VIRDEN — Kelsey Russill’s and Kortney Teale’s Brandon teams are still alive at the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts, but they are on life support.
Both are 3-3 going into today’s final round-robin draw at 8:30 a.m. They will secure tiebreaker spots if they win their games, Janet Harvey (5-1) defeats Barb Spencer (4-2) and Joelle Brown (3-3) beats Michelle Montford (4-2).
Russill, who curls with Janelle Schwindt, Kristy Howard and Roz Ripley, knows she needs a lot of help today, but likes her team’s situation.
“Very cool,” said Russill, who skipped a team to a 3-4 record two years ago at the provincial Scotties and went 2-5 last year as Stacey Fordyce’s third. “It definitely hasn’t been the situation in the last couple years, so we’re looking forward to putting another win together (this morning) and depending on what happens on the other sheets, we might be still at ’er.”
Russill’s team got back on track Friday morning at Tundra Oil and Gas Place with a 7-6 win over Teale, then followed that up with a dominating 10-4 victory over Dauphin’s Lisa Menard, who dropped to 1-5.
Although Russill’s team played well against the top seeds during the first two days of the provincial women’s curling championship, the skip admitted she felt a lot more comfortable taking on two of the lower-ranked squads.
“Just a little less nervous,” Russill said. “I know we’re gaining some confidence and we’ll have a good game tomorrow against (Shannon) Birchard.”
Birchard is 1-5 and out of contention.
For the Teale foursome, which includes Pam Robins, Kristen McLellan and Jolene Cumming, their loss to Russill was devastating. If Teale’s team had won that game and their final two, the rookie skip would have been assured of at least a tiebreaker. Now she needs a lot of help to get there.
Teale said her team struggled early in the battle of Brandon as it took them a while to get ready to play at 8:30 a.m., 10 hours after their Thursday night game ended.
“It’s tough to shut your head off and go back to sleep and get up four hours later and eat enough to get ready to curl,” Teale said. “It’s hard not being nauseated because you’ve been eating at 10 o’clock for the last two days and curling at noon. It’s quite the big change.”
Teale closed out the day with an 8-2 thumping of Birchard yesterday afternoon. She faces Menard this morning and is hoping for some luck to get into a tiebreaker.
“I don’t mind my position at this stage,” she said. “I have to keep winning. I control my own destiny at this point, but everybody else has to do things and the stars have to align for something exciting to happen, but I’m OK with this.”
Although neither Brandon team is assured of anything right now, both view the week as a success. That’s especially true for Russill, who has achieved her pre-bonspiel goal of three wins with one game remaining.
“We’re very happy with how we’ve done and four wins would be great to outdo our other years we’ve done,” she said.
Harvey has clinched at least a tiebreaker in the Red Group.
Meanwhile, Kerri Einarson went into last night’s draw atop the Black Group at 5-0 and was assured of at least a tiebreaker. Darcy Robertson, who has Souris native Michelle Kruk at lead, and Chelsea Carey were 4-1. Robertson and Carey faced off last night in a game that was still in progress at press time.
Former Brandonite Robin Campbell earned her first Scotties win while throwing skip stones earlier in the day, helping Team Deb McCreanor (1-4) to a 12-4 victory over Patricia Evans.