ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. -- One thing we know for sure about Sunday's Scott Tournament of Hearts final is that it will involve at least one skip from Winnipeg.
Manitoba's Jennifer Jones and native Winnipegger Kelly Scott of British Columbia will meet today in the one vs. two Page playoff game, with a berth in the Canadian women's curling championship final on the line.
As far as the skips and seconds on the two teams are concerned, it will be a rematch of the 1995 Manitoba junior women's final, as well as the national junior semifinal that year, both of which were won by Scott. British Columbia second Sasha Carter and Manitoba second Jill Officer were both involved in those games as well.
"We obviously played her in juniors many times in big games and if we have to play her again, then bring it on," said Officer after her team clinched a spot in the 1-2 game with a 7-4 win over Saskatchewan's Stefanie Lawton.
"Our number is going to come up at some point."
The Kelowna skip, who moved west in 1996, also beat Jones earlier this week and is looking forward to another opportunity to bump off the team from her old home province.
"Here we go again," she said. "It's funny, we haven't played her since 1995 in all the cashspiels and here we are meeting up again and again. It was told to me we have her number in the big games but every game has been a close one, so by no means do I feel like we have the upper hand at this time."
Manitoba went on to beat the Yukon-Territories (Kerry Koe) 9-7 last night to clinch first place with a record of 9-2.
"It's nice because we get hammer and our choice of rocks and hammer's big for us," Jones said. "We like to junk it up and we like to have last rock right away. We still have a long way to go."
British Columbia finished second at 8-3, while Saskatchewan came third at 7-4. Tonight, Lawton's Saskatoon foursome will play the winner of a four-way tie-breaker in the 3-4 game, with the winner advancing to tomorrow's semifinal (against the loser of the 1-2 game) and the loser is out.
Canada (Colleen Jones), Alberta (Cathy King), Ontario (Jenn Hanna) and New Brunswick (Sandy Comeau) will vie for that final playoff spot today in tie-breakers at 7 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Canada lost twice yesterday, to Quebec (Brenda Nicholls) and P.E.I. (Rebecca-Jean MacPhee) while Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick all had a win and a loss and backed into the playoffs in various ways.
Either Canada or Ontario could have killed the tie-breakers by winning last night, but fell to P.E.I. and Nova Scotia (Kay Zinck beat Hanna 7-6) respectively.
Only surprising New Brunswick, pegged by many as a bottom feeder at the start of the week, won its last game, with Comeau stealing a point in the 10th to beat Newfoundland 7-6.
"I guess we like pressure," said Comeau, who will play Canada this morning, while Alberta plays Ontario. "We're hanging in. We gave a big pep-talk to Nova Scotia and to P.E.I. We told them we'd buy them sociables if they won, so I guess that's enough for the Maritimers to win a game."
Manitoba, with Cathy Overton-Clapham at third and Cathy Gauthier at lead, is just two wins away from winning the province's first national women's title since 1995. Gauthier and Overton-Clapham were also on Connie Laliberte's team that year.
"I like our chances," Overton-Clapham said.