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Extra-end win sends Sweeting to Scotties final

Alberta’s Val Sweeting came into the Scotties semifinal riding high after stealing an 8-7 win over Saskatchewan’s Stefanie Lawton on Saturday afternoon in Montréal’s Maurice-Richard Arena.

And not even Manitoba’s Chelsea Carey could bring her down to earth. Sweeting and her Alberta foursome are headed to the Scotties final against defending champion Rachel Homan after scoring one in an extra end to defeat Carey 6-5 in the semifinal at the Maurice-Richard Arena.

Val Sweeting (Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

Val Sweeting (Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

“We felt in control,” she said. “There were a few scary moments out there. We thought we were playing well and keeping our rocks in good spots. There’s a couple of shots I’d like back, but both teams were playing really well, and it was fun.”

Both teams took advantage of a few misses to score their points. After scoring a deuce in six, Sweeting capitalized on a pair of roll-outs by Manitoba third Kristy McDonald to get three scoring rocks into position, and stole a point when Carey’s final draw slid too deep. In the next end, it was Carey’s turn to take advantage of Sweeting’s missed draw, scoring two to tie it 4-4 after eight.

The extra end was a waiting game. Carey put up the guards and waited for a mistake, which came when third Joanne Courtney threw a takeout that slid through a port, missing everything. With a Manitoba stone just touching the four-foot, Sweeting drew for the single point.

“We practice that a lot at home and when you have the best sweepers out there (lead Rachelle Pidherny and third Courtney), you feel pretty confident making it,” said Sweeting, who admitted to being a little bit nervous when she let her last shot go. “But I knew just to get it close and they’d judge it great, and that’s what they did.”

Carey did her best to hold off the Albertans in the extra end, but without hammer, it was an impossible task.

“We missed a few too many shots,” said the disappointed Manitoba skip. “They made us pay for our misses more than we made them pay for theirs. We were real close to a lot of shots, but we didn’t quite make it.”

Carey will play Stefanie Lawton of Saskatchewan in Sunday’s Bronze medal game at 2:30 p.m. (ET), while Sweeting will meet Rachel Homan and Team Canada for the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts championship at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

“It’s huge,” Sweeting said, looking forward to the Sunday’s final. “To be one game away from a dream come true like that, it feels really good.”

(Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

(Photo CCA/Andrew Klaver)

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.

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