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Alberta wins 2016 Scotties Tournament of Hearts

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. – Chelsea Carey took a deep breath in the hack and then delivered a last-rock draw for a single point that earned her Alberta team the Scotties Tournament of Heart championship Sunday evening.

It took Carey’s last rock for her Calgary team of third Amy Nixon, second Jocelyn Peterman, lead Laine Peters, alternate Susan O’Connor and coach Charley Thomas to finally subdue a stubborn Krista McCarville Northern Ontario team 7-6.

“I dreamed of being a Canadian champion since I watched my dad (Dan) do it in ’92 (at the Brier),” a jubilant Carey said after rushing to hug her teammates and her dad. “Oh my God, I have no words honestly … and that doesn’t happen very often.”

Carey, who won the Scotties bronze in 2014 representing Manitoba, had to draw the full eight foot for the win. As she dropped into the hack, she told herself to take her time.

“You tend to rush in those situations,” said Carey, who won the Sandra Schmirler Award as the Scotties playoff MVP. “I just took a bunch of deep breaths and I had just thrown that (draw) so it was exactly the same weight. I just had to trust it was going to be there and luckily it was. You trust your million hours of practice are going to pay off and it did.”

Alberta's Chelsea Carey, left, and Amy Nixon celebrate their win. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Alberta’s Chelsea Carey, left, and Amy Nixon celebrate their win. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

It was fitting the game came down to the final end and the final stones. With a vocal, supportive crowd of 2,678 – it brought the tournament total to 36,854  — urging them on, Carey and McCarville fought a tight cat-and-mouse game through 10 ends. Alberta’s shooting percentage was 87 per cent and Northern Ontario’s was 85.

“It wasn’t a difficult draw but in the circumstances it is a difficult draw and she made it great,” McCarville said of Carey’s last shot. “It wasn’t the result we wanted but we have a lot to take out of this week for next year.”

Trading hit for hit and draw for draw, neither team could break away on the scoreboard. They traded singles in the second and third ends and deuces in the fourth and fifth. It was the first time in four games that Northern Ontario had not trailed at the break.

McCarville, third Kendra Lilly, second Ashley Sippala, lead Sarah Potts, alternate Oye-Sem Won Briand and coach Lorraine Lang got the lead for the first time in the seventh, scoring two on a classic skip’s deuce — two superb draws from McCarville that snuffed out an Alberta steal.

But Alberta came right back with two in eight on Carey’s runback takeout and stick for two. They then forced Northern Ontario to take a single in nine.

Carey had taken the shortest route to the final, going 9-2 in the round-robin, then beating Team Canada 7-5 in the Page 1-2 playoff game.

McCarville went the long route. Her team finished 7-4 and then scored stunning come-from-behind wins in Page 3-4 game (7-5 over Manitoba) and the semifinal (7-5 over Canada).

Northern Ontario skip Krista McCarville calls instructions to her sweepers during the gold-medal game. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver

Northern Ontario skip Krista McCarville calls instructions to her sweepers during the gold-medal game. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver

The Carey team receives $205,900 for the win, including $144,000 in Sport Canada funding over the next two years and 57.024 Canadian Team Ranking System points. Northern Ontario gets $26,900 and 44.805 points as runner-up.

Carey’s team will now wear Team Canada colours at the 2016 Ford World Women’s Championship, presented by Meridian Manufacturing, March 19-27 in Swift Current, Sask.

Should they win a medal at the Ford Worlds, the team will qualify for the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials in Ottawa — the event that will decide Canada’s four-player teams for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Alberta also qualified for the 2016 Home Hardware Canada Cup in Brandon, Man., the 2017 World Financial Group Continental Cup in Las Vegas and the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in St. Catharines, Ont.

In the bronze-medal game played earlier Sunday, Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg made a last-rock draw for one in the 10th end to give Team Canada an 8-7 win over Kerri Einarson in a game featuring two teams from the same province.

The 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be played in St. Catharines, Ont.

This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at http://www.curling.ca/2016scotties/?lang=fr