VIRDEN — Kortney Teale has survived the top teams at the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts in decent shape and if she gets on a roll she has a chance to reach the playoffs.
Teale and her Brandon team of Pam Robins, Kristen McLellan and Jolene Cumming improved to 2-2 at the provincial women’s curling championship with an 8-7 extra-end win over Michelle Montford last night at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.
Teale, who came in as the 15th seed, didn’t have high expectations for the week in Virden, but she’s excited for the opportunity to still be in serious contention for the playoffs.
"I didn’t expect this, but I’m very glad we’re here," said Teale, who lost 5-2 to Barb Spencer earlier in the day. "We have to keep being strong and tough like we are now so that we can keep going."
Two losses may be good enough for Teale to secure at least a tiebreaker, and the news is better for her foursome as they now have the three lowest seeds in the Red Group left to play. The group’s top seeds, like Montford (3-1) and Janet Harvey (3-1), will have to play each other in the final two days of the round robin as well.
Meanwhile, Kelsey Russill’s squad appeared to be on track until their game on Thursday night.
After battling some early nerves during the opening draw, the squad calmed down and played well in Wednesday night’s late draw in which they had a tight game against second seed Barb Spencer before falling 10-8.
They followed that up with another solid performance yesterday as they dominated Joelle Brown 9-5 to earn their first win of the event.
"I think we played way better than our first game and just continued that momentum today, making more shots and capitalizing when they had their misses," Russill said. "We’re at least settling into our shots and more comfortable with the ice for sure."
However, Harvey proved too much for Russill, as the Brandon team fell 9-2.
That dropped Russill to 1-3 in the event and has their playoff hopes in serious doubt as three losses rarely gets a tiebreaker.
That doesn’t bother Russill though as she didn’t come into the event with the goal of making it to the playoffs on Saturday afternoon.
"Coming into this week we were hoping for three or four wins and to have a strong week," she said. "I think when we start playing the lower seeds then we’re going to have some really good games.
"Right now there are some lower seeds having really good games with the higher seeds. For sure we can get some more wins."
Dauphin’s Lisa Menard is also at 1-3. She upset Harvey 9-8 on Thursday afternoon before falling 10-4 to Brown.
Spencer leads the pool at 4-0.
In the Black Group, Kerri Einarson and Darcy Robertson, who has Souris native Michelle Kruk at lead, are tied atop the leaderboard at 4-0. Top seed Chelsea Carey of Winnipeg is 3-1 after suffering a 10-3 loss to Kim Link.
The round robin continues today, with Teale taking on Russill in an all-Brandon battle at 8:30 a.m.
The 4 p.m. game between Russill and Menard will be shown live on WCG-TV, as will the contest between Deb McCreanor’s team — skipped by former Brandonite Robin Campbell — and Quinn Sneisen at 7:45 p.m.