It was a memorable Tuesday for Erica Curtis and her team from the Re/Max Centre (St. John’s Curling Club) which strung together three straight wins on home ice for an improbable 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts provincial championship victory.
The exhausted Curtis group, which includes third Erin Porter, second Julie Devereaux and lead Beth Hamilton, along with coach Eugene Trickett, will get some rest before heading to Moose Jaw, Sask., to represent the province in the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts Feb. 15-23.
After winning tie-breakers Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon, Team Curtis defeated the upstart Mackenzie Mitchell rink 8-2 in nine ends Tuesday evening.
Mitchell, Katie Follett, Sarah Chaytor and Claire Hartlen, coached by Mark Noseworthy, sailed through the round-robin at 5-0 — the only team to go unbeaten — and was poised to make a run at a second straight provincial championship in two months.
In December, the Mitchell rink claimed the provincial junior women’s title in the skip’s hometown of Corner Brook (she is a student at Memorial University).
Mitchell had last shot to start the game and blanked the first end. However, Curtis managed to steal three points in the second, forcing the young foursome to play catch-up.
The teams traded points in the third and fourth ends for a 4-1 Curtis lead at the fifth end break.
It was 5-2 Curtis after seven ends, but then the eventual champion stole a pair in the eighth end for a 7-2 lead. Curtis stole another in the ninth for good measure.
Curtis, defending provincial champ Kelli Sharpe and veteran Heather Strong were all 3-2 in the round-robin.
In the first tie-breaker Tuesday morning, Curtis beat Sharpe 10-6 and came back with a 7-6 win in an extra end over Strong, the 13-time Scotties champion, in the afternoon.
Six teams curled in the provincials, and all were based out of the Re/Max Centre. The other two entries were skipped by Wendy Dunne (0-6) and Mackenzie Glynn (1-5).
The 2020 provincial women’s champions are no strangers to national play. While Curtis (formerly Erica Trickett) is making her first trip to the national Scotties as a skip, she did play lead for Stacie Curtis at the 2017 and 2018 Scotties.
Both Porter and Devereaux also played with Stacie Curtis at three national Scotties (including the 2017 and ’18 championships), and Hamilton was second for Sharpe at last year’s Scotties staged in Sydney, N.S.
Erica Curtis, Porter and Devereaux also enjoyed success as juniors, winning provincial titles and travelling to nationals.