British Columbia’s Kesa Van Osch, fighting to stay in playoff contention, defeated Newfoundland and Labrador’s Heather Strong 7-3 in morning action at the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Van Osch led 3-1 at the break, and after holding Strong to one point in six, broke the game open with a score of three in the seventh. Trailing 7-3 heading into the final end, the team from St. John’s just wasn’t able to catch up.
B.C. alternate Patti Knezevic stepped into the third position to replace absent Stephanie Baier. That makes three different positions she Knezevic has played for the team, which has battled the flu throughout the week.
“It was a new hat today,” she laughed. “I have some tough shoes to fill, playing this position, but I just try to do what I can to support the team.”
For a disappointed Strong, the loss means no chance of tie-breakers for her team at this year’s Scotties.
“I just didn’t play well,” she said afterwards. “I came out flat, and that’s disappointing because we still had an outside chance. But no math equation will work for us now.”
The result will also disappoint the contingent of Newfoundland and Labrador fans who have been cheering loudly for their team throughout the round robin.
“That’s my dad,” said Strong, identifying the voice which can be heard calling encouragement from the stands. “He goes down with the ship. He’s like the band on the Titanic.”
The only other game in the Thursday morning draw featured Alberta’s Val Sweeting, who holds on to fourth place in the standings after scoring seven points in the first three ends on the way to a 10-3 win over Quebec’s Allison Ross.
Ross desperately wanted to give the crowd something to cheer for, but on Thursday morning, her team from the Glenmore Curling Club in Montréal struggled once again in a game full of missed opportunities.
Ross took herself out of the game after six ends, and fifth player Lisa Davies took over in the house.
“I wasn’t playing well,” Ross said. “I didn’t have my draw weight, and Lisa’s had great draw weight all week. She’s played four games for us already [due to the illness of second Brittany O’Rourke]. It was time. I needed a break.”
Ross let loose with a cheer, including a loud whistle, from the bench when Davies drew for a single in the eighth end.
“Lisa’s been playing great,” said Ross. “She turned 21 yesterday, and for 21, her first Scotties, first national, I think she’s done amazing.”
The Scotties continues with draws on Thursday 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/