T.J. Colello – Cape Breton Post
Published: January 23, 2018 – 11:00pm
SYDNEY, N.S. — Three years has been far too long of a wait for Sydney River curler Christina Black.
The 30-year-old was a third on Mary-Anne Arsenault’s rink that competed at the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask. But Team Arsenault has made it back to the national women’s championship. The 2018 Scotties opens Saturday in Penticton, B.C.
“It’s very exciting,” said Black prior to team practice at the Dartmouth Curling Club on Tuesday. “I’ve been dying to get back for the past three years. We went in 2015, so it feels amazing to be going back.”
The Arsenault rink earned a spot at nationals by winning the provincial Scotties on Jan. 14 in Halifax. The team, which also includes lead Jennifer Crouse and second Jennifer Baxter, sported a 6-1 record in the round robin and bested Kristen MacDiarmid of the Halifax Curling Club 8-5 in the final.
“We felt pretty good since December, we were just peaking at the right time,” said Black. “We had an awesome week at provincials and won. We pretty well had less than two weeks between that and going to the Scotties, so you don’t even have time to stop playing well, so we’re excited about that.”
Having experience from their previous Scotties appearance will be key for the Arsenault rink this time around. They finished with a respectable 5-6 record, missing out on a playoff berth.
But the Nova Scotia rink showed back in 2015 it could compete with the best, as they posted wins over eventual champion Jennifer Jones of Manitoba and this year’s Olympic team skipped by Rachel.
“For me, it was a whole new experience. It was something I dreamed about doing my whole life,” Black said of the 2015 tournament. “To actually have gone already, I know more what to expect, what the ice feels like to throw on. It’s different, but it’s amazing, so I’m excited to go back.
“Knowing I can play with those teams, I’m just going to be more comfortable going this time.”
With next year’s Scotties being held at Centre 200 in Sydney, Black said she would love nothing more than to win this year and play at the 2019 event as Team Canada.
“I’m really excited about Penticton, but ever since it’s been announced that it’s in Sydney next year, I’ve been thinking about that and I got to be there next year,” she said.