2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Slow start for the home team as 2014 Scotties gets underway

Despite the support of the home crowd, Team Quebec’s Allison Ross fell 6-1 to Andrea Crawford of New Brunswick in the opening draw of the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts at Maurice-Richard Arena in Montréal on Saturday afternoon.

Ross, making her second consecutive appearance as Quebec champion, wasn’t able to apply any pressure on Crawford, who is making her seventh appearance at the Scotties.

Allison Ross (Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

Allison Ross (Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

“I really struggled reading the ice,” said Ross. “I actually thought I was throwing it well. At one point in the game I just said to the girls, the good news is that I’m throwing really good, the bad news is that I don’t know where to put the broom.”

After giving up three steals, Ross and her team of Melissa Gannon, Brittany O’Rourke, Pamela Nugent, alternate Lisa Davies and coach Glenn Tester from the Glenmore Curling Club, trailed 6-0 after seven ends. The Quebec skip made her final draw for a single in eight to concede the 6-1 loss to New Brunswick.

“We’re a team that bounces back pretty quickly, so we’re not going to hold on to any losses for very long,” she said. And playing in front of the home crowd was a positive. “It was fun! We got cheers even for making centre guards, so it was fun.”

In other games, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Heather Strong, who won the Ford Hot Shots competition earlier in the day, led her team to an 8-5 win over Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith.

Scotties rookie Kesa Van Osch scored an exciting 7-4 extra-end victory over P.E.I.’s Kim Dolan, in her 10th appearance at the national championship.

“It feels really good to be out there playing, because that what we came here to do,” said Van Osch, of Victoria, B.C. “A little nervous, but once we got out there to play, nerves calmed down. It was good.”

Alberta’s Val Sweeting held off the charge of another first-time Scotties skip, Sarah Koltun of the Yukon/Northwest Territories.

After a steal in the fifth end, the young team from Whitehorse, Yukon, lead 4-1. In the seventh, Koltun calmly drew against five Alberta rocks to score her single and take a 5-3 lead. Sweeting stole three in the ninth and hung on for the 7-5 win.

The Scotties continues on Saturday with Draw 2 at 7 p.m., and Sunday with draws at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (all times EST).

TSN/RDS2, the official broadcaster of the CCA’s Season of Champions, will provide extensive coverage of the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, with 66 hours of live broadcasts scheduled.

The winner of the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts will represent Canada at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Booster Juice, March 15 to 23 in Saint John, N.B.

The 2014 Scotties marks the 33rd year of Kruger Products Limited’s sponsorship of the Canadian women’s championship.

For ticket information, go to: www.curling.ca/2014scotties-en/tickets/

For schedule information, go to: www.curling.ca/2014scotties-en/draw-schedule/