NEUFELD, URSEL TEAMS WIN FOURTH MANITOBA SENIOR TITLES

Manitoba will send a pair of four-time Manitoba Senior champion teams to the 2022 Canadian Seniors in the fall of this year.

Randy Neufeld, Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls and Dale Michie won together in 2015, 2016 and 2021. They repeated again today in Beausejour – winning a morning semi-final in six ends over Murray Warren (Brandon) and then beating Richard Muntain’s Granite team in the final.

Fourth time champions!! (l-r) Randy Neufeld, Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls, Dale Michie

Muntain, as Page 1-1 winner, started with last rock and scored a skip’s pair with a draw behind a corned guard on his first, then a draw to the four foot for two after Neufeld came just short trying to follow the first shot. From there, however, it was Neufeld’s game.

He made a runback kill for three on end #2, forced Muntain to a single on #3, and had an open draw for five after Muntain just rubbed attempting a game-saving double (maybe triple) kill. Up 8-3 at the break, Neufeld stole another on the fifth end when Muntain’s hit facing two rolled far enough to require a measure of two rocks biting the four foot.

Facing two more on the sixth end, Muntain drew to the button and conceded the 9-4 victory.

On the Senior Women’s side, Terry Ursel and front end players Tracy Igonia and Brenda Walker won in 2017, 2019 and 2020. Their third Wanda Rainka won in 2019 and 2020, replacing Gwen Wooley who was the third for the Neepawa team’s first championship run.

Like Muntain, Ursel had last rock on the first end and scored a pair. After stealing another on the second and giving up one on the third, Ursel had Judy Colwell looking at three with her last. Colwell removed only one, leaving Ursel a draw for three and a 6-1 lead after four ends. A steal of three more on the fifth ended the game.

Fourth time champions!! (l-r) Terry Ursel, Wanda Rainka, Brenda Walker, Tracy Igonia, 5th Darla Hanke
Randy Neufeld with sweepers Dean Moxham (l) and Dale Michie

(Monday, March 21, 11AM) MUNTAIN-NEUFELD, URSEL-COLWELL SENIOR FINALS: Randy Neufeld and his La Salle team were 7-1 winners over Murray Warren (Brandon) in the Strathcona Senior Men’s semi-final in Beausejour Monday morning. Warren had run a string of six wins to start the event, including a round-robin win over Neufeld, then lost three in a row to bow out of the competition.

The defending champion Neufeld team will now play Richard Muntain’s Granite foursome in the final at 1PM.

The Senior Women’s final will see Terry Ursel and her Neepawa team challenged by Judy Colwell (East St. Paul). Colwell defeated defending champion clubmate Kim Link and her team in the morning semi-final. In a game which featured many stones in play on every end, Colwell scored four singles to open the game. Link had a makeable double for three on the 5th end but didn’t curl up quite enough and scored only one. A steal on the sixth gave Link some hope but a single for Colwell gave her a three-point lead coming home and Link had no shot with her last.

Always stones in play! Last rock (red) to come and yellow counting. The yellow Link counter wasn’t moved but the steal of one (down 4-2) wasn’t enough.

(Sunday, March 20, 6:30PM) MUNTAIN INTO SENIOR MEN’S FINAL, LINK WINS SR WOMEN’S TIEBREAKER: After winning six in row, Murray Warren’s Brandon team lost two games Sunday. They lost their final round-robin game 5-4 to Mike Mahon and then were beaten 4-2 Sunday evening in the Page 1-1 game by Richard Muntain (Granite). Muntain advances direct to the Monday 1PM final.

Warren drops to the morning semi-final against defending champion Randy Neufeld (LaSalle) who eliminated Rob Van Kommer with a 7-1 victory in the Page 2-2 game.

