Heavyweights set to meet at Scotties

Manitoba skip Jennifer Jones reacts to her shot during her draw against Alberta at the Scotties...

Manitoba skip Jennifer Jones reacts to her shot during her draw against Alberta at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Red Deer Sunday. Manitoba lost 8-6.

Con Griwkowsky, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:45 PM ET

 Are you ready for some Monday Night Curling?

After a couple of days of preliminary jockeying, the first heavyweight battle of the week goes Monday night.

In this corner, Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones, KOed in her last big fight.

In this corner, wearing the defending champion’s Maple Leaf, Amber Holland and Team Canada.

“Is that when it is?” said Holland. “We all look at this event as one opponent at a time. You go out there and play your game and don’t worry who’s going to be on the ice against you.

“Obviously, we know the teams that the fans like to see on the sheet against each other.”

Holland put together back-to-back wins and may be on her way to forgetting her forgettable cashspiel season.

“We’re playing good, we’re executing well,” said Holland. “In this event, you have to stay with it. No team here is going to give you anything for free. More wins in the win column than in the loss column is always good.

“In the field here, it’s probably tough to go undefeated. We know where we need to be playing-wise and that’s where we need to be.”

Just ask Jones, who finished her day with a hard-fought 8-6 loss to Heather Nedohin of Alberta and sits at 2-1.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” said Jones, who edged Kim Dolan 9-8 in the morning draw. “All in all, we’re happy to be 2-1 and we’ll pick it up (Monday).

“They played great. It was a really fun game to play and they deserved to win that game. Hopefully, we can pick it up (Monday).

“It’s just fun to play when the crowd’s into it. The crowds here have been pretty outstanding. Our goal was to be 2-1 by the end of the day, so we’re pretty happy.

It’s a shame this one was not scheduled for Thursday’s final round-robin, but hey, a little bit of early-week action can spice up a long week.

Kerry Galusha of the Territories continued to make noise with her second win. Galusha came here with a career 18-59 record and her best showing has been four wins.

“I was back to my old self,” said Galusha after beating Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith-Dacey. “We curled a lot better as a team. We still have unforced errors — lots of them. If we can get them straightened out, we’ll be OK.”

Then, it was Ontario rookie skip Tracy Horgan’s turn to send Smith-Dacey, the 2011 bronze medallist, off to an 0-3 start.

“We’re just getting real comfortable here,” said Horgan, a 10-3 winner. “We were able to put the pressure on in some situations and it worked out for us. So far, so good. Mostly, it’s mostly excitement now and not nerves.”

Smith-Dacey was at a loss to explain her slow start.

“I’m not shocked,” said Smith-Dacey. “Disappointed maybe. We just have to pick up our game. We’re not making eight shots in a row.”

Two-time champ Kelly Scott won her second start, scoring three in 10 for a 10-8 win over Saskatchewan’s Michelle Englot.

“We didn’t pay too much attention to their (2-0) start, but we have seen some of their televised games,” said Scott. “We’ve only had one game under our belts and the ice was a bit slicker this morning. We’ve seen two different ice conditions and were happy to pull out that win.”

Scott seems impressed with the competitiveness of this field.

“Neither team was out of it during this draw,” said Scott. “(Saturday) night was much the same.”

con.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca


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