Northern lights shine bright at Scotties

Yukon/Northwest Territories skip Sharon Cormier (right) gestures in front of Team Canada skip...

Yukon/Northwest Territories skip Sharon Cormier (right) gestures in front of Team Canada skip Jennifer Jones at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling championships in Sault Ste. Marie on Monday, Feb. 1. (REUTERS/ Mike Cassese)

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:40 PM ET

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — The Northerners just seem to catch them cold on ice.

For the second straight year, a team from the Yukon/Northwest Territories shocked Team Canada's Jennifer Jones at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

This time, it was Sharon Cormier who clobbered Jones 10-4 at the Essar Centre Monday.

"It feels great," said Cormier, 45. "We're very excited because it's the team that everyone loves to beat because they're the champions two years in a row and it's nice to come out with a win, for sure … The Territories beat them last year as well so, we're trying to make it a regular thing."

Cormier was actually the fifth for Kerry Galusha when she downed Jones 8-5 in Victoria, B.C. at the last Hearts.

"It was completely different from my perspective," said Cormier, whose daughter, Megan, plays second for her. "Last year was a much tighter game and Kerry made a super shot to win that game. So, I don't think it was similar in that respect. We got some lucky breaks in this game and they had a couple of picks and we capitalized on it, that's all."

Also supported by third Tara Naugler and lard Danielle Ellis, the Cormier crew has already become instant heroes in Yellowknife.

"Yeah, you get lots of people congratulating you and shaking your hand for beating Team Canada, for sure," Cormier said.

Jones was just shaking her head.

"Obviously wasn't our best game and some bad breaks," she said. "But they played great, too … I don't know. We just came out flat today. I had a bad pick in the third end and that was bad but they played great. I don't want to take anything away from them. They didn't miss so, it didn't make a whole big difference in that game."

Jones dropped to 3-1 and a four-way tie for second place with Ontario's Krista McCarville, Alberta's Valerie Sweeting and B.C.'s Kelly Scott.

P.E.I.'s Kathy O'Rourke cracked a three in the 10th end to clip Manitoba's Jill Thurston 7-6 and grab sole possession of top spot at 4-1 before last night's draw.

"Wow, that's pretty impressive for little P.E.I., isn't it?" O'Rourke relished. "It feels pretty good."

Actually, P.E.I.'s Rebecca Jean MacPhee finished with a 7-4 record at last year's Scotties.

"The MacPhees have had a lot of good records here and we play them every week," said O'Rourke, who throws second second stones while young Erin Carmody throws skip rocks. "So, we kind of figured if they can come in here and compete, then why not us, right?

"It feels really good. I didn't even realize we were in first place. For us, it was a big game because we only had the one game today. So, we had the morning off, which we had really needed and before the game because we had just played four games."

Saskatchewan's Amber Holland clipped McCarville 7-6, snapping a 14-game winning streak that started at the Ontario playdowns. Sweeting sunk Nov Scotia's winless Nancy McConnery 8-3 and Kelly beat New Brunswick's Andrea Kelly 8-3.

Earlier in the day, Saskatchewan's Amber Holland toughed out a 7-6 victory over Ontario's Krista McCarville at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Monday morning.

Holland improves to 2-2 and a tie for fourth place while McCarville drops to 3-1 and a tie for second behind Team Canada's Jennifer Jones (3-0).

McCarville took on B.C.'s Kelly Scott Monday night. In the only other morning game, Quebec's Eve Belisle defeated Newfoundland's Shelley Nichols 9-3 to improve to 2-2.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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