In the Senior Women’s tiebreaker, defending champion Kim Link (East St. Paul) was an 8-4 winner over Norma Purdy in the tiebreaker. Link will play clubmate Judy Colwell in the Monday morning semi-final. The winner advances to play Terry Ursel in the final

(Sunday, March 20, 7PM) VAN KOMMER WINS SR MEN’S TIEBREAKER; LINK-PURDY MEET IN SR WOMEN’S TIEBREAKER: When all the wins and losses were tallied at the end of the Strathcona Senior Men’s round robin Beausejour, Murray Warren (Brandon) has lost his perfect record, but still finished first in his pool. Richard Muntain (Granite) had won a sixth game and finished first in his pool. Randy Neufeld (LaSalle) had won a fifth game and finished second behind Warren.

And two teams, Rob Van Kommer (Carberry) and Allan Gitzel (Morris) were the only teams involved in a tiebreaker game. Both were 5W-2L behind Muntain. Van Kommer won the tiebreaker 7-4 to advance to the Sunday evening Page 2-2 game against former champion Neufeld.

The Page 1-1 game, between Warren and Muntain, will also be played Sunday evening.

It was not as clean and simple in the CurlManitoba Senior Women’s Championship. Three-time former champion Terry Ursel (Neepawa) finished the round-robin in first place with a 6W-1L record. They earn the bye to the provincial final game on Sunday at 1PM.

There is a second place 4W-3L tie between four teams: Judy Colwell, Norma Purdy, Kim Link, and Darcy Robertson. Based on the CurlManitoba tiebreaker policy which involves head-to-head results plus the pre-game button draw and just one tiebreaker game, Judy Colwell (East St. Paul) has been awarded second place. Link (East St. Paul) and Purdy (St Vital) will play a Sunday evening tiebreaker game for the chance to play Colwell Monday morning at 9AM. Robertson is on the outside looking in.

(Saturday, March 19, 10:30PM) WARREN, URSEL ADVANCE TO SENIORS’ PLAYOFFS: Murray Warren and his Deloraine-Melita team, playing out of Brandon, are still unbeaten in the Strathcona Senior Men’s in Beausejour. Their 6W-0L record means that with only a game to play in the round-robin, they cannot be caught and will advance to the playoffs.

In the CurlManitoba Senior Women’s, Terry Ursel and her Neepawa team have a 5W-1L record and are assured of advancing no matter the result of their final game against defending champion Kim Link (East St. Paul), whose record is 4W-2L. A Link win on the noon draw Sunday will mean both will finish at 5W-2L and the two will advance.

In the other Men’s pool, Richard Muntain (Granite) also has a 5W-1L record but advancing is not yet a certainty.

There is great potential for several ties for the other playoff positions and for the tiebreaker scenarios to be implemented.

In Warren’s Senior Men’s Pool, Randy Neufeld (La Salle) is at 4W-2L and plays Ray Baker (Dauphin), who is at 3W-3L, in a re-match of last fall’s final. If Baker wins, both will be at 4W-3L. Two other 3W-3L teams will be cheering for Baker. Mike Mahon (Granite) and Allan Croy (Petersfield) need to win and hope for the Baker win to get into the logjam. Mahon plays Warren. Croy plays 2W-4L Sam Antila (Thompson).

The Muntain pool is even more confused as four teams can finish tied for first at 5W-2L. Muntain plays 4W-2L Neil Okumura (Pembina). Also at 4W-2L, Rob Van Kommer (Carberry), and Allan Gitzel (Morris) can be in that first place tie. Gitzel plays 2W-4L Derek Dowsett (Stonewall) and Van Kommer plays 1W-5L Dale Brooks (Hamiota). Also in the conversation is Dave Boehmer (Petersfield) who is 3W-3L. A Boehmer win over 1W-5L Bill Menzies (Granite), along with losses by Okumura, Van Kommer, and Gitzel would mean a four-way second place tie at 4W-3L.

In the Senior Women’s, there will be a three team playoff with #2 VS #3 and the winner playing #1 but other than Ursel there is no certainty who will be in the playoffs. There is absolutely no clarity yet on positioning.

If Link Beats Ursel, they’ll both be 5W-2L and finish Link #1 and Ursel #2 due to the result of the head-to-head. If Ursel beat Link, Ursel would be 6W-1L and assured of the first place bye and Link would be 4W-3L and tied with some others. For certain either Darcy Robertson (AMCC) or Norma Purdy (St. Vital) will finish 4W-3L as both are currently 3W-3L and they play each other in their final game. Judy Colwell is at 3W-2L with two to play so her East St. Paul team can finish as high as second at 5W-2L, in the 4W-3L tie, OR out of the playoffs at 3W-4L.

(Friday, March 18, 11PM) WARREN LAST UNBEATEN AT BEAUSEJOUR SENIORS: Murray Warren’s Brandon team, the reigning Manitoba Masters Champion are the last unbeaten team in the two Manitoba Senior championship events in Beausejour. Warren needed an extra end for a 5-4 victory over Sam Antila on the late draw Friday.

The other previously unbeaten men’s team, skipped by Richard Muntain, was beaten 10-4 by Allan Gitzel, whose record is now 3W-1L. Gitzel is tied with Dave Boehmer and Rob Van Kommer in second place in their pool. Behind Warren in the other group are Mike Mahon and Randy Neufeld at 3W-1L.

In the Senior Women’s, Norma Purdy was beaten for the first time on Friday, a 10-3 loss to Marlene Lang. With Purdy at 3W-1L are Terry Ursel and Kim Link. Darcy Robertson lost on the late draw, 8-2 to Laurie Deprez, and has a 2W-2L record.

(Friday, 5PM) PURDY, WARREN & MUNTAIN LEAD MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS AT 3W-0L: Norma Purdy , with a win over Judy Colwell, leads the Senior Women’s in Beausejour with a perfect 3W-0L record. Colwell is a 2W-1L along with Darcy Robertson, Kim Link, and Terry Ursel.

Murray Warren and Richard Muntain, at 3W-OL, lead the two pools in the Senior Men’s in Beausejour. Behind Warren, at 2W-1L are Randy Neufeld and Mike Mahon. Behind Muntain, at 2W-1L, are Rob Van Kommer, Dave Boehmer, and Allan Gitzel.

(Friday 8AM) PLAY UNDERWAY IN SENIORS & MIXED PROVINCIALS: Play began with all teams playing two games in the Manitoba Senior Men’s and Women’s Championships in Beausejour and in the Mixed provincials in Carman. It is round-robin play in both Beausejour events and triple knock-out in Carman.

In the Senior Women’s, Judy Colwell (East St. Paul) and Norma Purdy (St. Vital) and their teams both posted a pair of wins while four other teams split their two opening day games. Colwell defeated defending champion clubmate Kim Link (10-7) and Darcy Robertson (5-2) while Purdy had victories over Sandra Cowling (14-1) and Laurie Deprez (5-4).

In the Senior Men’s, defending champion Randy Neufeld (La Salle) was one of 10 teams to split their first day pair. Only three teams survived the day with two wins. Masters champion Murray Warren (Brandon) leads one eight-team pool with a 2-0 record while Richard Muntain (Granite) and Dave Boehmer (Petersfield) lead the other pool at 2-0.

(Wednesday, March 16) FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS FOR MANITOBANS TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND!!: It will be a great weekend for Manitoba curling fans.  TV fans will be cheering for Kerri Einarson and Team Canada as they kick off the Women’s Worlds in Prince George with two games on Saturday. Two year’s experience wearing the maple leaf puts them in a good place going into the event. Six teams make the playoffs so that they should be among those. Then it is a case of luck of the draw – they should get close and certainly have the ability to win it but with Tirinzoni and Hasselborg in the competition, that’s the furthest I’ll go in the way of a prediction.

Also this weekend, CurlManitoba has three events for fans who like their championship curling in person.

(Wednesday) The Chicken Mixed Chef in Carman begins Thursday evening with 13 entries playing a triple knock-out with six teams advancing to the playoffs. Always interesting to pick a favorite when teams rarely play together more than year or two but 3-time Mixed Champion Sean Grassie has name recognition and he also lost the 2021 Mixed final; Steve Irwin and Stacey Fordyce, both three time Clubs Champions, team together in a tough to beat combo; brother-sister combo Brett (a former Manitoba junior champ) & Meghan (former Mixed Manitoba & World Champ) Walter, should contend, as might Justin Richter with Tyler & Brandi Forrest (half of the 2021 Manitoba Mixed Champion team) and Sara Oliver (also a former World Mixed champ) at lead. The playoffs take place Sunday with the final at 5PM.

I’d bet I have named the eventual winner in those four. If pressed further, I might suggest either Walter or Irwin in the final against Grassie.

Kim Links’ 2021 Manitoba Senior Women’s Champion Team (Curling Canada photo)

The CurlManitoba Senior Women’s begins Thursday at 9AM in Beausejour with eight entries. The skips of the last seven Manitoba Senior Women’s champions and eight champions in total, with many of their teammates, have entries in the event. All are competitive at this level, making for an interesting competition. They include Laurie Deprez (2012), Sandra Cowling (2016), Terry Ursel (2017-19-20). Also included is defending champion Kim Link who also won in 2015 and 2018. The credentials of the other teams are also impressive. Norma Purdy skipped the finalist team at the 2021 Senior Women’s at Pembina last fall. Marlene Lang won the Club Champions Championship in 2015 and 2020 and Judy Colwell, a semi-finalist in the Club Champions event in 2020. Darcy Robertson rounds out the field. She will go into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame later this year with her 1984 Junior team. There would be interesting career symmetry to winning a senior title in the same year and this team certainly has the credentials. The three team playoff is Monday, with #2 & #3 playing and the winner playing #1 at 1:00PM.

Obviously I have named the winner since I have named all eight teams. If pressed I’d bet on Robertson being in the final. Any one of the teams could beat her in a one-game showdown but I think I’d pick Robertson to win it.

Randy Neufeld’s 2021 Manitoba Senior Men’s Team (Curling Canada photo)

The Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s also begins at 9AM Thursday in Beausejour and runs through until the final at 1PM Monday. Sixteen teams have qualified in the traditional regional and berth spiels model. They play an eight game round robin with a Page Playoff at the end. The gold standard for teams at the Manitoba Senior level is set by Randy Neufeld whose team has been intact since winning the 2015 and 2016 Manitoba titles enroute to a 2016 World Silver medal. They lost the Manitoba final to Dave Boehmer in 2020 and beat Ray Baker to win again in 2021 at Pembina. Boehmer has a completely different team than he won Manitoba with back-to-back-to-back in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Dean Dunstone on the roster makes this an interesting and very competitive team. Baker came close at the 2021 event and has the same team that almost won. He’d love to be the first sitting CurlManitoba President to win a championship during his term. The field represents the best across Manitoba but the other serious contenders are likely to be a pair of Masters teams: Murray Warren’s 2020 Manitoba Masters champs and Bill Menzies, who won the 2007 Seniors with Lionel Walz and whose team (including himself) has won a total of seven Masters ‘buffaloes’ since 2016.

Again, if pressed, I’d bet on Neufeld being in the final against one of the teams I’ve named. Flip a coin against Boehmer and give Neufeld the edge over the other three.

The other event which is happening this weekend is the Manitoba Stick Curling Association’s 2-Person Stick Open Championship at Assiniboine Memorial, beginning Friday morning. It is a quick game played with 6 rocks per side and only 6 ends. Like Mixed Doubles, it has its own unique set of rules and skills – in particular the ability to draw the button without sweeping (under the rules, no sweeping is allowed between the hoglines). You’ll see a lot of rocks in play and great entertainment from this version of the game played competitively. Teams to beat include Barry Tall and Jim Webster from Swan River, reigning Manitoba Open Champions and the Winnipeg team of Gwen Smith and Lynne Rehbein, reigning Maniotoba Women’s Champions. Both teams are preparing for the Canadian Open Championship in Moncton in mid-April. Others who will contend for this year’s Manitoba title include Tom & Rae Campbell from Killarney, the 2018 Canadian Champions; the Warren/Marquette duo of Jim Rouse and Ross MacMillan, the 2015 Canadian Champions; and St. Vital’s Warren Johnson & Dan McDonald team. Johnson is a past Canadian Champion who won the Manitoba title with different partners in 2012 and 2017. 

As for predicting the winner – not a chance! I am playing in the event with Norm Magnusson and I see no point in stirring the fire.

A MANITOBA CURLING FIRST FOR TEAM ZACHARIAS

Fair to the other team members or not, the inevitable comparisons in curling always seem to be made between the skips – especially when it comes to historical records.

Not only did new Scotties champion skip Mackenzie Zacharias share the ice with Darcy Robertson, she shares a spot in Manitoba curling history as well

The reason is simple – it is easy! A little easier than comparing thirds – a lot easier than comparing thirds with leads.  Easy because the two names are attached to the team and that’s the identity that mostly shows up in articles like this. Also easy because their name always comes first on the historical record list.

The story idea started from the realization that just two curling seasons ago, Mackenzie Zacharias (and her entire team) had won the Manitoba, Canadian, and World Juniors.

Who was the last Manitoba World Junior champion to win the Manitoba women’s or men’s provincial title?

Answer? It has never happened? Kelly MacKenzie (Scott), of course, won a BC women’s and went on to win the world title – but not Manitoba. Bob Ursel, David Hamblin, Braden Calvert: none of them won the Manitoba men’s although it is fair to say that Calvert still could.

So what about Canadian Junior champions – and did anyone do it in the second season after winning the Canadian Junior?

Answer? Go back almost 40 years. Darcy Kirkness skipped the 1984 Manitoba and Canadian Junior champion team (before there was a world championship so they had no chance there!). Her team of Barb Kirkness, Janet Harvey and Barb Fetch won Manitoba and Canada.  In 1986, the Kirkness sisters and Barb Fetch (with Faye Irwin) won the Manitoba women’s title. That’s the same second season after the junior championship as with the Zacharias sisters – and it would be splitting hairs to suggest the December timing this year means the Altona team actually did it a little sooner.

For those who don’t recognize the name – that’s the same Darcy Robertson as was competing this year in Carberry.

So Team Zacharias of 2020 and 2022 shares the accomplishment of winning “soonest after Canadian Junior title” with Team Kirkness of 1984 & 1986 (in Manitoba curling!).

However, Team Zacharias stands alone in Manitoba curling history in one regard. Mackenzie & Emily Zacharias, Karlee Burgess, and Lauren Lenentine are the ONLY intact Manitoba Junior Champion team, ever, to go on and win a Manitoba Women’s or Men’s championship.

ZACHARIAS #1; WATLING, JONES TO MEET IN SEMI-FINAL

(Carberry Draw 13: December 18) The final round of play in the Carberry Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Bayer ended in dramatic fashion Saturday afternoon.

The fate of every team depended on the outcome of their own game. Three also depended on the outcome of the game on Sheet A.

Mackenzie Zacharias controlled her own fate. She had to beat Kaitlyn Jones to advance to the Sunday playoff round.

Darcy Robertson had to beat Kristy Watling, to force a tie if Zacharias lost.

Tracy Fleury and Kristy McDonald played each other – the winner would also be in the tie if Zacharias lost.

The result was three entertaining games which went to the final shots.

Robertson, up one coming home without hammer, made a perfect draw to the four-foot circle behind her own rock biting the front of the rings. Watling had no choice but to play the run-double kill. She failed and Robertson had done her job – winning 7-5.

McDonald led Fleury 9-6 coming home and Fleury had hammer. With her final stone, McDonald faced four and played a double kill but nose hit, allowing Fleury a draw for 4 and victory. Fleury had done her job – winning 10-9.

But Zacharias broke their hearts – drawing to the button with her last shot coming home and a 6-5 win over Jones.

Jones, Watling and Zacharias advance to the Sunday playoffs. Zacharias owns the bye to the final as her team beat the other two in their preliminary round meetings.

(Carberry Draw 12: December 18) WATLING, JONES ADVANCE TO SUNDAY PLAYOFFS … The Kaitlyn Jones/Abby Ackland team and Kristy Watling have improved their records to 6W-1L and the two are assured of advancing to tomorrow’s playoff round. Mackenzie Zacharias improved to 5W-2L and, with a win later Saturday, willbe the third team in the playoffs.

If Zacharias loses, the chase for the third spot will be wide open as the other three teams all have 4W-3L records.

Robertson tasted defeat first Saturday moring. It was indicative of Darcy Robertson’s day that on the fourth end, Robertson had a rock full in the back of the four-foot circle and yet Jones had an open draw to the front half of the four foot circle for four. It was the Jones/Ackland foursome’s second four of the game as they opened with a four as well. Robertson fought back to trail 9-6 after six but a “go-for-it” seventh went wrong and a big score ended the game.

Jones 410 400 5x =14
Robertson 002 031 0x =6

Team Watling lead Sarah Pyke delivers

Trailing 3-1 playing the fourth, Watling looked to be setting up a deuce but Kristy McDonald drew to the eight foot partly open but angled onto a Watling rock biting the back of the eight foot. Watling tried to blast it out but left a steal of one and trailed 4-1. On the fifth end, facing three, McDonald’s last stone draw to a Watling stone in the back of the four foot was just heavy and rolled open allowing Watling a hit for four and a 5-4 lead at the mid-game break. The Watling foursome controlled play from there and led 10-6 playing the ninth enroute to a 10-7 victory.

McDonald 201 100 201 x =7
Watling 010 043 020 x =10

In the game between Mackenzie Zacharias and Tracy Fleury, the two teams which had come into the championship round at 3W-2L, Team Zacharias posted their second consecutive win and effectively ended the Team Fleury run. Zacharias established a 6-2 lead after five ends and controlled play from there although she had to make a saving angle raise takeout with her first stone facing three on the eighth end. The end result was a stolen point when Fleury was unable to remove a pair of counters. A deuce on end nine got Fleury within two and she was laying three when Zacharias delievered her final stone of the game. A well placed Fleury final draw meant Zacharias had to hit and roll in to win – she made no mistake.

Zacharias 203 010 110 1 =9
Fleury 010 102 002 0 =6

On the 4PM draw, Zachaias plays Jones, Watling plays Robertson, and McDonald plays Fleury

(Carberry Draw 11: December 17) WATLING, JONES AT 5W-1L, FOUR AT 4W-2L .. Coming into the championship round at the Carberry Scotties with a 3W-2L record, Mackenzie Zacharias and her young Altona knew they faced the daunting task of probably having to win three games in a row to reach the playoffs.

Karlee Burgess & Emily Zacharias sweep a Mackenzie Zacharias draw.

They started the quest decisively, scoring four multiple ends in the first five to post a 10-2 short game victory over previously unbeaten Kristy Watling.

The big shot of the game was an angle raise takeout on the third end by skip Mackenzie Zacharias for a three and a three point lead.

Zacharias 203 32x =10
Watling 020 00x =2

The Watling loss brings her back into a tie with Kaitlyn Jones/Abby Ackland who defeated the Kristy McDonald team. McDonald took a two point lead on the sixth end with a last rock draw to bite the four foot, a draw which took maximum effort by her sweepers but Jones/Ackland scored singles in the next two ends to tie at 4-4 after eight ends. McDonald was forced to one on the ninth and Kaitlyn Jones made no mistake on her tenth end last shot tap on a stone in the back four foot for two and a 6-5 win.

McDonald 100 102 001 0 =5
Jones 001 010 110 2 =6

Like Zacharias, top seeded Tracy Fleury came into this round at 3W-2L and needs a trio of victories. She got the first Friday evening with a win over Darcy Robertson. Leading all the way, Fleury was up 6-4 coming home and had a last rock open hit for a 7-4 win. Fleury and Robertson are now tied with Zacharias at 4W-2L.

Darcy Robertson 010 101 001 0 =4
Tracy Fleury 102 020 010 1 = 7

CARBERRY SCOTTIES DAY 2 SUMMARY (DRAW 5, 6, 7, 8 REPORTS)

(Carberry Draw #8: December 16) ROBERTSON, MCDONALD ADVANCE TO NEXT ROUND: ONE SPOT LEFT … Former champion Kristy McDonald had a great day personally Thursday at the Scotties in Carberry. On the noon draw she won the game with a last draw freeze on the button. On the late draw, she won her team the first end hammer by covering the pinhole in the pre-game draw contest for hammer.

McDonald takes aim in a short game win over Zacharias

Winning last shot, however, is not as important as what you do with it. McDonald used it to make a final shot angled run-back on a rock halfway to the house – onto a pair of Mackenzie Zacharias stones in the four foot. The double kill turned trouble into a four-ender from which the young Altona team never recovered.

Zacharias scored a deuce on the second end but gave up five more on the fourth in a 9-3 short game victory. McDonald’s record is now 3W-1L with a game to play.

Zacharias 020 01x =3
McDonald 400 50x =9

The Zacharias foursome faces a must-win game tomorrow if they wish to advance to the championship.

Robertson

Early on the game for first place in the pool, between Beth Peterson and Darcy Robertson (both Assiniboine Memorial), looked to be going Peterson’s way. They scored a single to open the game then stole one when Peterson made a hit and roll behind cover and watched Robertson slide deep with her draw. From there however the game went Robertson’s way, scoring six over the next four ends to lead 6-3 enroute to an 8-6 win. Team Robertson stays undefeated while Peterson drops to 2W-2L, tied with Zacharias.

Peterson 110 100 201 0 =6
Robertson 003 021 010 1 =8

In a game with local bragging rights on the line, Terry Ursel (Neepawa) and Alyssa Calvert (Carberry) met, both hoping to end their winless string at this year’s championship. The game was going in Ursel’s favour until Calvert scored a four on the ninth to tie coming home but the Ursel team recovered to score one and an 8-7 victory.

Calvert 110 010 004 0 =7
Ursel 003 201 010 1 =8

At 4W-0L, Robertson will advance to the championship round as will McDonald at 3W-2L. The third team advancing from this pool will be the final game winner between Zacharias and Peterson.

(Carberry Draw #7: December 16) WATLING, JONES, FLEURY ADVANCE TO NEXT ROUND ..The two unbeaten teams in the group met on Sheet A today in their next to last round-robin draw at the Carberry Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Both from Assiniboine Memorial, Kristy Watling and Kaitlyn Jones (skipped by Abby Ackland), Jones built a 3 point, 2 end lead but Watling authored a comeback win.

Abby Ackland looks on as Hailey Ryan watches Kristy Watling’s ninth end final draw approach. A freeze to the back red stone set up a steal.

The ninth end was pivotal. Tied 4-4 with hammer, Team Jones gave up a steal of one. To set up the steal, Watling drew the four foot facing two and watched Jones slide deep to give up the steal. The tenth saw the same storyline. Facing two, Jones had a last rock draw that needed to almost bite the four foot. She slid deep again as the rock had to be swept to try to curl it past a guard and the weight didn’t come off fast enough once past that guard.

Jones 120 010 000 0 =4
Watling 001 101 011 2 =7

Watling improves to 4W-0L while Jones is 3W-1L. The result of the game could be critical in determination of the first place team advancing from the championship round to the playoffs.

Needing a win to stay even with the loser of the Jones-Watling game, top seeded Tracey Fleury (East St. Paul) delivered, scoring an 8-4 victory over Jennifer Clark-Rouire (Miami). Fleury’s record is now 3W-1L while Clark-Rouire is still winless.

Fleury 030 011 021 x =8
Clark-Rouire 100 200 100 x =4

Gaining experience with each game, Meghan Walter (East St. Paul) and Shae Bevan (St. Vital) met in the third game on the 4PM draw. Up two coming home, and facing two Bevan stones in the four foot, Walter’s last shot runback attempt did not work out and Bevan drew for a third point and the teams’s first win. The Walter record falls to 1W-3L.

Walter 010 200 011 0 =5
Bevan 001 001 100 3 =6

With one game left to play in the round-robin, the Watling, Jones and Fleury teams are assured of advancing to the championship round from this pool.

(Carberry Draw #6: December 16) ROBERTSON AT 3W-0L, THREE AT 2W-1L ..The noon draw at the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Bayer offered three much more competitive games than had been played on the opening draw Thursday.

Results of Draw #6 in Carberry put Darcy Robertson (Assiniboine Memorial) in first place at 3W-2L with three teams right behind at 2W-1L. Kristy McDonald (Granite), Beth Peterson (Assiniboine Memorial), and Mackenzie Zacharias (Altona) all share second place in the pool.

Third Lisa Blixhavn eyes the line on the Kristy McDonald 7th end triple kill

McDonald set up her win with a triple kill to count two on the seventh end, but the game winner was her clutch last shot coming home draw to the button.

The game winning draw – no contact on the yellow Peterson the back of the button

That draw came to rest near frozen to a Beth Peterson (Assiniboine Memorial) stone on the back of the button. Peterson attempted to negotiate a narrow port with a hit but there is question whether the McDonald stone could be removed. We’ll never know. McDonald stole for a 10-8 victory.

McDonald 011 040 201 1 = 10
Peterson 200 301 020 0 =8

The local team skipped by Alyssa Calvert gave Team Zacharias all they could handle. Tied coming home, Zacharias nose hit a centre guard peel attempt, allowing Calvert to draw behind. She reached the full eight foot so Zacharias just had to be a little better with her final stone of the end. The young Altona skip teased the local fans as her draw slid through the four foot circle but came to rest as shot stone in the back eight-foot.

Zacharias 003 020 000 1 =6
Calvert 110 101 010 0 =5

Terry Ursel’s Neepawa team took their third loss as Team Robertson improved to 3W-0L. Ursel controlled the first half of the game, leading 4-1 after four ends. Robertson fought back to lead 5-4 and forced Ursel to take a single for a 5-5 tie after none ends. Lying second shot, Robertson had an open hit for the 7-5 victory.

Robertson 000 102 110 2 =6
Ursel 102 0101 001 0 =5

(Carberry Draw #5, December 16) WATLING, JONES STAY PERFECT Three teams advance from each group to the championship round of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Bayer and three teams are separating themselves from the rest in the group which played this morning in Carberry,

The Kristy Watling and Kaitlyn Jones teams (both Assiniboine Memorial) stayed undefeated while top seed Tracey Fleury (East St. Paul) improved to 2W-1L on the morning draw.

The Jons team, skipped by Abby Ackland, posted a shut-out over Shae Bevan (St. Vital) while Watling controlled play in a 10-5 eight end win over Jennifer Clark-Rouire (Miami).

Kristy Watling controlled play through the morning game with Team JCR, skipped by Lisa McLeod

Watling 020 402 02x =10
Clark-Rouire 101 010 20x =5

Jones 212 13x = 9
Bevan 000 00x =0

The Fleury win was also a short game victory over Megham Walter (East St. Paul)

Fleury 202 204 x =10
Walter 010 010 x = 2

At the conclusion of round-robin play, three teams will advance to the championship round from each pool. Their records carry forward with them as they play the three teams from the other pool. The top three after that will advance to the playoff round; #1 direct to the final #’s 2 & 3 to the semi-final.