When play began on the second day of the Championship Round it was fair to think that some teams would be eliminated from playoff contention in the afternoon draw. However, not many would have thought that one of the first teams eliminated would be the reigning Canadian and World champions. Team Canada and Northern Ontario were involved in a back and forth game that saw six lead changes. With Team McCarville leading 7-6 in the 10th end, Jennifer Jones needed a bite of the 12 foot to tie the game and send it to an extra. Jones, who has struggled with the ice for most of the week, came up light and gave up a steal of one. Northern Ontario moved to 7-3 while Canada dropped to 5-5. It is the first time that Jennifer Jones has failed to reach the playoffs in 14 Scotties appearances.
Even though they gave up a couple of three-enders in the first half of their game, BC trailed the Wild Card team by only one point in the 8th end when Team Scheidegger broke the game open with a four-ender and an 11-6 victory. The win moved the Wild Card team to 7-3 while BC dropped to 5-5 and were eliminated from playoff contention.
Neither Alberta or Saskatchewan found their groove in their afternoon game, but Team Carey made just enough shots to defeat Team Silvernagle by a score of 10-3. Alberta moved to 8-2 and guaranteed themselves a spot in the playoffs while Saskatchewan dropped to 7-3 and their fate will depend on what happens in their game, and others, on Friday evening.
It hasn’t always been pretty for Team Ontario this week, but they became the second team to qualify for the playoffs with a 7-6 win over PEI in the afternoon draw. The two teams seemingly exchanged scores end after end with no steals. Ontario moved to 8-2 while PEI dropped to 6-4 but remained alive in the playoff race although they would need some help from other teams in the evening draw.
In the first few ends of her first-ever Scotties game last Saturday, it looked like it was going to be a long week for Robyn Silvernagle of Saskatchewan who was succumbing to early nerves and looked like she was out of sorts on the ice. Less than a week later, Silvernagle led her team to a spot in the 1 vs 2 playoff game with a 6-3 victory over Ontario. Saskatchewan will play Alberta in that 1 vs 2 game while Ontario will play in the 3 vs 4 game against Northern Ontario.
The British Columbia versus Canada game was a battle between two teams that had much different experiences at the 2019 Scotties in Sydney. Team Canada, the reigning Canadian and World champions never found their game during the week and skip Jennifer Jones missed several shots that Canadian curling fans simply expect her to make time after time. The win against BC made Jennifer jones the winningest skip in Scotties history, moving her career win total at the Scotties to 141, one more than Colleen Jones. As for Team Wark of BC, they were quite simply one of the top stories of the week. The emotion, honesty and fun-loving attitude their skip Sarah Wark exhibited both on and off the ice was a breath of fresh air.
One of the more elusive things to accomplish in Sydney this week had been to keep PEI from scoring points. Suzanne Birt and her team had scored in double figures four times and averaged more points per game than any other team at the Scotties. On Friday evening, Northern Ontario was able to slow down the PEI scoring machine, to an extent, and won their game 7-6. The victory earned Team McCarville a spot in 3 vs 4 game where they will face Team Homan of Ontario. The loss put an end to a remarkable Scotties for Team Birt who not only exceeded everyone’s early expectations but also became crowd favourites in the process.
Alberta and the Wild Card were involved in one of those games that never seemed to have a flow on Friday evening. The turning point was the 8th end when Alberta scored three points to take an 8-7 lead after it seemed like Team Scheidegger was starting to gain momentum. Team Scheidegger was unable to score two points for the win in the 10th end but did score a point to tie the game and force an extra. Alberta scored one in the extra to finish 9-2 and in first place overall. It is the second consecutive year that Team Scheidegger finishes with a 7-4 record at the Scotties and fail to advance to the playoffs.
Ontario will play Northern Ontario in the 3 vs 4 game at 1:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday while Alberta will play Saskatchewan in the 1 vs 2 game at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.