Finalists ready for Ford Hot Shots at the Scotties
Eight curlers are through to the finals of the Ford Hot Shots competition at the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith and Saskatchewan’s Stefanie Lawton sit at the top, tied with 25 points after the preliminary round Friday afternoon at Montreal’s Maurice-Richard Arena. The two skips will be joined in the next round by Alberta’s Dana Ferguson with 22 points, as well as Yukon/Northwest Territories’ Chelsea Duncan, Team Canada’s Alison Kreviazuk and Newfoundland’s Heather Strong, who are all tied at 21 points. Rounding out the top eight contenders are Katie Cottrill of Ontario and Sarah Koltun of Yukon/Northwest Territories, both with 20 points.The annual competition 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. Thanks to Ford of Canada, the winner after four rounds of competition (preliminary, quarter-finals, semifinals, final) will be presented with a two-year lease on a 2014 Ford Fusion 2.0L AWD with EcoBoost, an approximate retail value of $15,304. The second-place finisher will be presented with a cheque for $2,000, while the third-place finisher receives $1,000 Playoffs (Final Eight, Final Four, Final) begin at noon on Saturday, Feb. 1, following the Opening Ceremonies. Since 1995, the Ford Hot Shots event has provided not only an exciting beginning to each championship but has proven to be an extremely popular competition for curlers and fans. Previous Ford Hot Shots winners at the Hearts are the Territories’ Kelli Turpin and Kerry Galusha, British Columbia’s Sherry Fraser, Kelley Law (twice) and Kristy Lewis, Alberta’s Marcy Balderston and Cheryl Bernard, Saskatchewan’s Kay Montgomery, Manitoba’s Gerri Cooke and Jill Officer, Ontario’s Andrea Lawes and Jenn Hanna, New Brunswick’s Allison Farrell (Franey), Prince Edward Island’s Suzanne Birt (Gaudet), Nova Scotia’s Colleen Jones, Saskatchewan’s Amber Holland, Team Canada’s Jennifer Jones of Manitoba and last year’s winner, Rachel Homan, of Ontario, who followed up by also winning the 2013 Scotties title.