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Manitoba bounces back in style at 2017 Scotties

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — After a potentially shattering loss Tuesday night at the Meridian Centre, Manitoba skip Michelle Englot had no time to dwell on it at the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Michelle Englot’s Manitoba team came back strongly with a victory on Wednesday morning at the Scotties. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Englot’s Manitoba squad (vice-skip Kate Cameron, second Leslie Wilson, lead Raunora Westcott, alternate Krysten Karwacki, coach Ron Westcott) had scrambled its way back from a 6-2 deficit on Tuesday night against Team Canada’s Chelsea Carey to take a 7-6 lead through nine ends, only to surrender a 10th-end deuce and lose 8-7.

But instead of losing sleep over it, Englot was back at the Meridian Centre bright and early on Wednesday morning and took care of business in an efficient fashion — she broke open a tight 2-2 game through four ends by stealing four in the fifth end, singles in the sixth and seventh ends and a game-ending deuce in the eighth for a 10-2 triumph over Prince Edward Island’s Robyn MacPhee (2-5; Charlottetown).

The win maintained Manitoba’s hold on second place with a 7-1 record, behind only unbeaten Rachel Homan of Ontario (8-0; Ottawa).

“It was big (to win on Wednesday morning),” said Englot. “We could have pulled one off last night and we didn’t, but we still want to keep on rolling. We talked about (Tuesday night’s loss), but you still need to move on. I didn’t sleep bad, even though it was a bit of a late night by the time we got back to the hotel and a quick turnaround for this morning. But it was good to get back out there quickly, for sure.”

Having said that, Englot suggested there was room for improvement — particularly in her own performance.

Quebec vice-skip Lauren Mann calls to her teammates during Wednesday morning’s victory. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

“I’m struggling a little bit; I’m still not throwing the way I need to be throwing,” she admitted. “I need to get back to how I was throwing in the first few games. But the girls are throwing great; we had tons (of opportunities) set up in that game. We put rocks in good positions.”

That, combined with Manitoba’s record, has Englot optimistic about the remainder of the round robin and possibly even looking ahead to the playoffs

“That’s (seven wins) the magic number,” said Englot. “Usually; sometimes, maybe not. We could use one more. Eight is probably a guarantee. One more win and we’ll be good.”

Ontario kept its perfect record intact with a 6-3 triumph over Newfoundland/Labrador’s Stacie Curtis (2-5; St. John’s). Homan’s Ottawa team put the game away with a stolen deuce in the eighth end.

In other Wednesday morning play, Alberta’s Shannon Kleibrink (with Heather Nedohin handling skipping duties) was an 11-5 winner over B.C.’s Marla Mallett (0-8; Maple Ridge). The Okotoks-based Alberta team improved to 4-3 with the victory.

In the other game Wednesday morning, Quebec’s Eve Bélisle (6-2; Mount Royal) picked up her sixth straight victory, downing Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories (3-4; Yellowknife) 7-3.

Team Canada (5-1; Calgary), Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville (4-2; Thunder Bay), Nova Scotia’s Mary Mattatall (1-5; Windsor) and Saskatchewan’s Penny Barker (0-6; Moose Jaw) had byes on Wednesday morning.

Play at the 2017 Scotties continues on Wednesday with draws at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (all times Eastern).

TSN/RDS2, the official broadcaster of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, is providing extensive coverage of the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

For ticket information, go to: www.curling.ca/2017scotties/tickets/

For schedule information, go to: www.curling.ca/2017scotties/draw/

Live scoring for the 2017 Scotties is available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/#!/competitions/2236

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2017scotties/?lang=fr