BRANDON -- A bite of the button earned a big chunk of change for a young squad.
N.B.'s Andrea Kelly drew first blood for the women's side in the junior Battle of the Sexes before a small crowd at the Keystone Centre yesterday afternoon.
After failing to score a deuce in the eighth end to sock away the $10,000 Skins Game, Kelly drew to a piece of the button to win a $2,250 Skin and beat Saskatchewan's Kyle George $7,200 to $2,800 in a match between last year's respective Canadian junior champs.
"We'll be rubbing it in tonight," said Kelly, 20. "It feels really great. It's one of the first Skins Games we've ever played, and we played well. There were a few ends where we were a little worried. But things turned out well for us and we're happy to have this behind us.
"It's very exciting. I think everyone back home's going to be pretty pleased."
Kelly, who won the bronze at last year's world championships, showed no signs of nervousness before she made the winning shot with the in-turn.
"I felt I knew the weight and just asked the girls for a split time before I threw it," she said. "And I said, 'All right, let's do it and no pressure.'"
For the Fredericton foursome that included third Morgan Muise, who replaced an ill Kristin McDiarmid, second Jody DeSolla and Leanne Sobey, it is the most money they have ever won in one tournament.
FAILED TO HIT PAINT
George, who won gold at the worlds, failed to hit paint with his attempted draw to the button.
"I think we should have played the other (in-turn)," he said. "That side was really sticky and last few ends was fudging up. The other side couldn't have been quite as bad because I didn't feel I threw as light as it ended up."
George played with the same Regina team that won last year's juniors.
"But we didn't curl like that, though," he said. "We go home with a little bit of cash so, that's all right."
The game was shown live on CurlTV, its inaugural webcast of a curling contest. It had 1,000 hits in the first two hours.
BITERS: Alberta's Randy Ferbey has dropped 15 pounds and shaved his moustache while lead Marcel Rocque has also trimmed down. Second Scott Pfeifer has bulked up ... Tim Yeo was brought in from Edmonton to groom the ice. Seems Manitoba icemaker Hans Wuthrich was too pricey for Brandon organizers ... The Ferbey foursome recently returned from Spain, where they participated in a bonspiel ... Team Canada's new lead, Georgina Wheatcroft, will be bunking with Janet Arnott, the squad's coach. Wheatcroft, by the way, submitted a letter to the MCA quite a while ago to declare her Manitoba residency, which makes her eligible to play for Jones at the nationals. The MCA had no objection ... The new Super League at Asham Arena starts tomorrow night and includes most of the top teams in Winnipeg, including Jeff Stoughton.