Kelly Scott was rolling back the clock to more productive times Friday night at the Enmax Centrium. “It’s a feeling of complete confidence,” the diminutive 34-year-old Kelowna skip was saying in the wake of upsetting Scotties Tournament Of Hearts round-robin leader Jennifer Jones of Manitoba 7-5 in the event’s Page One-Two playoff game.
“I haven’t had it for a while,” Scott added.
But she has appeared to have it most of this week as she directed the accumulation of an 8-3 round-robin record and hit the playoff ice with a definite purpose.
With third Sasha Carter, recovering from a midweek flu attack, rookie second Dailene Sivertson and lead Jacquie Armstrong operating efficiently in front, Scott broke the playoff game open with back-to-back deuces in the fourth and fifth ends to assume a 5-2 advantage from which Jones never could fully recover.
The B.C. team thus qualified for Sunday afternoon’s 1:30 p.m. championship final, a game they last won in 2007.
Jones, the round-robin leader with a 9-2 record, tumbles into tonight’s semi-final against the winner of an 11 a.m. Page Three-Four playoff joust today involving Alberta’s Heather Nedohin of Edmonton and Quebec’s Marie-France Larouche of St-Romuald.
The semi-final winner will take another crack at Scott. The loser will play for the bronze medal at 8:30 a.m.Sunday.(Continued Below…)
Page Playoff 1 vs 2 Photos
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“That steal of two was tough,” said Jones, who’s in the hunt for a fifth straight title. “It just didn’t work out. But we bounced back in the second half and made some great shots. Hopefully we can carry that forward into tomorrow.”
The Jones team from Winnipeg has a reputation for never giving up the ghost.
“We just love to play and that’s why I love to play with these girls,” said Jones. “We went out there and gave it our all and tried to bounce back but it just didn’t work out today.”
Jones was facing a triple-kill in the fifth end but erased only one of the offending B.C. stones sitting more or less in a line.
“You had to hit it hard,” said Jones. “It would have been great to make the double. The triple was hard. But it was just a little bit straighter and we didn’t hit it perfect.
“But we get to play, we get to be on the ice and the more ice time the better.”
Jones was forced to draw ice cold to the button in the first end to escape early disaster with B.C. threatening a multiple steal. Then Scott was faced with a similar situation in the second and drew the four-foot for a tying single.
Jones again persevered in the third, nosing a hit against three B.C. stones. But Scott engineered her first deuce in the fourth when Jones hit too thin on a double-takeout attempt.
Then came the crusher fifth.
Thereafter, Jones rolled out and settled for one in the sixth, stole one when Scott was heavy on a four-foot draw against three in the seventh, but B.C. put a stop to the thievery after that courtesy a long raise-double-kill from Carter which erased any hope of a Manitoba offensive.
Scott was forced to draw for one after a perfect layup shot had erased the chance of a bigger B.C. count.
In the ninth, Jones was looking at three more B.C. counters and drew for a point.
Scott drew for the insurance digit in the 10th on last rock with Manitoba counting an eight-foot biter behind a corner guard.
“This feels so good and this is right where we want to be,” said Scott enthusiastically. “And, really, it’s a comfort feeling. It’s been a few years since we’ve been in this position but it somehow feels like yesterday when we were right there. So we’re embracing it. We love it.
“Our team came to play today, we had our game faces on, we had great concentration and we knew all 10 ends would be like that. We were a bit fortunate to get that steal of two but we’re happy to be where we are.”(Continued Below…)
Page Playoff 1 vs 2 Media Scrum
In shotmaking percentages, Scott outpointed Jones 86-81 but Carter’s 80-69 domination of her Manitoba counterpart Kaitlyn Lawes was a tale-teller.
Second Sivertson bested veteran Jill Officer 80-65 at second while Manitoba lead Dawn Askin outpointed Armstrong 90-80.
Carter’s performance was immense.
“When I had Jeanna (Schraeder) at third, she was my all-star and now Sasha’s my all-star,” said Scott.
“I think she missed an opportunity we’d worked hard for when she was sitting out mid-week and she’s going to make up for it now.
“Sasha and I are very familiar in disposition and as the week went on we could feel it, we could see it, we could envision it and that is exactly what is unfolding right now.”
Carter was equally ecstatic with the winning effort.
“It’s so much fun to go out there and feel like you have nothing to lose and let’s just go out there and play,” she said.
“A few big games in the past we’ve gone out there and been nervous but we decided let’s go out there and see what happens, no hesitations and don’t be nervous. We were excited. We’re past the point of being nervous now.
“You can tell that Kelly is confident in what she’s calling and confident in what we’re going to throw. I think that’s what you want to do. You want to go out there and challenge yourself.”
If this is the reincarnation of an old rivalry, Carter wasn’t drawn into the discussion.
“We’re glad the other three teams are battling it out and we’re not part of it. It doesn’t really matter who we play on Sunday.”
Scott reiterated her feelings from the day previous.
“We can smell it now. We’re close.
“We’ve had a lot of breaks this week. We’ve had a lot of last-rock wins. We’ve had things going our way. A few measures going our way. Those are things you need to get through a tournament like this.”