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Birt wins in high-scoring style

Both Suzanne Birt of Prince Edward Island and Stacie Devereaux of Newfoundland and Labrador came into the fifth draw of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts round robin still looking for a win.

PEI skip Suzanne Birt (Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

And both teams were also coming off tough afternoon losses: for Devereaux, a lopsided 9-1 drubbing by Manitoba, and for Birt a near miss against Team Canada.

But after a slow start – giving up four points in the first two ends – Birt and her team of Shelly Bradley, Sarah Fullerton and Leslie MacDougall got back on form, playing aggressively over the next four ends, putting rocks in play, and scoring multiple points per end on the way to a 12-7 victory.

“It feels great,” said Birt. “We’ve have a couple of close games and didn’t come out with the win, so it was good to get that first win under our belts.”

What was the difference tonight?

“We’re just getting a grasp on the ice,” she said. “Hitting the rocks where we need to hit them, getting our draw weight down pat, just feeling a lot better out there.”

British Columbia’s Kelly Scott, who had suffered a one-sided 10-4 loss to Manitoba on Sunday morning, came back strong against winless Nova Scotia in the evening, putting constant pressure on Mary-Anne Arsenault and her team of Kim Kelly, Colleen Jones and Jennifer Baxter.

Scott, backed by Jeanna Schraeder, Sasha Carter and Sarah Wazney, opened with three points in the first end and continued to force the play, taking advantage of Nova Scotia’s missed scoring opportunities to earn a 9-4 win.

“We just came out ready to figure things out,” said Scott. “I think shot selection has a big impact out there. If you can get a lead, your shots are easier. Those freezes, and getting the right line on those precision shots, are difficult. That’s what we were trying to do earlier this morning, and then we were on the flip side with a few points lead tonight, and it seemed a lot easier.”

In other Draw Five action, New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford defeated Northwest Territories/Yukon’s Kerry Galusha 9-5, and Quebec’s Allison Ross edged Alberta’s Kristie Moore 9-6.

The Scotties continues on Monday with draws at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (all times EST). All draws are being broadcast by TSN/RDS, the official broadcast partner of the Season of Champions.

Live scoring, statistics and updated standings are available at http://www.curling.ca/championships/scotties/draw-schedule/scores-and-standings/

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKBFM6cXZxI