An experienced Nova Scotia team, featuring veterans Mary-Anne Arsenault, Kim Kelly and Colleen Jones – making her 21st appearance at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts –had their hands full in a 9-4 loss to rookie skip Allison Ross and her young team out of Quebec.
It was a defensive game throughout, with both teams keeping few rocks in play. Misses by Nova Scotia in the third end allowed Quebec to steal one point, and the trouble for Nova Scotia continued in the third, when Arsenault’s final shot wrecked on a guard, allowing Quebec to steal another point and take a 3-0 lead.
But the game changed direction in the fifth end when a series of Quebec misses gave Arsenault an open draw for three – and a tie game heading into the break. A patient Nova Scotia held Quebec to a single in eight, and they survived a scare in the ninth to score one and go into the tenth tied at four, without hammer.
Then the wheels fell off. With a house full of rocks, a missed raise take-out by Arsenault left Quebec lying five, and that’s where the game ended – a 9-5 victory for Ross and her young team of Audrée Dufresne, Brittany O’Rourke and Sasha Beauchamp, who play out of the Glenmore Curling Club in Montréal.
“It was the same style of game we played in a bonspiel, when we played them in November,” said Ross. “In November we lost against them. This time we finished well against them. I think we’re two evenly matched teams.”
“For sure it’s a big relief to get the first win under out belt,” said Ross. “It was a tough game, going up against Nova Scotia, first game, being the TV game, being rookies – everything. So for us just to get the first one under our belt, now we can breathe a little bit.”
B.C.’s Kelly Scott, last year’s finalist, was another veteran taking on team full of Scotties rookies. Alberta skip, Kristie Moore, the only one on her team with Scotties experience, looked right at home, stealing one in the first and forcing Scott to make big shots to score with hammer. In the end, the B.C. squad of Scott, Jeanna Schraeder, Sasha Carter and Sarah Wazney took the lead and kept it for a 7-6 victory.
In other games, New Brunswick overwhelmed Prince Edward Island 11-5 and Newfoundland and Labrador lost 8-7 when the Northwest Territories stole a point in an extra end.