Unbeaten McCarville happy at Scotties start

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:45 AM ET

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Ontario's Krista McCarville is hoping to cross that long bridge over troubled waters into the unfamiliar territory.

Fresh off a third-place finish at the Canadian Curling Trials, the Thunder Bay native figures this is her best chance to win her first Scotties Tournament of Hearts crown. McCarville said this is the best her squad has ever played before the event started in third Tara George's hometown, which boasts a bridge into the U.S. Her foursome bettered Quebec's Eve Belisle 12-6 at the Essar Centre last night to improve to 3-0, tied atop the standings with Team Canada's Jennifer Jones.

"That was probably the craziest game I've ever played in my life," McCarville said. "It was just back and forth. Every time she had hammer, she had opportunities for multiple points. Every time we had hammer, we had opportunities for multiple points.

"We lost to Quebec (Marie-France Larouche) in the same kind of game last year. This time, we win."

McCarville failed to qualify for the playoffs at last year's Scotties.

"I'm pretty happy with (3-0), that's for sure," said McCarville, who had eked out a 7-6 triumph over Alberta's surprising Valerie Sweeting earlier in the day. "If we come out and play like we did this afternoon, definitely our team is doing well and being consistent. 3-0."

Sweeting was not about to let her first loss of the week spoil the taste of the earlier success she has enjoyed on her first appearance on the national stage.

"It was a good game," Sweeting said with a composure that belied her 22 years. "It's a tough loss but it was a close game and I think we played a good game … They played well and I think we just have to accept it and move on and come out firing the next time."

In the morning, Sweeting had pasted P.E.I.'s Kathy O'Rourke 13-2 and is still tied for fourth at 2-1.

"It's honestly just a dream-come-true just to be here and we're doing well here, too," said the service delivery agent for immigration who actually grew up in Maryfield, Sask.

"They're a great team and their skip was making every single shot," credited McCarville. "Definitely, they are a great team and someone to watch in the playoffs, possibly."

Meanwhile, Jones sunk Saskatchewan's Amber Holland 7-3 and New Brunswick's Andrea Kelly 5-4 to also up her record to 3-0.

"That was our best team game so far so that's a nice way to end our day," Jones said. "It's better to be 3-0 than 0-3 but it's a long week and we have to be a little bit better … We've gotten off to a bunch of different starts (here). I think we did this last year and had to fight through to the tie-breakers. I mean, a win is a win, no matter when you get it in the week. It's nice to get them early, obviously, but it's important to how you're playing at the end of the week."

P.E.I. rebounded to clip Yukon/NWT's Sharon Cormier 10-7 to move into third place at 3-1.

B.C.'s former Canadian champion Kelly Scott and Manitoba's Jill Thurston are tied with Alberta for fourth at 2-1.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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