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Corner Brook’s Stephanie LeDrew happy to be back throwing stones at a competitive level

Stephanie LeDrew says it was an amazing experience to win back-to-back Scotties Tournament of Hearts as an alternate for the Rachel Homan foursome, but she would much rather be engaged in throwing rocks than sitting on the bench.

LeDrew, a member of the Homan rink for the 2013 and 2014 championship runs, got back in the groove this week competing in her first Scotties since 2010 as a member of Ontario’s Hollie Duncan foursome — the defending Ontario provincial women’s champions.

The quest for another Scotties came to a halt for Team Duncan Thursday night after two straight losses — 7-5 to the wild card entry Kerri Einarson of Manitoba and 11-3 to Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones — in the champions’ round. Duncan and company advanced to the champions’ pool earlier in the day with an 11-8 win over Newfoundland and Labrador’s Stacie Curtis in a tie-breaker game.

LeDrew, a Corner Brook native, realized how much she missed the game when she got back into throwing stones against the top teams in the country.

“It feels good. Really good,” LeDrew said Friday from Penticton, B.C. “I play because I love curling, not because I love sitting on the bench.”

LeDrew had stepped back from the game for a few years because she felt she needed a break, but a call from skip Holly Duncan motivated her to get back on the ice.

The two had been teammates on a number of occasions since LeDrew moved to Sarnia, so LeDrew was willing to fill the role of third, a spot left vacant when Duncan’s third decided to move to Alberta to pursue medical school.

She helped Team Duncan win a pre-qualifying event for the Ontario provincial women’s curling championship to get a crack at playing in the Scotties. At the Ontario provincial women’s playdowns, a triple-knockout format, Team Duncan lost the first two games and looked to be heading home early, but then rattled off six wins in a row — including a victory over Danielle Inglis in the final showdown.

“I was feeling ready for it, so I went for it,” LeDrew said.

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