KAMLOOPS, B.C.. – Krista McCarville’s magic continues to shine at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
The Thunder Bay skip made an angle raise takeout on her final shot of the night to remove Team Nova Scotia’s shot stone and rolled into Saturday’s 1-2 Page Playoff against Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones with a 6-3 win over Christina Black and her foursome from the Dartmouth Curling Club.
The 40-year-old McCarville never trailed in the match, but nevertheless had to throw all her stones to gain the benefit of the 1-2 game, knowing if she wins she’ll move directly into Sunday’s final. A loss to Jones, whom she beat during round-robin play, would send her to the semifinal and a second chance to return to the championship, a year after finishing runner up to Team Canada’s Kerry Einarson.
Einarson will have to do things the hard way after dropping a 7-6 decision to Jones in the Page qualifier on Friday night, her first loss of the week.
“Obviously, with the 1-2 game now, you have that extra chance,” McCarville, adding she was well aware of Black’s tenacity as a skip,her opponent having won three straight games with final-end steals, including knocking three-time champion Rachel Homan out of Scotties contention earlier in the day.
After taking a 4-1 lead, Black got two back in the sixth, before the two skips put up three straight blank ends to hand Black yet another opportunity to steal a win an a spot in the 1-2 contest.
She gave it her best, drawing her final stone to the button, but McCarville had a couple of options and chose to hit her own stone into Black’s shot rock, deeming it the least likely to fail.
“My very last one, I could have come around the same way that she did on her last and tapped it. It was just above the T-line, so that would have been super hard. Or I had the exact same shot that I just threw. That’s the one I was super confident in and I wasn’t very confident in the other one,” McCarville said.
Team Northern Ontario, which includes lead Sara Potts, second Ashley Sippala and third Kendra Lilly, who hails from Sudbury, was also dealing with a little rust factor, with limited practice time since they wrapped up round-robin play on Wednesday, their 7-1 record topping the Pool B standings.
“We hadn’t played in 48 hours, so we were a little worried about that, a bit,” McCarville said.
“I’ve been on her side and I have had three games in a day, stressful games, and that’s tough too. Coming into this game I was (like), we’re fresh, but we haven’t played in 48 hours. They have played a lot, so there’s positives and negatives there.”
Black, lead Shelley Baker, former Thunder Bay native Karlee Everist and third Jennifer Baxter, opened the day with a tiebreaker match against Kaitlyn Lawes Wild Card. No. 1 squad, four teams having tied for the second and third playoff spots in Pool A.
Team Nova Scotia took that one 7-6, scoring once in the 10th and stealing the game-winner in the 11th to dispatch Jones’ former teammate.
Black then took out Homan in similar fashion, though she needed two with hammer in the 10th to force the extra end.
The 1-2 Page playoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. on Saturday. The 3-4 game goes at 4 p.m., with the semifinal slated for Sunday at 3 p.m.