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Historic first win for Nunavut at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

SYDNEY, N.S. — Three years ago Jenine Bodner threw Nunavut’s first-ever rock in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and on Saturday she skipped the territory’s team to its first-ever victory in the main draw of the event.

“Amazing, I’m still in shock,” the 34-year-old skip out of Iqaluit (1-0) said after stealing a single in the 10th end for a 4-3 win over Gabrielle Lavoie of Quebec (0-1, Saint-Romuald).

The young Quebec skip had a hit-and-stick with her final stone to take the win, but was just wide and her shot slid off to the side, leaving Nunavut to count the winning single.

“I knew we could do it but to actually get it under our belts is another story. We are so excited that this happened,” added Bodner, who was successful on that historical first stone that came in a pre-qualifying game in 2016 at Grande Prairie, Alta., which Nunavut won (over B.C.).

The key on Saturday, she said, was figuring out the ice and “the hit game played into it big time, it worked for us.”

Bodner, who throws second stones because of a medical issue that creates sweeping problems, was backed by vice-skip Jennifer Blaney, who throws fourth rocks, second Allison Griffin, who throws third stones, lead Sadie Pinksen, who was skip for Nunavut’s first-ever win at the Canadian juniors in 2016 at Stratford, Ont., alternate Megan Ingram and coach Susanne Martin. Pinksen is normally the alternate, but filled in for Ingram, who was under the weather on Saturday.

Nunavut scored two in the third end and one in the fifth, while Quebec had a single in the second, a deuce in the fourth and then blanked ends six through nine, keeping the hammer that ultimately was the difference in the outcome.

The final four stones were nerve-wracking for the northern foursome, and Bodner said a big key for them was having plenty of time left on the score clock.

Ontario skip Rachel Homan watches her shot during Draw 1 win on Saturday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

“I’m glad we had a lot of time, really glad we had the chance to talk about it, get all on the same page,” she said. “We’re all very different women in regards to how we think, so taking the time, having it available really helped us.”

In other Draw 1 games, 2017 champion Rachel Homan of Ontario (1-0, Ottawa) scored two in the 10th end to beat Krista McCarville of Northern Ontario (0-1, Thunder Bay) 6-4, Chelsea Carey of Alberta (1-0, Calgary) stole one in the 10th to defeat Tracy Fleury of Manitoba (0-1, Gimli) 7-6, and Sarah Wark of British Columbia (1-0, Abbotsford) scored four in the final end to shock host Jill Brothers of Nova Scotia (0-1, Halifax) 7-6.

The 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts continues with Draw 2 today at 7:30 p.m. AST.

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts are available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/

TSN and RDS2 (streamed on ESPN3 in the United States) will provide complete coverage of the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule.

For ticket information for the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, go to www.curling.ca/2019scotties/tickets/

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2019scotties/category/nouvelles/?lang=fr