THORNHILL, Ont. -- It didn't take long for the first upset of the Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts to make its appearance Monday night.
And it was a big one.
On a night when many of the players seemed to struggle with the ice, Marlo Dahl of Thunder Bay's Port Arthur Curling Club thumped two-time defending champion and fellow Bay resident Krista McCarville of Fort William 9-2 in the first draw at the provincial women's championship.
"Krista and I have been rivals for years, but we're also friends," Dahl said. "I have an enormous amount of respect for her. I just told my team we had to play really, really strong and not worry about what happened in the past."
Dahl, who went 1-8 at the Hearts in her hometown last year, scored three in the third and stole three in the fourth when McCarville was way light on a draw to the eight-foot. Another three-spot in the sixth sealed the deal for Dahl, who seemed to read the ice a little quicker that her opponent.
"There are some tricky spots and you definitely can't wait on the brushing," Dahl said. "It's certainly going to snap at the end and it's not as quick as what we're used to, but we had a really good practice this afternoon and I was able to get a good read on it."
McCarville said her team just had no draw weight.
"It was a lot heavier than we expected and there were different paths that had different speeds," she said. "Plus Kari (second Mac-Lean) had a couple of bad rocks that we didn't pick up on till late.
"You don't want games like this at this stage, but if it was meant to happen, it was meant to happen. Hopefully it'll make us focus more and play better."
Marika Bakewell of Highland got off to a rocky start as her rink of Katie Pringle, Jordan Robertson and Jordan Ariss fell 11-3 to Rachel Homan of Ottawa, the Ontario junior champion in 2009 and 2010.
"It wasn't a stellar game by any means, but we knew it was going to be a tough one," Bakewell said. "The ice changed a lot from our practice; it flattened out pretty early and after that it was pretty tough to get any kind of offence going."
Bakewell said nerves weren't a factor.
"We've played these girls for years," she said. "Every team here is beatable. And this wasn't a nagging type of loss. We'll just let this one go."
Three-time champion Alison Goring, the longtime Thornhill Bayview rep now curling out of The Club at North Halton in her hometown of Georgetown, also got off to a flying start with an 11-3 win over Ashley Kallos of Fort William, scoring three in the first to take command and icing it with a four in the seventh.
Elsewhere, Tracy Horgan of Sudbury Idylwylde, last year's runner-up, stole two in the ninth and another in the 10th to beat Lisa Farnell of the one-sheet Loonie Curling Club in Elgin 10-7, while Susan McKnight of Uxbridge took two in 10 and stole one in the extra end to edge Kristy Russell of Shelburne 9-8.