STONEWALL — It may not have been a great opening day in the standings for the Westman teams at the provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Stonewall, but the squads felt they accomplished what they wanted Wednesday.
Brandon’s Liza Park — with Darla Hayward, Pam Robins and Kortney Teale — came in looking to play good games against some of the event’s best teams. Park got that, but came out on the losing end both times — falling 9-3 to defending champion Jennifer Jones and 9-4 to three-time Scotties winner Barb Spencer.
The games were closer than the final scores indicated. Park had chances to score against Jones, but missed some key draws that led to steals. However, Park never gave up more than two in any end.
She had Spencer on the run in her afternoon draw, opening the game by stealing two points. Park, however, couldn’t get the hit and roll she needed in the eighth end, allowing Spencer to draw for five, and shook hands after that.
The Deloraine native is feeling a lot better with two games under her belt and expects more close matches as the week goes on.
"I feel way more confident after that game in myself than I did this morning," she said. "This morning I was second-guessing myself and I hate when I start doing that out there because that’s when your mind starts playing with you. In the second game, I felt better coming out of the hack and felt better reading the ice. That’s the whole build-up of the week."
Meanwhile, Brandon’s Stacey Fordyce felt her team got rid of a few early jitters. Fordyce — curling with Kelsey Russill, Janelle Schwindt and Roslynn Ripley — made her debut as a skip at the Scotties and fell 6-2 to Chelsea Carey, loser of the last two provincial finals, in her first draw.
Fordyce kept the game tight early, trailing 2-1 after four ends, before giving up a steal of two in the fifth. They couldn’t come back, but still felt positive after the game.
"We had a good game," she said. "The first half of the game was a lot stronger. It’s just an end here or there, so we’re not too worried about it. We’ll stay positive and start fresh."
Fordyce’s late contest against 2011 Scotties champion Cathy Overton-Clapham was still in progress late last night. So was the game between Dauphin’s Lisa Menard and Winnipeg’s Darcy Robertson. Menard lost her opener 9-6 to Jill Thurston, whose team features Brandonite Kristen Phillips at third and Elkhorn’s Brittany Cousins at lead.
Each team will play two more games as the round robin continues today. Park will take on three-time provincial champion Janet Harvey and Winnipeg’s Michelle Montford. Fordyce will face Thurston and Winnipeg’s Darcy Robertson.
EXTRA ENDS: Stonewall’s Katherine Cameron turned heads on the opening day by posting an 8-4 win over Harvey and a 2-0 record … Pinawa’s Colleen Kilgallen upset Overton-Clapham 7-3 on Wednesday afternoon …Spencer, Jones and Cameron are tied atop the Black Group at 2-0.