Manitoba, Ontario setting pace at 2017 Scotties

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – Ontario’s Rachel Homan and Manitoba’s Michelle Englot remained undefeated after play Monday at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and it was a tale of two routes to get to the same place. While Homan’s Ottawa team had an easy time, beating Nova Scotia’s Mary Mattatall (1-3; Windsor) team 9-3, Englot’s Winnipeg team battled back from a 6-2 fifth-end deficit against Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville (2-2; Thunder Bay) to eke out an 8-7 victory. The Thunder Bay team scored three on the fifth end to get out in front 6-2. Game over, right? No, game on. With a deuce in the sixth end, a steal of one in the seventh and another in the eighth, Englot tied the game. Englot forced McCarville to one in the ninth and got two coming home without having to throw her last rock. “We had a couple of bad shots in a couple of ends and got down,” Englot said. “We’re resilient and can battle back from anything. We have a never-give-up attitude and that’s what you need in an event like this. “We had them right where we wanted them,” Englot quipped after leaving the ice at the Meridian Centre.

Team Quebec second Trish Hill, left, and lead Brittany O’Rourke share a laugh in Draw 7 action at the 2017 Scotties. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

She laughed when a reporter mentioned how her team grinded it out. “That was prime grinding,” she replied. Englot was pleased with her team’s play in the second half of the game. “We made every shot and put every rock where we wanted it. That is what we need to do and we know Krista is going to be there at the end, so beating her in the round-robin is really key.” She said it is important to win games against the top teams and obviously likes where she’s at. “We’re in a good spot right now, so we need to keep rolling,” said Englot, who is backed up by vice-skip Kate Cameron, second Leslie Wilson, lead Raunora Westcott, alternate Krysten Karwacki and coach Ron Westcott. In the other two games on the evening draw, Carey’s Calgary team defeated British Columbia’s Marla Mallett (0-5; Maple Ridge) 6-2, and Quebec’s Eve Bélisle beat Saskatchewan’s Penny Barker (0-5; Moose Jaw) 8-5. Carey’s record is 3-1, while Bélisle has quietly climbed up the standings and is 3-2. Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories (3-1; Yellowknife); Shannon Kleibrink of Alberta (2-2; Okotoks), Stacie Curtis of Newfoundland (2-2; St. John’s) and Prince Edward Island’s Robyn MacPhee (0-4; Charlottetown) had byes. There will be three draws at the Meridian Centre on Tuesday: 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. All times are Eastern. Both Manitoba and the Northwest Territories have what are expected to be tough draws on Tuesday. Manitoba plays Alberta in the afternoon and Team Canada in the nightcap. The Territories have a morning game with Canada and an afternoon tilt with Ontario. TSN/RDS2, the official broadcaster of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, is providing extensive coverage of the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

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