McCarville wins to enter four-way tie for first at Road to the Roar

Krista McCarville shoots a stone during the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in St. Catharines, Ont. (Anil Mungal)

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — Krista McCarville’s team from Thunder Bay, Ont., entered a four-way tie for top spot in Pool B at the Road to the Roar Olympic curling pre-trials on Wednesday with a 7-3 win over Karla Thompson of Kamloops, B.C.

McCarville finished play on Wednesday with a 2-1 record tied with Sherry Middaugh (Coldwater, Ont.), Kerri Einarson (East St. Paul, Man.) and Jacqueline Harrison (Mississauga, Ont.), with Briane Meilleur of Winnipeg also in the mix at 2-2.

"It’s way too early to think about (the playoffs)," said McCarville. "Just focus on the ice, focus on our technical abilities, eating right, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep. Control what you can control. Don’t worry about anything else."

McCarville took early control against Thompson (1-3) with a first-end deuce and a steal of one in the second. But Thompson rallied to tie it 3-3 with a sixth-end steal of one before McCarville turned up the heat in the final four ends to pull out the win. It was the lone women’s game on Wednesday night.

In men’s play, two games came down to extra ends, just a few seconds apart.

On Sheet C, Winnipeg’s Jason Gunnlaugson (2-1) made an inturn draw to bite the button and beat Mark Bice of Sarnia, Ont., 6-5.

And moments later on Sheet D, Edmonton’s Charley Thomas remained unbeaten at 3-0, stealing the winning point in the 11th when Jean-Michel Menard (2-2) of Saint-Romuald Que., came up short on his last shot.

In other men’s games, Glenn Howard (3-0) of Tiny, Ont., remained unbeaten with a 7-5 win over Halifax’s Jamie Murphy (2-2). Saskatoon’s Colton Flasch (2-2) was a 7-4 winner over Regina’s Adam Casey (1-2).

The top three teams from each pool will advance to the playoffs beginning on Saturday, with the first- and second-place teams crossing over to meet each other in the first round of the A-side. The winners will then meet for the first Roar of the Rings berth.

The first-round losers will drop to meet the third-place teams in each pool in the first round of the B-side. The winners of the two games will then meet, with the winner taking on the A-side final loser for the second Roar of the Rings berth.

The event is the final qualifying event for teams to reach the Roar of the Rings, Dec. 2-10 in Ottawa, where Canada’s four-player curling teams for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will be decided.