Brantford’s Jo-Ann Rizzo is starting to pile up some impressive curling wins as part of skip Sherry Middaugh’s team ahead of the first Grand Slam of Curling event of the season.
Middaugh, a four-time bronze medalist at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, will be competing in November’s Sun Life Financial Masters Grand Slam with Rizzo as the vice of her rink.
The event will be held in Brantford.
The foursome, which also includes Lee Merklinger and Leigh Armstrong had a solid run in September that was capped off by a championship at the Radisson Blu Oslo Cup in Norway on Sept. 24.
After qualifying for the playoffs at the event, Middaugh’s rink stole the eighth end in the quarterfinals against Switzerland’s Binia Feltscher-Beeli for a 7-6 victory.
The team then cruised past Russian skip Olga Zharkova in the semifinals to set up a match with Sweden’s national team, helmed by 2012 World Curling Championship silver medallist Margaretha Sigfridsson.
Sigfridsson put up one point in the first end and Middaugh matched it in the third.
The Swedish team went up 2-1 in the fourth, Middaugh matched it in the fifth and the Swedes went up 3-2 in the sixth.
The low-scoring affair was broken open in the seventh end, when Middaugh made two points for a 4-3 lead, but Sigfridsson held the hammer for the eighth end.
Middaugh sunk in a double hit that left the Swedish team with a difficult final shot for a comeback.
But their final rock over curled and Middaugh’s team took the title.
Rizzo still has several tournaments to tune up with Middaugh’s rink before she comes home to compete on the big stage in Brantford.
The team is headed to Calgary’s Autumn Gold Spiel this Thanksgiving weekend, followed by Manitoba’s Lottery Curling Classic in Winnipeg.
To finish off the month of October, Team Middaugh will represent Canada at the Yichun Ladies Invitational in China.
The Sun Life Financial Grand Slam is scheduled for Nov. 15 to Nov. 18 at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre and will be televised nationally by Rogers Sportsnet as part of a rebranded Grand Slam of Curling series.