Big shoes to fill!
Miskew, Njegovan off to level starts in back-up roles at Scotties
It’s an odd occurrence — if not unheard of — that two teams go into the Scotties Tournament of Hearts without their regular skips.
But it’s happened this season. Both Team Wild Card 3, skipped by Rachel Homan, and Team Wild Card 1, skipped by Tracy Fleury, came into the Scotties without their leaders, and after two days of play they have even 1-1 records.
Their early start has opened the door for Team Northern Ontario, skipped by Krista McCarville (2-0, Thunder Bay), and Team New Brunswick, skipped by Andrea Crawford (2-0, Fredericton), to take the early lead in their nine-team Pool A.
McCarville, the hometown favourite, defeated Team Prince Edward Island, skipped by Suzanne Birt (1-1, Charlottetown) 8-5 Saturday night at Fort William Gardens. A difficult draw to the four-foot for two in the seventh gave her a 6-3 lead, and it was enough to carry her through to the finish line.
“It feels really good,” said third Kendra Lilly about the fast start to the week. “Hopefully we can keep building momentum and keep it going.”
Crawford was no less excited to be atop the heap, although it’s still early in the proceedings.
“We certainly came in here knowing we belonged in this field,” she said. “We just wanted to perform like we could. We wanted to improve our performance tonight from last night.”
Crawford won a huge game Saturday, taking out Team Wild Card 3, skipped by Miskew (Ottawa), by score of 7-2. Miskew is holding the skipping reins in place of Homan who had to bypass the Scotties due to Olympic duties.
It was a tough spot for Miskew, but she knew in advance that Homan was not going to be available and adjusted. It was doubly tough for Selena Njegovan of Team Wild Card 1 who learned just before the event started that regular skip Fleury had a positive COVID-19 test and would have to quarantine.
The team from East St. Paul, Man., pressed on without her, losing its first game but rebounding Saturday with a late-game surge en route to a 9-7 win over Saskatchewan’s Team Penny Barker (0-1, Moose Jaw).
The event is being played with increased health measures because of COVID-19, with no spectators, strict protocols and testing to keep players and officials safe.
In the only other game played Saturday, Wild Card 2 skipped by Chelsea Carey (1-1, Regina) defeated Team Nunavut, skipped by Brigitte MacPhail (0-2, Iqaluit) 12-7.
The 18 teams are split into two pools of nine, and will play a complete eight-game round robin. The top three teams in each pool advance to the playoffs where it will be further reduced to a Final Four and a Page playoff system.
The final goes Sunday, Feb. 6.
The 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts continues Sunday with a draws at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Eastern).
Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2022 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 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule.
This story will be available in French as soon as possible at https://www.curling.ca/2022scotties/nouvelles/?lang=fr