Heather Strong, skip of Newfoundland and Labrador, walked away with the keys to a 2014 Ford Fusion after outscoring Alison Kreviazuk in the finals of the Ford Hot Shots at Maurice-Richard Arena on Saturday afternoon.
“That’s what we were looking for out of the Hot Shots competition, just to use it as some practice especially with two new curlers on the team,” said Strong after accepting the keys from Bertrand Lessard, General Manager, Ford of Canada (Quebec Region).
“I wasn’t nervous,” she said about the pressure Draw to the Button to break the tie with Kreviazuk. “Skips make last rocks, that’s kind of what I do. So I wasn’t nervous about it, I was excited about it.”
Eight curlers emerged from Friday’s preliminaries of the skill competition which sees curlers throw six different shots: Hit and Stay, Draw the Button, Draw the Port, The Raise, Hit and Roll and Double Takeout. Each shot is awarded points on a scale from 0-5 depending on the end result of the shot.
Along with Strong and Kreviazuk, Dana Ferguson (Alberta) and Katie Cottrill (Ontario) made it through the semifinal to compete in the final four. Strong was forced to throw a tie-breaking draw to the button over Ferguson to earn her place in the final.
Tied at 17 points with only the Double Takeout remaining, Kreviazuk flashed by both rocks, leaving Strong a chance to win with even a partial shot.
“It was close, it was exciting to play, and it must have been exciting for those who were watching as well,” she said. “I had to really focus and not think about the fact that my car is a 2000, so a brand new car is very important to me.”
Thanks to Ford of Canada, Strong gets the keys to the car, while Kreviazuk walks away with $2,000 for her second-place finish. Alberta’s Ferguson receives $1,000 for finishing third.
The Ford Hot Shots competition has been providing an exciting beginning to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts since 1995 and was a hit with the fans who came out to cheer for the eight finalists on Saturday afternoon in Montréal.