Devereaux's back in the spotlight

Robin Short
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Published on January 24, 2011

Lead Heather Martin (left) and second Sarah Paul sweep skip Stacie Devereaux's (right) shot down the ice during the 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts provincial women's curling final against the Shelley Nichols rink at the Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club on Sunday. Devereaux defeated Nichols, the defending champion, 9-8.

Published on January 24, 2011

Third Steph Guzzwell of the Stacie Devereaux rink shouts to her sweepers against the Shelley Nichols rink in fifth-end action in the 2011 provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts women's curling championship at the Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club Sunday morning. The Devereaux rink won the title and will represent the province at the national Scotties in P.E.I. next month.

Published on January 24, 2011

The championship attracted a large audience during the weekend with seats in the viewing area being filled to capacity at times.

Published on January 24, 2011

Skip Shelley Nichols calls her shot during the semifinal of the championship Saturday.

Published on January 24, 2011

Sarah Paul (left) and third Steph Guzzwell of the Stacie Devereaux rink, share a lighter moment during action Sunday morning.

Published on January 24, 2011

Second Jill Waite (left) and lead Leslie Ann Walsh of the Michelle Jewer rink head down the ice in their game against the Stacie Devereaux rink Friday.

Published on January 24, 2011

Mark Nichols (centre) gives some advice to the Shelley Nichols team during a time out Saturday at the Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club. From left to right are Shelley Nichols, Rhonda Rogers, Mark Nichols, Steph Ledrew and Colette Lemon.

Published on January 24, 2011

Third Steph Guzzwell of the Stacie Devereaux rink watches her team's shot come to the house against the Michelle Jewer rink in their game Friday afternoon.

Former national junior champion and her Bally Haly rink take provincial Scotties championship in perfect style

Stacie Devereaux is technically considered a rookie heading into the 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian women’s curling championship, but the Bally Haly curler and her teammates will be carrying pretty decent resumes in their back pockets when they head to the nationals next month in P.E.I.

Devereaux, third Stephanie Guzwell and second Sarah Paul starred on the national and international curling stage four years ago, winning the 2007 Canadian junior women’s championship and later finishing second at the world juniors in Minnesota.

And the team’s lead, Heather Martin, knows a thing or two about the Scotties, having curled in seven nationals.

The foursome will be representing Newfoundland in Charlottetown Feb. 19-27 after winning the provincial championship Sunday morning, beating Shelly Nichols 9-8 at Bally Haly in St. John’s in the final.

The win capped off a perfect 5-0 run for Team Devereaux.

It marks the second straight year a skip not named Strong, Cunningham or Phillips won’t be representing Newfoundland and Labrador.

Nichols won the provincial title last year, but prior to that, Heather Strong (nine titles), Cathy Cunningham (three wins) and Laura Phillips (four championships) dominated women’s curling from 1994 to 2009.

Devereaux stepped away from the game a bit following that 2007 season. In 2008, she skipped a team including Nichols, Steph Jackson and Susan O’Leary, but moved aside half-way through the season due to work commitments as a Canadian Border Services officer.

In 2009, she threw a team together that didn’t even curl Super League, going straight to the provincials, where it lost in the semifinals.

Last year, Devereaux, Guzzwell, Paul and Martin hooked up, and the four decided to go, “full out,” but still lost in the Scotties provincial semifinals.

“Curling is the kind of game that sometimes you have to take a step back and sort out some things in life,” Devereaux said. “Sarah was finishing her education degree, and I was sorting out my career.

“But all that is done and after the semifinal last year, we were very upset. We regrouped after that loss, and we agreed and realized the drive is still there.”

Devereaux opened the Scotties with a 7-5 win over Strong. She beat Nichols 10-5 in nine ends in the round-robin, but the final was much closer.

Devereaux led 9-4 after eight ends, and managed to hang on after Nichols scored two in the ninth and stole another two in the 10th end.

While Nichols and Strong have both participated in a couple of mainland spiels this season, the Devereaux foursome has stayed close to home. The rink’s record in the Bally Haly Super League, however, is sub-.500.

“We didn’t feel the need to get away,” Devereaux said. “The things we needed to work on weren’t necessarily game-related, but the mental aspect of the game.

“Our record (in Super League) isn’t great, but we’ve been building and building all year. We were trying out a few new things with the focus being this week. We were doing everything in our power to allow us to come together and win.”

Organizations: Bally Haly Super League, Canadian Border Services

Geographic location: P.E.I.Devereaux, Newfoundland, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • The Rock
    January 24, 2011 - 12:52

    What a week of curling! Congratulations to Team Devereaux! So many highlights: - Devereaux's perfect record - The great play of Jennifer Cunningham - The never say die play of team Nichols - Shelley Nichols amazing draw to secure a win in the semifinal - The amazing final between Devereaux & Nichols But, for me the highlight was the opening ceremonies when three young curlers took part. The little girl who threw the first rock got up there and drew the button to open the Scotties. Her poise and confidence showed her love for the sport and that the future is looking great. The smile on her face told the whole story as all the curlers high fived her as she came back the ice. Can't wait til next year!

  • Todd
    January 24, 2011 - 12:20

    Congratulations to Team Devereaux! Well desered win. Congratulations to Team Nichols as well for an awesome week of curling! Definitely, agree with Curling fan that these are the teams of the future for NL curling. Best of luck in PEI!

  • Curling Fan
    January 24, 2011 - 08:51

    Congrats to Team Devereaux! they were the strongest team at this year's event. And will represent the province very well in Charlottetown. I think that Newfoundland has seen a changing of the guard in women's curling. Heather Strong had a good run, but is on her way down. Teams like Strong, Cunningham, and Philips represented NL well, but it will be teams like Devereaux and Nichols that will be around for many years to come, and will hopefully have more success nationally. This years provincial Scotties were a great success and showcased some of the best women curlers in the province. Even from the opening ceremonies, where a young eight year old little girl threw the ceremonial first rock and drew to the button, it showed that women's curling is in great hands and it looks like NL will soon break through on the National scene and bring a Scotties Championship home to the Rock.