Wednesday was the final day of round-robin play at the 2019 Scotties and the day started with most of the spots in the Championship Round still up for grabs. The match-up that many had their eyes on in the morning draw was PEI against the Northwest Territories. Team Galusha and her team from Yellowknife had been playing well all week but could not find their form on Wednesday morning. Team Birt of PEI took a 6-3 lead at the 5th end break then ended the game with a steal of six in the 8th end for a 15-5 victory. For those of you interested in stats, PEI stole 13 of the 28 points they scored in their wins over New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories.
Team Canada won its second game in a row on Monday morning with an 8-4 win over Newfoundland & Labrador. Team Jones took a 5-0 lead in the first end then never looked back as they improved their record to 4-2. Jennifer Jones still seemed a bit uncomfortable with the ice but the remainder of her team played well. It is interesting to note that Jill Officer was in the lineup for the morning draw, stepping in Jocelyn Peterman.
The Wild Card team was involved in a tight game with New Brunswick until Team Scheidegger stole three points in the 7th end to take a 6-2 lead on their way to a 7-3 victory. Scheidegger moved to 5-1 and secured a spot in the Championship Round while New Brunswick fell to 2-4.
Saskatchewan kept its Championship Round hopes alive on Wednesday morning with a 6-4 victory over Yukon. The win guaranteed Team Silvernagle of at least a tiebreaker and the team could still qualify directly for the Championship Round pending the results of the evening draw.
By the end of the afternoon draw, three of the four Championship Round spots from Pool A had been decided. Ontario earned their spot in the next round with an 8-6 win over British Columbia. Team Homan took control of the game by scoring four points in the 2nd end while building a 7-2 lead at the 5th end break. The loss dropped BC into a tiebreaker against the loser of Northern Ontario and Manitoba
The game between Tracy Fleury and Krista McCarville came down to a brilliant draw by McCarville in the 10th which held Manitoba to one point. Team McCarville then scored two points in the extra end for a 7-5 victory. Northern Ontario earned a spot in the Championship Round wile Manitoba will now face BC in a tiebreaker.
Alberta made quick work of Quebec, stealing a total of 7 points in a 12-2 victory. Team Carey finishes the round-robin undefeated and enters the Championship Round with the inside track to the playoffs. Gabrielle Lavoie and her team finished the round-robin without a victory.
The host team from Nova Scotia ended their round-robin on a high note scoring an 11-1 win over Nunavut. Jill Brothers and her team from Halifax ended a disappointing week at the Scotties at 2-5 while Nunavut finished 1-6.
There were three games with Championship Round implications entering Wednesday’s evening draw. Canada and Saskatchewan needed victories to secure a spot in the next round while the Northwest Territories needed a win and a loss by either Canada or Saskatchewan to force a tiebreaker. Unfortunately for Kerry Galusha and her team, they were unable to get the much-needed win as they fell to Yukon by a score of 13-6. Yukon earned their first victory of the Scotties and eliminated the Territories in the process.
Team Canada’s Jennifer Jones continued to struggle on Wednesday evening, missing a few key shots as her team lost to the Wild Card team by a score of 6-5. Team Scheidegger finishes the round-robin at 6-1 while Team Canada will enter the next round of play with a surprising 4-3 record.
New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador were involved in a tight game that was broken open when Andrea Crawford’s team scored four points in the 8th end for a 10-5 victory. New Brunswick ends the round-robin at 3-4 while Newfoundland & Labrador finishes 1-6.
Saskatchewan finished the round-robin on a winning note, defeating PEI by a score of 7-3. Both Suzanne Birt of PEI and Robyn Silvernagle of Saskatchewan will enter the Championship Round with records of 5-2.
Game of the day
Wednesday’s afternoon draw included a match-up of old rivals as Tracy Fleury and her team from Manitoba met Team McCarville of Northern Ontario in a match-up that would decide one of the spots in the Championship Round. Northern Ontario seemed to take control of the game when they stole points in both the 6th and 7th ends to take a 4-2 lead but Manitoba came back and were in position to score two points for the win in the 10th end when McCarville made a key draw that ultimately held Fleury to one point. It was a first-ever meeting at the Scotties for Fleury and McCarville who had previously met 18 times at the Northern Ontario playdowns when Fleury was still with her team out of Sudbury.
Upset of the day
When the 2019 Scotties started the idea that Yukon defeating the Northwest Territories would qualify for “upset of the day” might have been scoffed at. However, Team Galusha entered their game against Yukon on Wednesday evening very much in the mix for a tiebreaker while Yukon was looking to end the round-robin with their first win. Kerry Galusha and Nicole Baldwin know each other well, they have played on the same team and have met countless times with a spot at the Scotties on the line back in the days when there was only one spot in the field for Yukon or the Northwest Territories.
On this evening, Nicole Baldwin simply outplayed Kerry Galusha in a 13-6 game where her team scored two four-enders including a steal of four in the 2nd end. It was a disappointing loss for a Northwest Territories team that played well during the week and looked like they would reach the Championship Round.
Tomorrow’s key match-up
Manitoba and BC will meet in a tiebreaker on Thursday morning. The two teams met in the round-robin with BC coming out on top 7-5. Since that time, Manitoba has won five straight games while BC has gone 2-3. Sarah Wark will need more support from her teammates in the tiebreaker, especially at the 3rd position where Kristen Pilote was out-shot by 33% in the team’s last round-robin game against Ontario.