Calgary's Cheryl Bernard and Team Alberta were beginning to flex their muscles at the Scotties.
That is until they ran into the Newfoundland/Labrador entry -- skipped by Heather Strong -- yesterday morning at the 2009 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Victoria, B.C.
Early stumbles by the Calgary Winter Club/Calgary Curling Club foursome shattered their winning shape, as the rink from the Rock strong-armed them in an 8-6 Draw-9 decision.
It was Alberta's first loss in five games, and the team's struggles continued last night when they lost 7-6 to P.E.I. in Draw 11.
"There's nobody out there that we can go play and take lightly," Bernard said.
"And with Heather's team, we've lost to them more than we've beat them."
Strong opened with two in the first end, three in the second end and two more in the fourth end to take a commanding 7-1 lead.
Bernard, third Susan O'Connor, second Carolyn Derbyshire and lead Cori Bartel fought back with two in the fifth and steals of one in each of the sixth, seventh and ninth ends, but it wasn't enough.
The steal of three by Newfoundland/Labrador was the turning point in the morning draw, which also saw defending champion Jennifer Jones suffer her first loss of the Scotties.
Team Canada was edged 7-6 by Saskatchewan's Stefanie Lawton, who scored one in the 10th end.
Team Canada was then upset by the Territories 10-8 last night.
B.C.'s Marla Mallett won both her games yesterday, beating Manitoba 12-4 and New Brunswick 7-5.
Meanwhile, Saskatchewan improved to 4-3 with a 10-6 victory over the Territories yesterday afternoon.
Today, Bernard plays New Brunswick's Andrea Kelly in the morning draw and Lawton in the afternoon.