2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Team Canada remains undefeated after eight draws

Rachel Homan continues to roll at the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Montréal, powering over Alberta’s Val Sweeting 10-5 in a Tuesday morning draw affected by absentee curlers thanks to a bug being shared among the teams and spectators.

Rachel Homan (Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

Rachel Homan (Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

Showing the form that helped her win the Scotties title last year in Kingston, Homan used her hitting strength to score five in the fourth end, and never gave Sweeting a chance to climb back in. Team Canada now sits undefeated at the top of the standings at 5-0.

With four wins and two losses, Alberta is not far off the leaders, and Sweeting says it’s still one game at a time.

“I found at the Trials we kind of got wrapped up in ‘if we win and they lose’ and this and that and what can happen,” she said. “All we have to do is go out and focus on winning.”

Finding that focus will be hard for teams affected by illness. On the other sheets, the flu bug caused some line-up changes for teams competing in the morning draw.

Saskatchewan was reduced to three players, with both second Sherry Singler and third Sherry Anderson out. They played Quebec’s Allison Ross who had to rely on fifth player Lisa Davies, who filled in for second Brittany O’Rourke.

“It plays a little bit on the body,” Lawton conceded. “Sweeping hard is a little bit different feel when you only have one sweeper. You want to give it a little bit more. But we managed to come out with a win. The girls curled great out there, especially in positions they’re not used to.”

Lawton stole two in the fifth end to take a 5-3 lead over Quebec’s Allison Ross, and went on to win 8-4 over the struggling hometown team.

It was a see-saw battle between Manitoba’s Chelsea Carey and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Heather Strong, both teams nipping at the heels of Team Canada in the standings. Carey was happy with her performance in the 5-3 victory after struggling for most of the previous game against Nova Scotia on Monday.

“I played well, and that’s what I needed to do,” said Carey. “That was a better game for me. Yesterday it wasn’t so much that I played that bad, but the shots that I missed were just really easy shots that I can’t miss. And today I made those.”

Team B.C. was also significantly affected by illness. Fifth Patti Knezevic was called on to fill in for ailing skip Kesa Van Osch, and led the young squad to a 7-3 win over Ontario’s Allison Flaxey.

“That’s what I came here prepared to do,” said Knezevic about making her first Scotties appearance at the helm. “They wanted a player who could play any position, who could actually step in and skip and throw skip’s stones, so that was their decision from the beginning.”

“It was fantastic. It was great,” she said. “It was a very enjoyable game, and I’m really proud of them.”

The Scotties continues with draws on Tuesday at 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/