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Manitoba, Saskatchewan defy flu bug

While a flu bug appears to be causing havoc at the Scotties Tournament Of Hearts at the Red Deer Centrium, teams from Saskatchewan and Manitoba managed their fourth wins Tuesday morning to match those of the leaders, Team Canada and British Columbia.

Four-time champion Jennifer Jones rebounded from a Monday night setback to defending champion Amber Holland and completely dominated Heather Smith-Dacey’s Nova Scotia crew.

Jennifer Jones has avoided the flu so far at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. (Photo by: Andrew Klaver)

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The Bluenosers were never in it after settling for a first-end single. Smith-Dacey was forced to double her way out of trouble in the second and third ends but Jones and Co., finally broke through with three in the fourth and refused to take their fingers off the pressure button thereafter in an eventual 8-3 runaway.

“I thought it was a really well-played game early,” said Jones. “We just kept patient and we broke the three and never looked back.(Continued Below…)

Draw 9 Photos


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“The key is you always have to bounce back after a loss. We played well, especially with the evening-morning schedule where you get a nap instead of a sleep.”

Michelle Englot’s Green Machine from Regina followed a similar path, breaking a pattern of exchanging points with three in sixth end and four in the eighth against Rebecca Atkinson of Oromocto, N.B. It ended 11-6.

The Prairie teams next collide in an afternoon engagement of some monumental importance.

“We’re good. That was a nice one,” said Englot. “We knew we had to come out strong today and we were hoping to build off our win last night and gain some momentum going into this afternoon’s game.

“We just have to continue to play exceptionally well as we have the last two games. They (Manitoba) are only human, too, so we need to bring on A game and that’s all we can do.”

Newfoundland’s Heather Strong (2-4) doubled up on Kim Dolan (2-4) of Prince Edward Islander 8-4 while Marie-France Larouche (3-3) of Quebec stole two in the ninth which proved the difference in a 7-5 conquest of the Territories three-player outfit (2-4) skipped by regular third Sharon Cormier.

Missing skip Kerry Galusha and sometime front-ender Wendy Miller, the Territories went with three players for the first time in the Scotties memory of umpire-in-chief Brenda Rogers of Calgary.

“There was a bit of a 24-hour outbreak like this at Charlottetown in 1999 but I don’t ever recall a team playing with three since they introduced alternates,” said Rogers.

“I’m confident this is a passing thing and as long as teams use hand sanitizers we’ll get over this soon.
Territories lead Megan Cormier was sidelined at the start of the event. Sasha Carter of the B.C. unit was out Monday and skip Kelly Scott and Newfie skip Strong admitted to feeling queasy.

“One of our spouses was throwing up in the night,” said Strong. “It showed for me in the last two ends. I didn’t make a shot. I’m ready for a nap. I just feel a little weak. But I’ll be OK. Newfies are tough. We’re athletes.

We’re supposed to play through those distractions.

“It’s bizarre. In all the time I’ve played at the Scotties I’ve never seen anybody play with three.”

Said Englot:

“Yeah, people are getting a little paranoid with it. A few other curlers have been bitten. Last night, we didn’t even shake hands with the other team.”

Jones said her team “lived on the edge — we shook hands today”.

Cormier said it was difficult to prepare for the morning tilt.

“Wendy (Miller) started throwing up in the middle of the night — we didn’t know about it until this morning. She just didn’t get any sleep throughout the night.(Continued Below…)

Draw 9 Media Scrum



“Kerry (Galusha) started feeling nauseous around 7 a.m. I didn’t know she wouldn’t be playing until I got into the van to go the rink. It was tough on Kerry. She wanted to play.

“It was tough to play with three, too, but once we put our minds to it there was no problem. We’ve done it lots of times before. We just said, ‘let’s go out there and do it”.

“We’re all aware that we are able to play any position. It wasn’t a big deal for us.

“We’re confident based on what happened to Megan on Saturday that this is just a 24-hour thing.”

Alberta faces B.C. in another key game at 1:30 p.m. MT while Team Canada goes against Ontario rookie Tracy Horgan of Sudbury and Nova Scotia tees off on New Brunswick.