”
There were a few mistakes Silvernagle wishes she could have back, pointing to a missed draw and giving up two in the fifth end as when momentum swung to her disadvantage.
"We still kept digging and battling. We just couldn’t get it. They were playing very well," she added.
It was the groups first Grand Slam event as a team, but looking back, they are going to take plenty of valuable experience away from the event.
“If someone would have told us last week that we would have qualified in our first slam, we would probably take it," she said.
In 2017, the last time the Meridian Canadian Open was held in North Battleford, Silvernagle was not on the ice. Instead, she was in the press box, taking stats for the Twin Rivers Curling Club.
She watched intently throughout, watching Lethbridge’s Casey Scheidegger prevail in her first Grand Slam event. She remembers what message she took from up in the box, and this week was able to make that dream a reality.
“Next time this is here, I’m playing in this,” she said to herself. “To make that a reality is pretty cool. Its been an amazing experience and we’ll take a lot from it.”
Silvernagle was emotional when asked about all the support she received throughout the week from people of the Battlefords. She thanked the fans and said this event will push her through and help her team have a strong finish to a successful 2018-19 campaign.
On the rink opposite to Silvernagle, was Scheidegger, who understands what Silvernagle went through this week, with fond memories of her 2017 win in North Battleford.
Unfortunately, both rinks had similar ends to their week.
Scheidegger fell 4-3 to Rachel Homan in the feature game. It was a slow-paced matchup, with plenty of time to think for the 30-year-old skip. The longer breaks didn’t have an effect on her squad, as Scheidegger said, they prefer the pace.
“It's something we’ve adjusted to,” she said. “We like having the few breaks in between and take a couple extra moments to relax."
The game featured three blank ends, but Scheidegger tied it up in the seventh, making it a 3-3 game. After the teams exchanged missed shots in the final end, it all came down to a slick draw by Homan to win, but Scheidegger took the game in stride and complemented the play of her competitor while commending her team.
“It was a really well-played game by both sides,” she said. “(Homan) made some great shots, and that’s something we can expect when we’re playing a world-class team like that. She made a great shot to win, and sometimes that happens. That’s the breaks of not having a hammer on the way home.”
The fans were heavily on Scheidegger’s side throughout the week. She said it had a very strong home-based feel, and North Battleford will always be a place that will hold a special place in her heart.
Up next for Scheidegger is the Alberta Scotties in two weeks. The rink's focus now turns to practice and fine-tuning their game moving forward.
In the other games in this draw, Chelsea Carey’s continued struggles came to a peak as she gave up seven in the first end to start a slippery slide down to a 10-3 loss to Scotland’s Eve Muirhead. Muirhead will take on Tirinzoni at 7:00 p.m. tonight in the semifinals.
On the other sheet, it was American Nina Roth doubling up on Alberta’s Laura Walker 6-3. Roth advances and will take on lone-remaining Candian rink Rachel Homan in the other semi-final.
On Twitter: @BradyLangCJNB
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