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Christina Black hopes the third time’s the charm.
The Sydney River curler has participated in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts women’s national curling championship twice since 2015, but will make her third appearance at this year’s event in Moose Jaw, Sask.
Black will be part of the Mary-Anne Arsenault-skipped team representing Nova Scotia at the tournament. The team last played in the Scotties in 2018 in Penticton, B.C., earning a bronze medal.
“We have to take it one game at a time,” said Black of the tournament. “The way the format is now with two pools, our first goal is to get ourselves to the second round – the championship pool.”
- Hometown: Sydney River, N.S.
- Age: 32
- Position: Third
- Team: Nova Scotia (Mary-Anne Arsenault)
- Scotties appearances: Three (including 2020)
- Scotties medals: One (bronze – 2018)
The 32-year-old Black is quite familiar with the location for this year’s tournament. Her first Scotties in 2015 were also held in Moose Jaw.
“I remember the crowds were amazing,” said Black. “Saskatchewan is primetime curling country, so they love the sport and it’s really fun – the town was right behind all the teams and we had a chance to meet some great people.”
Team Mary-Anne Arsenault secured their spot in the Scotties tournament when they captured the Nova Scotia provincial title last month, defeating Team Colleen Jones in the championship draw 7-4.
The provincial win came almost a year to the day when Black and Team Arsenault were defeated 6-5 in the provincial final of the 2019 tournament by Jill Brothers, who went on to represent the province at the Scotties in Sydney.
Black said it was surreal to play Colleen Jones and Kim Kelly in this year’s provincial final but was aware of what the team had to do in order to win.
“As a kid, I grew up idolizing Colleen and Kim,” she said. “I had to focus on curling and not necessarily who we were playing – we got off to a lead and then we’re usually pretty good and we were able to hold on.
“I’m not sure they (Jones and Kelly) lost many provincial finals – they have so much experience and if you give them that opportunity they know how to win.”
TEAM NOVA SCOTIA
- Skip: Mary-Anne Arsenault
- Third: Christina Black
- Second: Jennifer Baxter
- Lead: Emma Logan
- Fifth: Kristin Clarke
The Nova Scotians will be part of Pool ‘B’ at the tournament, which also includes the Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Yukon and the wild card team.
Team Nova Scotia will open the Scotties today at 3:30 p.m. Atlantic time when they play Team Northwest Territories, skipped by Kerry Galusha, before playing Suzanne Birt and P.E.I. on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The team will play a pair of games on Monday at 10:30 a.m. against the Yukon, and 3:30 p.m. against Newfoundland and Labrador.
Arsenault’s team will also play two games on Tuesday, starting with Rachel Homan and Team Ontario at 3:30 p.m. The team will finish the day with a game at 8:30 p.m. against the Wild Card team.
Nova Scotia’s final round robin game comes on Wednesday when they face Corryn Brown and British Columbia at 3:30 p.m.
Although the team is focused on this year’s tournament, it will also mark the final time all five members of the Arsenault rink will play together.
Following the season, Arsenault will be moving to British Columbia to be closer to her fiancé, who currently resides in the province.
“I’m so happy to know that we have this one last chance to go to the Scotties together,” said Black.
“Mary-Anne, Jennifer and I have been playing together for six years – Emma is Mary-Anne’s niece and it’s her first Scotties so it’s special for her to be able to play with her aunt.”
Black and the team left for Moose Jaw on Thursday, prior to Friday’s wild card game between Jennifer Jones and Tracy Fleury. The result was not available at press time.
“I’m super excited and can’t wait to just get out there and enjoy every moment,” said Black. “You never know when you’ll get back, so the Scotties is so special, and you have to enjoy the experience.”
TEAM NOVA SCOTIA SCHEDULE:
- Saturday – 3:30 p.m. - vs. Northwest Territories (Kerry Galusha)
- Sunday – 3:30 p.m. – vs. Prince Edward Island (Suzanne Birt)
- Monday – 10:30 a.m. – vs. Yukon (Rhonda Horte)
- Monday – 3:30 p.m. – vs. Newfoundland and Labrador (Erica Curtis)
- Tuesday – 3:30 p.m. – vs. Ontario (Rachel Homan)
- Tuesday – 8:30 p.m. – vs. Wild Card
- Wednesday – 3:30 p.m. – vs. British Columbia (Corryn Brown)
*Playoff rounds TBA
**All games are Atlantic Time