During the fourth end of Monday night's Scott Tournament of Hearts showdown between B.C., and Alberta, a female fan jokingly yelled: "Boring!"
She may have been partly right, but you won't hear Cheryl Bernard complaining.
The Alberta skip continued her resurgence at the Canadian women's curling championship, edging B.C.'s Marla Mallett 4-3 in a game that was lacking in spectacular shots, but still featured plenty of drama.
The win moved Bernard to 4-1, good for a second-place tie with Mallett. Canada's Jennifer Jones is the only unbeaten rink at 5-0 after rallying for a 6-5 win over Ontairio's Krista McCarville.
Newfoundland and Labrador's entry, skipped by Heather Strong of St. John's is 1-4 after two losses Monday. Both games ended on shots by Strong. In a 9-8 loss to the Territories, Strong and her rink of Cathy Cunningham, Laura Strong and Peg Goss took last-rock advantage into the extra end, but gave up a steal. The 8-3 score in a loss to Manitoba did nothing to indicate the closeness of the game. Newfoundland trailed 4-3, but had the hammer in the 10th end, but the Manitobans stole four, when Heather Strong couldn't make a tough triple takeout attempt.
P.E.I.'s Robyn MacPhee and Quebec's Marie-France Larouche are tied for fourth at 3-2. Both were idle Monday night.
Down 3-2 entering the ninth end, Bernard played for the blank but her final shot wouldn't co-operate, remaining in the 12-foot to award Alberta a single point. Bernard followed by leaving Mallett a tough shot in the 10th, lying one heavily-guarded shot in the four-foot.
Mallett left her final shot well short of the house, ending the B.C. skip's magical run through the first three days of the tournament.
Bernard knew the low-scoring affair, which opened with four consecutive blank ends, wasn't a great spectacle for fans.
"They cheered when we threw a guard," joked Bernard. "They want to see a curling game, that's the whole point of the free-guard zone, so I don't blame them. But everybody has to play their game."
Bernard said she preferred a more wide-open game.
"I haven't played a low-scoring game like that," said Bernard, making her fourth Scotties appearance. "It's not my style of play. (Mallett) probably knows that."
Mallett said she wasn't concerned about getting involved in a shootout with Bernard.
"I wasn't worried about anything," said Mallett. "There was no need to get into anything with them. We had our opportunities."
After opening the tournament with a 9-3 loss to Jones, Bernard has been on a roll. Monday's wins over a pair of previously unbeaten teams - Quebec in the afternoon and B.C. in the evening - left Bernard feeling good about her team's chances of making the playoffs.
"We would have liked to play that way against Team Canada, but that didn't work out," said Bernard. "Now, we're starting to play better. If we can just keep going up during the week, that's a perfect way to go into the (playoffs)."
The Jones foursome appears headed in that direction as well, after conquering their biggest challenge of the tournament.
Trailing 5-4 after eight ends, Jones made a perfect tap on an Ontario stone to snag a single point and tie the game. She followed with her best shot of the match, a perfect draw behind cover to the button in the 10th.
McCarville attempted to play the same shot with her final stone, but her rock curled right into the guard to give Canada its fifth straight win.
"It was a good day for us," said Jones, who opened her day with a 5-3 victory over New Brunswick's Andrea Kelly (2-3). "You know you're going to have to have a couple of those as the week goes on."