A week that started with such high hopes is ending with heavy heartbreak for Stacie Curtis and her Newfoundland and Labrador rink at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian women’s curling championship in Penticton, B.C.
On Thursday, Curtis and teammates Erin Porter, Julie Devereaux and Erica Trickett lost 11-8 to Ontario in a tiebreaker game to decide the last team to advance to the championship pool at the Scotties.
“Obviously disappointed,” said Curtis to reporters as she tried to keep her emotions in check after the game. “That said, we didn’t play well enough to get in and that’s the end of it.”
Early in the week, the St. John’s rink certainly looked like it was playing well enough to get in.
“We didn’t play well enough to get in and that’s the end of it.”
Curtis and Co. won their first four robin games, including a victory over Ontario and were on top of their eight-team pool, but then lost three in a row.
A win in any one of those three contests would have put Newfoundland through. Instead, they were left to play the tiebreaker against Hollie Duncan and an Ontario team that had entered Thursday on an opposite trajectory. The Duncan rink — with Newfoundland native Stephanie LeDrew at third — had lost its first two games, but went 4-1 in its final five.
Thursday’s matchup was mostly a back-and-forth affair, but Curtis looked to be in good shape after stealing two points in the eighth end and going ahead 8-6.
However, Ontario bounced back and retook the lead in the ninth with three points after Curtis wrecked on a guard while attempting a double takeout with her last rock. It actually could have been worse for the Newfoundlanders as Duncan had a shot to score four, but saw her final shot through the house, leaving her to settle for a 9-8 lead.
With last-rock advantage, the 10th end looked to be progressing well for Curtis, who appeared to be in good position to score the two points needed to win. That was until the final few stones. By the time the Newfoundland skip came down to her final shot, the house was filled with rocks, mostly towards the centre. Facing that mess, Curtis needed to draw the button just to get to an extra end, but her shot didn’t curl enough and she gave up two.
“We just couldn’t finish it. We’ll pull it back and see what we have to do to get back here next year and prepare then,” said Curtis, who is skipping in her third straight Scotties and fifth overall.
The event is not quite finished for the Newfoundland rink. It has a placement game today against New Brunswick, the fifth-place finisher from the opposite pool.
“Certainly a roller-coaster week,” admitted Curtis, “But you know, we’re going to come out and play in our seeding position and try and win that one and end on a good note.”
With files from Curling Canada