Marla Mallett led her team to a win in the BC Scotties and is headed for the national Tournament of Hearts next month.

Skip headed to Tournament of Hearts

The victorious Team Mallett is off to February’s Tournament of Hearts.

A victory at the BC Scotties just means a bigger challenge for Langley curler Marla Mallett.

Mallett and her rink have just returned from Duncan, where they won over a strong field.

The Walnut Grove skip, who last won a BC Scotties title in 2009, was victorious with her rink featuring Shannon Aleksic from Abbotsford, and sisters Brette Richards and Blaine DeJager, of Kelowna and Prince George, respectively.

Team Mallett dominated throughout the competition, with a 6-1 record in round robin play, a 6-1 victory in the playoffs and a bye to the final.

Mallett then skipped against Diane Gushulak’s Royal City rink, taking a 6-3 victory.

That win not only sealed the BC Scotties title, it sends Mallett and her rink to the Tournament of Hearts and a chance for a Canadian title.

Asked who the big competition will be, Mallett couldn’t pick one rink.

“Every team!” she said. “I wouldn’t say there’s one favourite in the field.”

The national Scotties Tournament of Hearts will take place in St Catharines, Ont., from February 18-26.

The team had just come together a few months ago, forming in September.

“It was Shannon [Aleksic] that brought us together,” Mallett said.

Blaine DeJager was looking for a new team to curl with and met Aleksic, who curls with Mallett in Maple Ridge.

The group had all known one another, though they had previously often been in opposing rinks, said Mallett.

Bringing everyone together included a heap of help from their coach Gerry Richard, and a lot of speaking up.

“It really comes down to the communication piece,” Mallett said.

Each team member had to let the others know what they could do, and bring out the best in one another, Mallett said.

“Lots and lots of talking,” said Mallett.

Because of the distances between the players, they only managed a couple of training weekends together before their BC Scotties win.

“A lot of work went into it,” said Mallett.

More work will take place before the Tournament of Hearts, with at least one more team training weekend planned.

The silver in the BC Scotties also went to a team with a Langley player. Gushulak’s rink included third Grace MacInnes of Langley alongside Coquitlam and Vancouver players.

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