Lawes Lobbies Back!

Team Manitoba-Lawes vice-skip Selena Njegovan (right) and second Jocelyn Peterman (left) sweep a stone in a 6-5 win over Northern Ontario in draw 17. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Team Lawes completes comeback to make playoffs at Scotties

It’s not often that a .500 record will get a team into the playoffs in a sports competition, but it worked out that way Thursday at the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. 

Skip Kaitlyn Lawes (4-4, Winnipeg) won a tiebreaker formula laid out by Curling Canada after finishing in a crowded five-way tie for the third and final playoff spot available in Pool A. 

Team Manitoba-Lawes finished in a dead heat with Team British-Columbia-Brown, Team Northern Ontario, Team Saskatchewan and Team Québec, all with 4-4 records at the end of round-robin play, but with no on-ice tiebreakers to settle matters, it went to the Olympic and World Curling Federation system based on Last Shot Draw for points prior to the competition to decide the third-place winner.  

Lawes was at the top of that heap.  

“Feels so good,” said Lawes, who was more or less written out of the event after a slow 1-3 start. “We’ve been working really hard this year on the draw to the button because we’ve been eliminated so many times with no tiebreakers, so that was a huge priority for us. We knew we just had to keep hanging tough and see what happens at the end of the week. 

“We didn’t know how everything was going to fall but just so proud of the girls for hanging in with me and playing a tough, gritty game.” 

Lawes did her part Thursday, defeating Team Northern Ontario (4-4, Thunder Bay) skipped by Krista McCarville who had a chance to wrap up the third playoff spot with a win. 

Team McCarville’s loss opened the door for Team British Columbia-Brown (4-4, Kamloops) to slide into the playoffs with a win but also could not get the job done, losing 8-5 to front-runners Team Alberta (7-1, Edmonton) skipped by Selena Sturmay. 

The win was key for Team Alberta which clinched first place in the nine-team pool. The top teams in both Pool A and B earn a berth in the page 1 / 2 qualification match. 

Alberta and four-time defending champion Team Canada, skipped by Kerri Einarson, finished deadlocked in first place, but Team Sturmay was rewarded with top spot by virtue of its win over Team Canada in the round-robin. Team Canada finishes second. 

Team Alberta lead Paige Papley stares longingly into the distance in draw 17 action at the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Photo, Curling Canada/Andew Klaver)

“Definitely happy with our performance this week so far,” said Sturmay. “Coming into the week we knew playoffs wasn’t out of the picture but we’d have to work for it. 

“Feels amazing to know we’re going into playoffs ranked No. 1. This is a new team so we didn’t have crazy expectations coming into the week.” 

Team Canada (7-1, Gimli) wrapped up its portion of the round-robin with a 12-4 win over Newfoundland & Labrador (2-6, St. John’s) skipped by Stacie Curtis. 

Team Manitoba-Lawes kept constant pressure on the team from the Lakehead, and eventually pulled away. McCarville was constantly looking at a houseful of enemy stones. 

The key end came in the seventh when McCarville and Co. couldn’t keep the front clear and Lawes was able to exploit that with a draw for three and go on to a 6-5 win. 

“When we got that three that was a huge turning point in the game,” said Lawes. “It was a great back-and-forth battle and no one had scored multiple points yet, so that was a big momentum shift. 

“They’re such a strong team and we knew we had to go down to the last rock with them if we could. So just really proud of the team for all the hard work.” 

In the other Pool A game on the docket, Team Québec (4-4, Glenmore & Laval-sur-le-Lac), skipped by Laurie St-Georges, rang up a 9-6 win over skip Jane DiCarlo’s Prince Edward Island (0-8, Crapaud). 

Team Saskatchewan (4-4, Saskatoon), skipped by Skylar Ackerman, had the Pool A bye. 

The 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts continues with a draw Thursday at 6:30 p.m. (all times Mountain). 

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