SUMMERSIDE – Close games and exciting finishes were the story of Draw 1 at the 2017 Home Hardware Road to the Roar Pre-Trials curling event.
The outcomes of all four women’s matches were not decided until the final 10th end.
“Any time we can get a win out here in this deep field is great,” said skip Kelsey Rocque, whose Edmonton rink prevailed 6-3 over Calgary’s Nadine Scotland. “To come away with a first win gives us a lot of confidence moving forward, but we still have a lot of games ahead. Hopefully, we will keep playing well.”
The teams entered the 10th end tied 3-3, and Scotland’s draw attempt against four was light as she needed to touch the button. That allowed Rocque to steal three.
“We played a really good last end,” said Rocque. “It was a good team finish.”
Sherry Middaugh from Coldwater, Ont., outlasted Darcy Robertson from Winnipeg 7-5.
After giving up a steal of two in the seventh end and blanking the eighth, Middaugh counted a deuce in the ninth end to take a 6-5 lead, and then stole a single in the 10th.
“I thought we were in control until that awful steal of two, and then all of a sudden they were making their shots and you are kind of scrambling a bit,” assessed Middaugh, who lost the 2013 Roar of the Rings final to Jennifer Jones. “We played a good game other than that one little blip, and it was a matter of we had two full misses that end.
“I thought we put the pressure on them. It was a good battle back and forth.”
Team Shannon Birchard from Winnipeg built a 6-3 lead after eight ends en route to a 6-5 victory over Julie Tippin from Woodstock, Ont.
“Overall, we played pretty well,” assessed Birchard. “We definitely would like to bring up our game.
“We struggled with the ice a little bit, but picked it up after the first few ends. After getting that lead we felt pretty secure.”
The Kerri Einarson team from the East St. Paul Curling Club in Manitoba needed a game-winning shot from its skip against Karla Thompson of Kamloops, B.C. Einarson cleanly hit Thompson’s shot rock in the four-foot to count four and an 11-7 win.
“I knew if I threw it clean on that line we could pick it out,” admitted Einarson, who added her rink “learned some lessons.”
The curlers also had to deal with frosty ice conditions.
“It’s really tricky, especially for draw weight and hits you have to keep them up or they’ll grab,” explained Einarson.
Birchard said communication and watching different paths are keys in adjusting.
“The humidity outside has something to do with it today (Monday),” said Birchard. “It’s pretty frosty out there, and I think that just has to do with the weather. I’m sure all the ice technicians are all over it.”