2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts

New Brunswick holds off late charge to win

New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford took control early, then was able to hold off a late charge from Newfoundland and Labrador’s Heather Strong for an 8-6 win in Draw 9 action at the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Andrea Crawford (Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

Andrea Crawford (Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

“We kind of slacked off in the second half,” Crawford admitted. “We still came out pretty strong today and we’re pleased with that performance.”

It’s been a tough week for Crawford so far, with the distractions of malfunctioning rocks and hogline violations, as well as the looming flu bug that is knocking players off the ice – although Team New Brunswick appears to be staying healthy.

“It’s funny,” said the seven-time Scotties skip. “We talked with our sports psychologist by Facetime before coming to the rink. Before we came (to Montréal) we developed this motto that we were going to go with this week, which was ‘It is what it is.’ And we’ve repeated that a lot this week.”

“I said to the girls today that we really need to be proud of ourselves, because we’ve had a lot of challenges and we’ve overcome them,” she said. “It’s just being able to park it and move on.”

Leading 8-1 after seven, Crawford gave up five points and allowed Strong back in the game. But in the final end, with the tying point in the rings, New Brunswick was able to hit out for the win.

“I haven’t even looked that far,” said Crawford about final standings and playoffs. “For us it’s one game at a time, trying to get those Ws, and we’ll worry about it at the end.”

In other games, Alberta’s Val Sweeting controlled play throughout an 8-5 win over P.E.I.’s Kim Dolan, and Patty Knezevic, skipping B.C.’s three-person team, made a perfect final draw to catch the button and score two for an 8-7 win over Yukon/Northwest Territories’ Sarah Koltun.

Also in the win column was Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith, who stole three points on the way to a 10-5 win over Quebec’s Allison Ross.

“We’re not playing badly,” said Smith about her team’s 2-4 record. “Every game we’ve been up points and just kind of squandered away the lead. We know we have it in us to put some wins together, so we hope this starts a roll.”

The Scotties continues with draws on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and on Wednesday at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 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/