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McCarville sneaks past Team Vellinga

Shorthanded squad stays in tie for first place with Dylan Johnston, who edged Frank Morissette 7-5 in Tbaytel Major League of Curling play on Wednesday night.

THUNDER BAY – Sometimes you have to be lucky to be good.

Krista McCarville was the first to admit that on Wednesday night, overcoming a bit of a shaky performance to edge Team Jonathon Vellinga 7-6, despite coming up short on a tie-breaking draw to the button that in 2020 has taken the place of extra ends.

The veteran skip’s shot just bit the front 12-foot, leaving opposing skip Miles Harding, who was subbing for an absent Vellinga, an open draw to the circle for the win.

But his shot was long and sailed through the house, dropping Team Vellinga back to .500 at 3-3, while McCarville (5-1) grabbed a share of top spot with Dylan Johnston, who knocked off Frank Morissette’s team 7-5.

“Sometimes in curling you need a little bit of luck to win and I feel like this year we’ve had a little bit of luck on our side, but hey, I’ll take it,” McCarville said.

Playing shorthanded, minus regular lead Sarah Potts, McCarville, Ashley Sippala and Jordan Potts led or tied most of the way, but found trouble in the seventh end.

With Harding lying three, McCarville tried a hit-and-roll to minimize the damage, but her stone didn’t co-operate.

“I didn’t throw it the nicest and it really backed up and I picked our own stone out, which was devastating. But even if he made his last shot in the seventh, we knew we were only down two and anything can happen,” McCarville said.

“We weren’t going to give up. Being only down one is not a bad position to be in.”

Lady Luck made her first appearance of the night on Harding’s final stone. Looking at a hit-and-stick for four and a 7-5 lead, he instead hit and rolled out and settled for three, taking a 6-5 lead into the eighth.

McCarville had a shot to claim victory in the final end, but was little heavy and could only manage one, her final stone nudging past Harding’s rock at the back four-foot, leading to the tiebreaking, winner-take-all skip shots.

Johnston, on the other hand, appeared to be well on his way to victory early in his match against Morissette, who entered play at the Port Arthur Curling Club in a three-way tie with Johnston and McCarville at 4-1.

Johnston drew to the four-foot in the first to force Morissette into a tricky draw of his own. The veteran Morissette (4-2) came up short, ceding a steal of three. Johnston stole another in the second to lead 4-0, but things came crashing down in the third.

“We weren’t in that much trouble, but a couple of misses and on my last one we were trying to hit and roll and rolled the wrong way and gave them an easy shot for four,” Johnston said.

“Even after that end, they had us in trouble again right after and we had a draw for one. We just had to go back to our own game and make some shots.”

Johnston took the lead for good in the sixth and Morissette was short again on his draw in the seventh, giving up a single with the hammer, and was run out of rocks in the eighth.

In other Tbaytel Major League of Curling action, Mike Desilets (3-3) scored four in the first, stole three in the second and only needed four ends to put away Britney Malette’s squad, downing his opponent 8-1. Mike Pozihum (3-3) evened his record with a second straight triumph, fending off Dylan Burgess (0-6), winning 7-2.

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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