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By John DeCoste
Ten days early, Jocelyn Nix gave herself and her teammates a Christmas present – a ticket to provincials.
The Scotties provincial women’s curling championship won’t take place until Jan. 22-27 in Halifax, but Nix and her teammates from the Glooscap Curling Club already know they’ll be part of the field.
Nix, Andrea Saulnier, Jill Alcoe-Holland and Julie Morley went 3-0 at the first Scotties qualifier Dec. 13-16 in Sydney and were the first of the six teams determined through the qualifier to advance.
Team Nix held off Theresa Breen of Mayflower 7-6 in her opening game Dec. 14, topped Mary Mattatall, also of Mayflower, 12-5 later in the day, then qualified with an 8-2 win over Marie Christianson of CFB Halifax Saturday.
Against Breen, Nix prevailed in what ended up being a close struggle. After stealing two in the seventh and three more in the eighth for a 7-2 lead, Nix allowed Breen to score twice in both the ninth and tenth to make it uncomfortably close.
Against Mattatall, the second seed entering the competition, Nix broke open a close match by scoring five in the ninth end.
The Mary-Anne Arsenault rink from Mayflower joined Nix in qualifying Dec. 15. Four more teams qualified Dec. 16, including two-time defending provincial champion Heather Smith-Dacey of Mayflower, Kelly MacIntosh of Dartmouth,
Breen and Coralie Duchemin from Sydney.
Teams failing to qualify will have another chance Jan. 2-4 in Port Hawkesbury.