Birt rink's title chase starts Saturday at Scotties in Alberta

Jason Malloy
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Suzanne Birt is going to Grand Prairie, Alta., with a goal of winning a national championship.

But first Birt and her teammates have to get through the round robin at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

"The short-term goal is to make it to the playoffs and then it's a new week from there," Birt said Tuesday.

The team leaves this morning and starts plays on Saturday.

Birt said the last few years the team has been a win or two away from getting into the playoffs. She is hoping more practice this season has them better prepared for nationals.

"We just stick to . . . our own game plan, and I think we'll win a couple of those extra games that will put us in the playoffs," she said.

Birt is the lone holdover from last year's Island squad that finished 4-7 at the Canadian championship. The 2016 version includes third Robyn Green, second Meaghan Hughes, lead Marie Christianson and coach Danny Christianson. They beat Kim Dolan's team 5-4 in the provincial final in Montague on Jan. 18.

The Birt rink added Sinead Dolan as its alternate for the nationals.

"There's excitement," Birt said, of being a couple days away from competing against the best in the country. "Marie and Meghan's first time there, so there's . . .. added excitement."

Birt went to her first Scotties in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., in 2003. The team lost in the semifinal. It is as close as Birt, who is making her ninth trip to the nationals, has come to winning the Canadian title.

Schedule

A look at Team P.E.I.'s schedule for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Grand Prairie, Alta. All times Atlantic.

Saturday

9:30 p.m. - P.E.I. vs. Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sunday

11:30 a.m. - P.E.I. vs. Canada.

9:30 p.m. - P.E.I. vs. New Brunswick.

Monday

9:30 p.m. - P.E.I. vs. Alberta.

Tuesday

11:30 a.m. - P.E.I. vs. Northern Ontario.

9:30 p.m. - P.E.I. vs. Nova Scotia.

Wednesday

4:30 p.m. - P.E.I. vs. Saskatchewan.

9:30 p.m. - P.E.I. vs. Qualifying team.

Thursday

4:30 p.m. - P.E.I. vs. Ontario.

9:30 p.m. - P.E.I. vs. Manitoba.

Friday

11:30 a.m. - P.E.I. vs. Quebec

Geographic location: Alberta, Grand Prairie, Montague Kitchener-Waterloo Newfoundland and Labrador Canada New Brunswick Northern Ontario Nova Scotia Saskatchewan Ontario Manitoba Quebec

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Recent comments

  • Grant
    February 18, 2016 - 17:43

    A team with everyone under the age of 40, first time PEI has done that in some time.