Skip to content

Buffalo Days: Manitoba improves to 4-0 to hold Pool A lead after Scotties Draw 7

Nova Scotia wins, improves to 3-1 to lead Pool B, Northwest Territories has two-win day, Northern Ontario also victorious in afternoon draw
As the old saying goes, steel sharpens steel, and Manitoba's Kerri Einarson appears to have a razor edge through the first seven draws at the 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts at Mosaic Place.

Einarson and her rink of third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Brianne Meilleur picked up their second ‘last shot for the win’ victory of the day on Monday afternoon, and for the second time it came against one of the tournament’s top-ranked teams, this time Team Canada’s Chelsea Carey.

One draw after hitting and sticking with her last shot to knock Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville from the ranks of the undefeated, Einarson drew full four-foot with her last shot in an extra end to land a 6-5 win over Carey.

“I thought that was really good game, I thought both teams played really well and I wasn’t sure who was going to blink first,” Sweeting said. “I was upset I rolled out on my two in the last end, but ultimately skipper had the four foot, the girls judged it perfectly and we came out on the winning end.”

Sweeting wasn’t kidding when she said both teams played well – Manitoba curled 90 per cent as a team, including 90 per cent from Einarson, while Canada had an 85 per cent contest and 91 per cent from Carey.

Picking up the win over defending champions Carey, third Sarah Wilkes, second Dana Ferguson and lead Rachel Brown was certainly a positive, but just one step in the journey.

“It was a grind of the day and fortunately we came out with two wins, but there’s still a long road ahead and we have to focus and carry on tomorrow,” Sweeting said.

Einarson improved to 4-0 to lead Pool A while Carey fell to 2-2 and sits fifth pending the evening draw.

Manitoba is back in action against New Brunswick Tuesday afternoon, Canada is back on the ice in the morning draw against Alberta.

The fun part of the early part of the Scotties is how a two-win day can turn any team from being out of contention to right back in the hunt.

One just has to look at Northwest Territories’ Kerry Galusha for proof.

Galusha, fourth Jo-Ann Rizzo, third Sarah Koltun and lead Shona Barbour picked up their second-straight commanding win on Monday afternoon, building an early lead and holding off a spirited comeback by Yukon’s Hailey Birnie to take a 9-5 win and improve to 2-2 in Pool B.

With Nova Scotia leading the pool at 3-1 and four teams tied at 2-1 right behind them, Galusha suddenly find themselves with championship pool potential.

“That’s perfect, we couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Rizzo, who throws final stones as Galusha battles a hip/leg injury. “We had a commanding lead, but you can’t let your guard down here because they battle back and I missed some key shots, so you have stay sharp.

“Even earlier, our first two games we got down and if it only was a 12-end game we might have gotten them,” she added with a laugh. “So you can’t let your guard up at all.”

Galusha did most of her damage with a five-spot in the third end giving her a 6-1 lead. A deuce in five made it 8-2 – but Birnie didn’t go quietly, scoring one in the sixth and then stealing in seven and eight, but the comeback quest would fall short,

Birnie, third Chelsea Duncan, second Gabrielle Plonka and lead Kimberly Tuor dropped to 0-4 with the loss.

Next up for Northwest Territories is Team Wild Card during Tuesday’s 1:30 p.m. draw, while Yukon faces B.C. in the morning draw.

Nova Scotia’s Marie-Anne Arsenault appears bent on turning back the clock to the days of former teammate Colleen Jones and the province’s 90’s heyday.

Arsenault, third Christina Black, second Jenn Baxter and lead Emma Logan improved to 3-1 to take over sole possession of first place in Pool B with a 9-5 win over Newfoundland and Labrador’s Erica Curtis.

“Today we kind of needed the two wins because it’s going to be a tough day tomorrow, so it’s nice to have some momentum and wins under out belt, even though that one was kind of tough,” said Baxter. “We’re still missing a few here and there, we just need to tighten up a bit, we’re kind of getting there and hopefully it’ll all come together for us.

It was Curtis who got off to the good start in the contest, scoring a pair in the second and one in the third for a quick 3-0 lead.

Arsenault got back on track just as quickly, though, scoring two in the third and singles the next two ends for a 4-3 edge. Curtis, third Erin Porter, second Julie Devereaux and lead Beth Hamilton didn’t go away, with a deuce in eight putting them back ahead 5-4.

Then came the late-game daggers: Arsenault put up three in the ninth, and with Curtis making an aggressive charge to tie the game, stole two in 10 to close things out.

Curtis fell to 1-3.

Nova Scotia is back in action against Ontario in the afternoon draw Tuesday, Newfoundland faces P.E.I. in the morning.

Like Nova Scotia, Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville was able to find some key resiliency at the right time in her contest against Quebec’s Noemie Verreault.

Trailing throughout the contest, McCarville, third Kendra Lilly, second Ashley Sippala and lead Jennifer Gates overcame a 7-5 deficit after the seventh end with singles in seven and eighth before stealing two more in the ninth for a 9-7 win.

“We just struggled pretty much the whole first half, so we regrouped after the second half and put some rocks in really good places and got some misses,” said Lilly. “I think we were just a little bit in our heads, we were making things a little more difficult than we had to, we were overcomplicating our thinking about what weight to throw so we just went back to playing like we were in other games and we eventually picked it up.”

That kind of resiliency is something Lilly is hoping serves them well going forward.

“Every win is a huge win, especially with the way things are now with the championship pool,” she said. “You can’t have too many losses, every game is mentally exhausting out there, there were a couple of ends where we were fighting for everything we could get and it’s exhausting, but we’ll keep going and keep working.”

It was the second close loss for Verreault, Alanna Routledge, second Marie-Pier Cote and lead Jill Routledge after falling 9-7 in an extra end to Team Canada in the morning draw. Quebec is now 0-4 despite the close contests.

Northern Ontario improved to 3-1 to keep in touch with the unbeaten leaders in Pool A.

Next action for McCarville comes against Nunavut in the afternoon draw Tuesday, Quebec is in action against Saskatchewan in the same draw.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks