ZACHARIAS – WATLING MANITOBA SCOTTIES FINAL

Kristy Watling (Assiniboine Memorial) Hailey Ryan, Emilie Rafnson, Sarah Pyke and Coach Jim Watling have advanced to the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts final game with an 8-6 semi-final victory over the Kaitlyn Jones/Abby Ackland team.

A score of two, as a bounceback after giving up a three ender on the fifth end, was one of three deuces scored by Team Watling in the game. A stolen two on the third gave them a 3-1 lead and a stolen two on the seventh gave them an 8-4 lead.

Team Watling will take on the Altona team of Mackenzie Zacharias, Karlee Burgee, Emily Zachariasn, Lauren Lententine and Coach Sheldon Zacharias in the 4PM final game on Carberry.

An end-by-end semi-final recap follows.

Sportsnet’s Joan McCusker prepares to interview the winner – Kristy Watling

END 10: The obvious centre guards went up early but it was an open end. With a stone in the four foot and a centre guard partially covering it, Jones’ attempt to put a second stone in the rings came up short. Watling removed the single counter and the game ended 8-6, earning Watling the Sportsnet interview!

WATLING: Assiniboine Memorial (throwing Red)
012 102 200
JONES/ACKLAND: Assiniboine Memorial (throwing Yellow)
100 030 011

END 9: Up three with hammer, Wating may have been over-cautious and a couple of half shots left her facing three Jones counters with her final stone. A double kill gave her a two point lead coming home.

END 8: When Watling rolled her last stone to the cluster at the side of the eight foot circle, Jones was left with only a draw for one.

END 8: Down four, Jones played the corner guards, Watling played the centre of the rings. With skip stones to come, it was the first wide open end of the game. Watling was facing two with her first and rolled from centre to sit in front of the second Jones counter. Jones attempting a freeze did not curl up enough. Watling banged it out and sat two in front of the Jones stone, forcing a draw for one.

END 7: Jones had a last shot hit for a possible double for two but could not navigate a fairly generous port, wrecked and gave up a steal of two to trail 8-4.

END 6: Ackland’s stone had to curl up a little more to tap the yellow Jones stone out past the stone in the back 8 foot circle

END 6: Attempting to remove the Watling shot stone, Jones’ first rock wrecked on her own second shot and left Watling lying four. She threw a guard with her first and Jones’ draw attempt to cut down the end slid deep in the four foot. Watling’s tapback for a possible five needed to curl up just a little more She pushed the Jones stone to contact one of her own in the back of the eight foot. Watling scored two but lost the measure for a third.

END 5: Playing confidently with a 3 point lead, Watling established a stone biting the back of the button. She gave Jones a break when her first shot draw, to put a second stone in the four foot, rubbed a Jones stone and left Jones a possible double kill. Jones jammed. An Ackland attempt to hit and roll another stone into the four foot back-fired when Ackland rubbed her own stone into the open and left Jones a hit for three.

END 4: Attempting to angle raise the yellow stone right of centre line biting the 8 foot, Jones wrecked on the red guard at the camera lens

END 4: With one stone each to come, Jones had shot rock along with #3, 4, 5, & 6. Watling’s draw to the shot stone in the four foot tapped it back a few inches. The separation tempted Jones to play an angle raise take out for at least two, maybe more if the angles were right. Jones over-curled, wrecked, and gave up another steal of one.

END 3: Play continued in the four foot circle, a Kristy Watling draw to the four foot forced Kaitlyn Jones to play a hit which went bad. It jammed out her own stone, she rolled harmlessly away and Watling stole two.

END 2: Watling attempt to double out the yellows failed. Watling scored one.

END 2: Aggressive play by Team Jones forced Watling to play most of the end in the four foot circle. A last shot difficult double for two didn’t work out and Watling put one of her own on the scoreboard.

END 1: The game was on right from the start – 14 rocks still in play after the final shot. Abby Ackland set the Jones team up to count with an angle raise to tap a buried rock to the button with her second stone but that was all they could score. With last rock, Jones’ wide in-turn draw needed to bit the button for a second point – a tough shot which didn’t succeed. Team Jones forced to take one with the hammer.

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 ROUND ROBIN FINAL (DRAWS 9 &10 REPORTS)

(Carberry Draw #10: December 17) ZACHARIAS ADVANCES AT 3W-2L; ROBERTSON, MCDONALD BOTH 4W-1L .. Mackenzie Zacharias and her Altona team, still World Junior Champions have qualified for the championship round at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Bayer in Carberry.

Their 3W-2L record comes at the expense of Beth Peterson (Assiniboine Memorial) who on this day, was over-matched. Zacharias, who led 6-2 after five ends, gave up a deuce on six but had a draw to the four foot for three and the win on end seven.

At 3W-2L, the Zacharias team will need to win all three of their championship round games and hope for wins by the right teams at the right times if they hope to advance to Sunday’s final three playoffs.

Zacharias 202 110 3x = 9
Peterson 020 002 0x =4

Alyssa Calvert’s Carberry team gave the hometown crowd something to cheer about as they bested Darcy Robertson (Assiniboine Memorial) 5-4. Up 2 coming home and lying one, Calvert made a perfect draw to bite the front corner of the four foot, just beating out Robertson’s second shot rock. A ‘hail mary’ double kill attempt by Robertson yielded only one and what could be a key loss going forward as Robertson advances with a 4W-1L record.

Calvert 020 010 002 0 =5
Robertson 100 101 000 1 =4

Kristy McDonald’s Granite team were tested by Terry Ursel (Neepawa). Leading 3-2, McDonald had was laying five when Ursel threw her last. McDonald had left an opportunity when her last rock draw overcurled and left a lane to the four foot but Ursel came up shot and the game ended. McDonald goes in the next round with a 4W-1L record.

McDonald 200 001 005 x =8
Ursel 001 010 000 x =2

The first round of the championship, as these three teams take on the three advancing from the other pool, has McDonald playing Kaitlyn Jones, Robertson against Tracy Fleury, and Zacharias against Kristy Watling.

(Carberry Draw #9: December 17) WATLING ADVANCES UNDEFEATED .. No matter who won, both teams already knew they would be advancing to the afternoon championship round but this morning’s Tracey Fleury (East St. Paul) vs Kristy Watling (Assiniboine Memorial) had longer term implications.

The winner of their final round-robin game would carry the head-to-head edge in case they are tied for playoff positions after the championship round.

That could determine playoff positioning but it might also eliminate the loser as there will be a single tiebreaker game if needed Saturday evening. All other ties will be resolved by head-to-head and if necessary, pre-game last stone draw results.

That edge will go to Team Watling who stayed perfect at 5W-0L with a morning victory.

The third end looked pivotal. After scoring two with a near perfect second end, Fleury was lying three when she threw a second centre line guard with her first stone on the third. Watling was able to draw to reduce the number to two and when Fleury removed the only possible hit, Watling had to play another cut-down shot, removing another Fleury stone with an angled raise takeout. But Fleury stole one for a 3-1 lead.

But the two by Team Fleury on the second end was only the first of many in the game. After eight ends, Watling had scored three deuces including a steal and Fleury had scored two more for a 7-7 tie. On the ninth, A Watling draw to the four foot for another deuce came up well short after a ‘pick’ and Fleury had last rock coming home, with hammer, trailing 8-7. With tht last stone, she needed to curl past a guard and tap out a Watling counter but slid past, leaving a steal and a 9-7. Watling victory. Fleury carries forward a 3W-2L record.

Fleury needed to move the buried red stone back for two and a win. Should she have drawn for pone and a tie?

Watling 100 220 201 1 =9
Fleury 021 002 020 0 =7

The Kaitlyn Jones/Abby Ackland (Assiniboine Memorial) team also knew going on the ice that they would be advancing to the next round but again the win was critical for the best possible record going forward. The Jones team, skipped by Ackland, improved their record to 4W-1L with Walter dropping to 1W-4L.

Jones 001 010 021 1 =6
Walter 100 101 100 0 =4

The third game on the ice this morning was a ‘strictly for pride’ game between Shae Bevan (St. Vital) and the Jennifer Clark-Rouire (Miami) team, skipped by Lisa McLeod. Bevan scored two coming home for her second victory while Clark-Rouire remained winless.

Clark-Rouire 020 001 102 0 =6
Bevan 100 110 020 2 =7

On the 1PM draw in Carberry, Mackenzie Zacharias (Altona) and Beth Peterson (Assiniboine Memorial will play with the winner advancing to the championship round along with Darcy Robertson (Assiniboine Memorial) and Kristy McDonald (Granite).

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.

CARBERRY SCOTTIES DAY 1 SUMMARY (DRAW 1, 2, 3, 4 REPORTS)

(Carberry Draw #4: December 15) PETERSON, ROBERTSON 2W-0L AFTER THEIR FIRST DAY .. Darcy Robertson (Assiniboine Memorial) and Beth Peterson (Assiniboine Memorial) have 2W-0L records as the opening day of the Manitoba Scotties wraps up in Carberry.

Robertson was tied 6-6 coming home with Mackenzie Zacharias (Altona). Robertson forced Zacharias to draw facing a pair of counters – a draw which had to bite the button. She got full to the four foot circle but no measure was required to ascertain that she had come just centimetres short. Zacharias’ record is 1W-1L after Day #1.

Zacharias 002 022 000 0 =6
Robertson 120 100 200 1 =7

Peterson was tested by the Terry Ursel team (Neepawa) whose opening day had them playing the two top seeds in the pool. The Ursel team trailed 5-4 after 6 ends and 7-6 after eight but could get no closer as Peterson posted a 9-6 win.

Peterson 100 040 202 x =9
Ursel 011 002 020 x =6

Kristy McDonald’s Granite team earned a first day split with a 5-4 win over Alyssa Calvert (Carberry), a game that was tied coming home, McDonald with hammer.

McDonald 001 100 110 1 =5
Calvert 000 020 002 0 =4

(Carberry Draw #3: December 15) WATLING, JONES 2W-0L AFTER THEIR FIRST DAY .. Top seeded Tracey Fleury had a split of her two games on opening day at the Scotties in Carberry. After a morning win, Fleury’s East St. Paul team was upset on the late afternoon draw by the Kaitlyn Jones team (Assiniboine Memorial), skipped today by Abby Ackland with Jones throwing fourth.

Fourth thrower Kaitlyn Jones helped author an upset over the #1 seeded Fleury foursome

A steal of one on the ninth end gave Jones/Ackland an 8-6 lead coming home. Facing three playing end #9, Fleury hit and rolled away to give up the steal of one. She had a shot to tie coming home but it was a wide in-off to kill the Jones shot rock and the East St. Paul team could only manage a single point for an 8-7 loss. The Jones/Ackland team is 2W-0L after the first day of play in Carberry.

Jones 100 301 021 0 =8
Fleury 021 010 200 1 =7

Watling & sweepers

Also at 2W-0L is Kristy Watling (Assiniboine Memorial) who posted an 11-3, seven end win over Shae Bevan (St. Vital). Bevan is winless after her first two games.

Bevan 101 001 0x =3
Watling 040 100 6x =11

In the third game of the 4PM draw, Meghan Walter (East St. Paul) made a last rock draw to the four foot, facing a buried opposition stone for victory over Jennifer Clark-Rouire (Miami).

Walter 011 010 300 1 =7
Clark-Rouire 000 302 010 0 =6

(Carberry Draw #2; December 15) .. ZACHARIAS, PETERSON, ROBERTSON WIN SCOTTIES OPENERS Second seeded Mackenzie Zacharias (Altona) and her reigning World Junior champion team had their handful today with Terry Ursel’s Neepawa foursome. Team Ursel, a very competitive Senior Women’s team, forced Zacharias to a single point on the eight end and a 6-4 lead.

On the ninth, Zacharias jammed on her first rock kill attempt, leaving Ursel one buried. Ursel drew to bite the top of the rings behind a centre guard and had a shot for three when Zacharias threw her rock deep into the back 12 foot circle. Ursel’s draw-tap for a possible three made contact with that Zacharias stone but not enough to push it through and they had to settle for two and a 6-6 tie coming home.

The Ursel team was unable to establish the guards needed for a steal but they did force Zacharias to play a last rock hit for the win. Facing two, Zacharias needed to hit and stick in the eight foot circle or make a double kill. She did both, and counted a pair for a hard-fought 8-6 win.

Zacharias 010 301 010 2 =8
Ursel 101 010 102 0 =6

Tied 5-5 playing the eight end, Kristy McDonald (Granite) made a tapback on her own stone in the eight foot circle, facing four Darcy Robertson (Assiniboine Memorial) rocks around the four foot. McDonald pushed her rock to backing to count a point and lead 6-5. McDonald was able to force Robertson to a last rock hit for a single, a tie and an extra end.

The extra end saw Robertson pay a last rock tap on a McDonald stone on biting the back of the button but with enough separation that McDonald could see an angle hit to score the winner but she overcurled slightly and rubbed her own stone as well – leaving Robertson a steal of two for victory.

Peterson & sweepers

McDonald 020 201 010 00 =6
Robertson 301 000 100 12 =8

In the third game, Beth Peterson (Assiniboine Memorial) was tied 2-2 with hometown favourite Alyssa Calvert (Carberry) when she saw Calvert slide a couple of inches deep on a draw the four foot facing two. The steal of two gave Peterson a 4-2 lead enroute to a 9-4 victory.

Peterson 001 120 302 x =9
Calvert 110 001 010 x =4

Draw # 3 goes on the ice at 4PM in Carberry. A complete copy of the draw can be accessed from thecurler.com’s Front Page!

(Carberry Draw #1: December 15) OPENING SCOTTIES WINS FOR FLEURY, JONES, WATLING A key hit & roll out facing five was the difference in the game this morning as Kristy Watling (Assiniboine Memorial) opened the Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Bayer with a win over Meghan Walter (East St. Paul).

Team Watling controlled play much of the game, twice forcing Walter to draw facing a pair and once forcing her to hit facing a pair. The big end end, however, built slowly and Walter faced the five, overcurled with her last stone and rolled out to give up the four on the seventh end in an 8-5 Watling victory.

Watling 002 011 400 x =8
Walter 101 100 020 x =5

Number one seed and acknowledged favourite Tracey Fleury and her East St. Paul team played patiently, building a6-2 lead after six ends. A four in that game, in the eighth end, resulted in Shae Bevan (St.Vital) conceding a 10-2 Fleury win.

Fleury 202 200 04x =10
Bevan 000 011 00x = 2

In a come-from behind, the Kaitlyn Jones (Assiniboine Memorial) team, skipped by Abby Ackland, scored a deuce on the eight end to tie at 5-5. Jones throwing last, actually had a chance for three that end but a wide out-turn draw did not curl up as expected and they scored only the deuce.

After a blanked ninth, Lisa McLeod, skipping the Jennifer Clark-Rouire Miami entry, was in some trouble for most of the end. Team Jones had a rock biting the back of the button which McLeod tried to draw to but was a bit heavy and with her final rock, Jones threw a second counter into the four foot, buried. It left McLeod only an angle tap which had to bite the button but she over-curled and gave up the stolen victory for Team Jones.

Jones 101 001 020 2 =7
Clark-Rouire 000 310 100 0 =5

Draw # 2 goes on the ice at 12:15PM in Carberry. A complete copy of the draw can be accessed from thecurler.com’s Front Page!

INTRODUCING THE “NEW” MANITOBA JONES TEAM

Manitoba’s Jones team is competing in the DEKALB SuperSpiel in Morris this weekend – no, not that Jones – the other Jones, the new Jones, the Jones of the future in Manitoba curling!

A win Saturday over Team JCR in Morris followed losses to Kristy Watling and Talyia Tober. That sets up a Sunday 3PM game against a highly regard young team from the USA skipped by Madison Bear.

When Kaitlyn Jones name popped up on the Abby Ackland team roster at the start of this season, there were some obvious questions.

Was she joining the team on one of those ‘birthright’ eligibilities? “No, I moved here. But I could have,” she says, explaining that she was born in Thompson and lived in Wabowden until she was about two years old.

Did she move here to join the team or did she join the team after she moved here? She explains she moved to Manitoba for non-curling reasons but knew Sara Oliver from the 2017 Canadian Juniors and Sara reached out to her, saying the team was looking for a skip.

Sweepers Sara Oliver (l) and Abby Ackland prepare to sweep a Kaitlyn Jones delivery during regional Scotties playoffs at Deer Lodge

And that answered the third question – who initiated Abby Ackland’s move to second on the team? “This was Abby’s team but she really didn’t want to skip anymore and they were looking for a leader who had ‘been there’,” Jones explained. “There have been no negatives at all in the transition.”

No question, Kaitlyn Jones has ‘been there’. She is a Saskatchewan Junior champion who moved to Nova Scotia, took over a provincial junior champion team, and won another junior title along with a Canadian and a World Championship.

Despite their youth, the entire team has credentials to match. Lead Sara Oliver has a World Championship medal of her own, at the World Mixed with Colin Kurz. Oliver, second Abby Ackland and third Robin Negovyn have all competed nationally twice as Manitoba junior champions – once, the three of them were together at the nationals.

The DEKALB SuperSpiel will be a tune-up event for eight of the 12 teams scheduled to compete in Carberry in the Manitoba Scotties in two weeks. Team K. Jones opens the DEKALB against one of them, Kristy Watling.

Looking forward to her first provincial Scotties, Jones simply said “I can’t wait – I’m so excited”.

“I’m excited to play all those teams. I’m not intimidated, there’s really no pressure. I just try to play the best I can every game,” she said, repeating an old but true maxim “to be the best, you have to beat the best” and then added “and this is the best province for that.”

In fairness to Kaitlyn Jones, it should be explained that this conversation took place before Jennifer Jones disqualified herself from the Manitoba Scotties by winning that Trials bonspiel in Saskatoon.

However the Manitoba Scotties field still includes Tracey Fleury, former champion Kristy McDonald out of competitive retirement and excited by the opportunity of one more Scotties, another former champion in Darcy Robertson, World Junior Champion Mackenzie Zacharias, plus a host of young teams on the verge of a break-through, including Beth Peterson, Kristy Watling, Shae Bevan and Meghan Walter.

There was another obvious question that demanded an answer. With the names Kaitlyn AND Jones being the names of two of the best to ever play the game (in or outside Manitoba) and with Colleen Jones being an equally legendary name in Nova Scotia where she came to Manitoba from, do the names put extra pressure on her as a young skip.

The answer belies her years. “There have been some great curlers named Jones. I’d like to be the next one,” she says simply!

She also acknowledges the important help they have had from Coach Howard Restall. “He knows the game and he knows the women’s game. With that experience he sees things I didn’t see and I really like his coaching style which is very much a ‘did you see’ style as opposed to a ‘you should have’ style,” the young skip says.

Excited about the month ahead, Kaitlyn Jones says “I know we can compete at a high level. All we have to do is play like we can.”