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Team Ontario to face off against P.E.I.

Ontario champion Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay succeeded in winning the battle of rock placement at the Essar Centre on Saturday afternoon and advanced to tonight’s Scotties Tournament Of Hearts semi-final with a 6-4 victory over two-time champion Kelly Scott of Kelowna.

Team Ontario calls out their Third to help sweep a rock.

Chasing after yielding a key go-ahead deuce in the seventh end, Scott and her teammates found themselves facing a group of shotmaking piranhas in the final three ends as they failed to battle their way into the contest.

At the conclusion, McCarville clicked on a routine double-kill with her last rock to preserve the decision.

“It was a pretty easy shot for the win,” said McCarville, who directed third Tara George, second Ashley Miharija and lead Kari MacLean. “I was happy about that.”

The Ontario team, a force in the 12-team tournament all week, advanced to the championship semi-final against Prince Edward Island’s Kathy O’Rourke today at 7 p.m. ET. That winner will play defending champion Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg for the Canadian title on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“The key draw was ours in nine,” said McCarville. “We had to go wide and that’s always tough finding the weight — you know it’s quicker out there but you don’t know how much quicker so I was really happy to see that one bend in to catch the four-foot.

“We’re excited but we have to realize this isn’t over, so we need a rest and get right back at it.

“I missed a deuce earlier in the game by inches and that was pretty big so, yeah, the seventh was huge.”

Scott agreed her conqueror played to its potential.

“They could go all the way,” she said.

Neither team appeared interested in mixing it up in the early going. The first six ends featured defensive strategy, prompted by the odd poor placement that could have affected strategy.

Square going to the seventh, Scott pulled the string on her last in-turn follow to an Ontario brick behind a guard leaving McCarville an out-turn to the four-foot for a go-ahead two.

“We wanted to force them in that end. Giving her the deuce wasn’t in the plan,” admitted Scott.

In the eighth, British Columbia needed a roll to set up a responding deuce but failed to get the placement and Scott needed a four-foot draw for a single. But McCarville matched that in the ninth with her key final draw to retain the cushion.

In the climactic exchange, Scott had several opportunities to spread a pair in the rings but B.C. failed to place the rocks to her advantage.

“It was a battle all week,” said Scott.

“We weren’t at our best today. We really didn’t develop a lot of confidence. It was a slow game to get going and we couldn’t cap it off in the end.

“It wasn’t the final game we lost. We’d still had our work cut out.”

Disappointing?

“Yes, that we didn’t play to our potential,” said the petite B.C skip. “But I’m proud of the team, especially breaking in a new lead. We didn’t change the lineup to win, we made it because we had to make it, and with the long term in mind. So I think there’s still a lot of curling left for all of us.”

The winner of the Scotties title will represent Canada at the Ford World women’s championship, March 20-28 at Swift Current, SK.