Quebec remains in contention at 2017 Scotties

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – Quebec’s Eve Bélisle has snuck up on the field at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. After dropping her first two games of the competition, Bélisle has strung together four consecutive victories, including one over Newfoundland/Labrador’s Stacie Curtis (2-4; St. John’s) on the Tuesday afternoon draw. Ontario’s Rachel Homan and Manitoba’s Michelle Englot, meanwhile, remained unbeaten. Homan defeated Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories (3-3; Yellowknife) 7-4, while Englot beat Alberta’s Shannon Kleibrink (3-3; Okotoks) 9-5. Both are 6-0 heading into the evening draw at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Meridian Centre. Bélisle scored two in the eighth end, stole one in the ninth and ran the St. John’s team out of rocks in the 10th end. She said she wasn’t too disappointed after losing games to Manitoba and Northern Ontario to open the competition. “We played well in those two games, so we weren’t discouraged at all. We knew we played against good teams,” said Bélisle, who is backed by vice-skip Lauren Mann, second Trish Hill, lead Brittany O’Rourke, alternate Pamela Nugent and coach Jeff Wilson.

Ontario’s Rachel Homan picked up her sixth consecutive victory on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Bélisle, who played at the Scotties in 2006 and 2010, said team dynamics are better now than they were at the start of the week. “I think after five ends we were getting a bit tired maybe in the first two games. I don’t know why. Maybe the stress and getting used to being at the Scotties. After a few games, we are on a roll.” The skip of the Mount Royal team said her team’s goal is to get to at least seven wins. “We think 7-4 will put us into at least a tiebreaker position. Hopefully seven and any more than that is a bonus.” She said she has enjoyed the Scotties. “The crowd is great. There are knowledgeable curling fans here, so that is awesome.” In the other game on the afternoon draw, Prince Edward Island’s Robyn MacPhee (2-4; Charlottetown) defeated British Columbia’s Marla Mallett (0-6; Maple Ridge) 8-7. Canada’s Chelsea Carey (4-1; Calgary), Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville (3-2; Thunder Bay); Nova Scotia’s Mary Mattatall (1-4; Windsor) and Saskatchewan’s Penny Barker (0-5; Moose Jaw) had afternoon byes. 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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