Not so lonely on top for McCarville

BEN LEESON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:41 AM ET

As Krista McCarville’s rink walked off the ice, Ontario fans at Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie rose to their feet, clapping, cheering and waving flags.

The curlers waved back.

“We love this,” said McCarville’s third Tara George, a native of Sault Ste. Marie and a resident of Thunder Bay. “We love every minute of this, love feeding off it. It’s easy to feed off their energy.”

And Team Ontario has been well-fed at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the national women’s curling championship.

McCarville’s foursome from Fort William Curling Club picked up another pair of wins Tuesday, 8-5 over Newfoundland and Labrador and 9-3 over Prince Edward Island, improving to 6-1 and taking over sole possession of first place.

McCarville and P.E.I.’s Kathy O’Rourke were tied at 5-1 heading into the second contest.

“Mentally, this is great for us,” said George, part of a foursome that enters today’s action on a three-game win streak. “It’s a great confidence-builder. We struggled a bit today, but it helps that we can keep rebounding, even when we struggle.

“I think someone once told me that it doesn’t matter if you’re playing well unless you’re playing well even if you’re struggling,” George said. “And Krista really pulled through for us with some great shots.”

O’Rourke calls shots and throws second for P.E.I., while teammate Erin Carmody throws skip stones. And the Carmody-McCarville matchup proved a deciding factor in the P.E.I.-Ontario tilt.

McCarville curled 82 per cent, compared to 56 per cent for her counterpart.

McCarville, George, second Ashley Miharija and lead Kari MacLean counted two in each of the second and sixth ends and three more in the ninth to secure the decision.

O’Rourke, falling to 5-2, now shares second place with Team Canada’s Jennifer Jones.

“We’re just disappointed it was not a better game,” O’Rourke said. “Erin struggled with her draw weight today, and it’s hard out there when you can’t get that down. She’s the little girl who’s saved us a lot, but today she struggled.”

O’Rourke was impressed with the play of McCarville.

“She’s just playing phenomenal,” the P.E.I. skip said. “Whenever we had something set up, she’d come right through the hole.”

George said the Ontario champions were well-prepared for the first-place showdown.

“We had seen them play on TV and we knew she was a shooter, that she was young and full of confidence,” George said. “We went in expecting it to be tough.”

Things will be tough again today, as George and her teammates have Manitoba’s Jill Thurston (4-3) at 10:30 a.m. and Northwest Territories-Yukon’s Sharon Cormier (2-5) at 2 p.m.


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