ALBERTON — The year was 2003 when Suzanne (Gaudet) Birt first skipped a team to the P.E.I. Scotties provincial women’s curling championship title. On Sunday the veteran women’s skip, and 2001 world junior curling champion, skipped a team to the P.E.I. Scotties title for a tenth time.
Birt and her Mitchell O’Shea coached team of Marie Christianson, mate; Meaghan Hughes, second, and Michelle McQuaid, lead, from the Charlottetown Curling Complex downed the Veronica Smith rink from the Cornwall Curling Club 10-4 in a game conceded after eight ends.
Jane DiCarlo, Sabrina Smith and Whitney Jenkins round out the runner-up rink from the modified triple knock out championship event which got underway at the Western Community Curling Club Wednesday during a snowstorm.
On Sunday afternoon, Birt opened with a first-end single. After Smith tied it in the second, Birt responded with back-to-back deuces. She led 5-2 at the fifth-end break. She scored three in the sixth and stole two in the seventh to go up 10-2, and Smith conceded after scoring a pair in the eighth.
Birt said she couldn’t take the early lead for granted. “Every end, you have to keep on your game. With the five-rock rule, you know any team can score a big end and get right back into it.”
“It’s been a great week,” said Birt during the presentations. “A lot of good curling, a lot of great teams here.” She thanked her team for their hard work and for making it fun.
Birt said the Alberton ice with its limited curl proved challenging but she felt her team managed it well.
She’s optimistic as she prepares for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts where her team will represent P.E.I. in Sydney, NS from Feb. 16 to 24.
“You know what, if we play like I think we can play, we’ll have a very good week in Sydney and we should be there at the end of the week.”