With playoffs looming, three teams – Canada, Saskatchewan and Manitoba – maintained their position at the top of the standings after wins in Draw 13 at the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Rachel Homan and her team from the Ottawa Curling Club remain undefeated after downing Kim Dolan of Prince Edward Island, 9-4.
Homan grabbed the lead early when Dolan’s hit and stick attempt rolled too far, giving up a steal of three. The team from the Charlottetown Curling Club put some pressure on last year’s Scotties champions, stealing a single in seven, but it wasn’t enough and the teams shook after nine ends.
Ontario’s Allison Flaxey and her team from the Listowel Curling Club kept the momentum going after a win earlier in the day over Val Sweeting of Alberta. Flaxey led 5-0 after the first two ends against Sarah Koltun of the Yukon/Northwest Territories and coasted to a 12-2 win.
Coming into the game, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were in second place with identical 6-1 records. They remain tied after both teams won close games on Wednesday night.
Saskatchewan’s Stefanie Lawton battled to an 8-6 win over Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith in a game full of exciting shot-making.
“Heather’s team curled great and really put the pressure on us,” said Lawton afterwards. “We were able to make some great shots and come up with a deuce in the ninth end that really helped us out, and we were able to hold them from getting points in the tenth.”
In the fourth end, Lawton unleashed a spectacular in-off take-out for two, which brought a roar from the crowd.
“Those ones are fun to play,” she said. “You’ve got nothing to lose. You just go out there and throw it – and make it.”
The win keeps Lawton in second place, tied with Manitoba’s Chelsea Carey, who won her game against New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford.
Carey and Crawford put on a show in a close game that came down to last rock. Facing two New Brunswick rocks that would have tied the game and forced the extra end, Carey had to make a precision hit for the win.
“I didn’t want to have to throw a shot like that,” Carey said about the tricky takeout that had to squeak by some guards. “But once you make it it’s fun. It was a scary one, but it felt good to make it.”
The Scotties continues with draws on Thursday at 9 a.m., 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/