McDonald clinches Manitoba Scotties playoff spot

Kristy McDonald at the 2015 National in Oshawa, Ont. (Anil Mungal)

Winnipeg’s Kristy McDonald picked up a pair of wins Friday to secure a spot in the page 1 vs. 1 playoffs at the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Beausejour.

McDonald, the lone undefeated skip at 6-0, topped Shannon Birchard of Winnipeg 9-4 during the early afternoon draw. Trailing 4-2 after six ends, McDonald broke out stealing four in the seventh to pull ahead and padded her lead swiping one in the eighth and two in the ninth.

The 2014 Manitoba champion McDonald scored three in the 10th end to take down Michelle Montford of Winnipeg 6-4 in the evening draw.

Birchard bounced back with an 8-3 victory over Winnipeg’s Joelle Brown and sits in second place in the Asham Black Group with a 5-1 record.

Brown and Montford are both right behind at 4-2 in the chase for the division's second playoff berth.


Provincial Curling Championships: Live Scores | Standings | Playoffs | TV Schedule


Meanwhile, Kerri Einarson and Cathy Overton-Clapham are tied for the lead in the Extreme Force Red Group with 5-1 records.

The two Winnipeg teams clashed in the morning draw with Einarson coming out on top 8-5.

Einarson, who has finished runner-up at the past two Manitoba Scotties, scored seven in the fifth end during a 12-2 rout over Barb Spencer of Winnipeg. Team Einarson dropped their opening game but appear to have put that past them having won five straight since.

Overton-Clapham rebounded from the morning loss to win 6-4 over Winnipeg's Darcy Robertson.

All teams have one round-robin game remaining with action resuming Saturday at 8:30 a.m. CT. Television coverage begins Saturday night on Sportsnet ONE at 6 p.m. CT.


NOVA SCOTIA

Defending champion Mary-Anne Arsenault topped the Nova Scotia Scotties Tournament of Hearts round-robin leaderboard with a 6-1 record to secure a spot in Sunday's final.

Arsenault earned a 9-3 victory over former teammate Colleen Jones during Friday's noon draw, but sustained her lone defeat to Theresa Breen 10-5 in the evening.

The win gave Breen a 5-2 record to clinch a spot in the semifinal where she will face Jill Brothers, who beat Jones 8-6 to eliminate the six-time Canadian champion.

The semifinal takes place Saturday in Halifax at 2 p.m. AT


QUEBEC

Six-time champion Marie-France Larouche of Levis is one win away from claiming another Quebec Scotties Tournament of Hearts title.

Larouche defeated defending champ Lauren Mann 5-2 on Friday to top the round-robin standings with a 6-2 record and advance straight to Sunday's final.

Mann (5-3) of Montreal will face Roxane Perron (4-4) of Quebec City in the semifinal on Saturday night in Valleyfield.


ONTARIO

It was a race to the playoffs during the final round-robin draw at the Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Brampton.

Ottawa's Rachel Homan (8-1) had already locked up the top playoff seed heading into Friday's action but the other three spots were still up for grabs.

Jacqueline Harrison (6-3) and her Mississauga-based rink secured their place in the page 1 vs. 2 game with an 8-3 win over Julie Hastings and her team from Thornhill.

Harrison opened with the hammer but didn't get the blank and hit and stuck for a point. She forced Hastings to draw for a single in the second and looked to make a tap to score three in the third, however, her last rock overcurled but still counted for two.

Hastings settled for another single in four and Harrison scored a deuce in the fifth to make it 5-2 heading into the break. Facing at least three counters in six, Hastings made a brilliant in-off shot with her last to get a single, but Harrison scored three in the seventh and the teams shook hands.

Hastings, the reigning champion, had already been eliminated after the previous draw and heads home with a 3-6 record.

Ottawa's Jenn Hanna and Julie Tippin of Woodstock meet in the page 3 vs. 4 game after both teams also finished with 6-3 records. Harrison held the edge in the standings with a better cumulative draw-to-the-button total.

Hanna picked up a 9-5 victory over Mallory Kean (2-7) of Stoney Creek while Tippin earned a 7-2 win over Ottawa's Erin Morrissey (2-7).

Sherry Middaugh (5-4) of Coldwater handed Homan her lone defeat of the tournament 9-5 but it wasn't enough for the five-time Ontario champion to advance.

Allison Flaxey (3-6) of Caledon picked up a 10-6 win over Toronto's Cathy Auld (4-5).

The page 1 vs. 2 playoff takes place Saturday at 2 p.m. ET and the 3 vs. 4 game goes down at 7 p.m. ET at the Brampton Curling Club. Watch the action live on Rogers TV Sports+.


NORTHERN ONTARIO

Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay is set to face defending champion Tracy Fleury of Sudbury in the Northern Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts final.

McCarville earned a 7-1 win over Laura Payne of North Bay and pitched a 14-0 shutout over Gale Wiseman of Timmins on Friday to remain undefeated at 5-0.

Fleury (4-1) scored an 11-5 victory over Wiseman and topped Payne 9-3.

Coincidentally, McCarville and Fleury will meet in the final round-robin draw Saturday before the championship match on Sunday.


ALBERTA

Chelsea Carey took two for the win in the 10th end to slip past Shannon Kleibrink 5-4 in the B qualifier of the Jiffy Lube Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Friday.

Carey and her Calgary-based team will now face double defending provincial champion Val Sweeting of Edmonton in the page A vs. B playoffs with the winner of that game receiving a spot in Sunday's final.

Sweeting defeated Carey in the A-side final 8-3 Thursday night to advance.

Kleibrink, the 2006 Olympic bronze medallist from Coaldale, still has a chance to move on to the playoffs and faces Nadine Chyz in one of two C qualifiers of the triple knockout tournament.

Chyz's Calgary/Red Deer team beat Edmonton's Deanne Nichol in a 10-3 rout.

Edmonton's Jessie Kaufman reached the second C qualifier with a 10-5 victory over Jodi Marthaller of Lethbridge. Team Kaufman broke a 5-5 tie with a four-ender in the eighth and stole one in nine to ice the game.

Kaufman will play Lethbridge's Casey Scheidegger, who eliminated two-time world junior champion Kelsey Rocque of Edmonton 8-2.

The C qualifiers take place Saturday at 1 p.m. MT.


B.C.

Two-time Canadian champion Kelly Scott wrapped up the preliminary round with a 6-1 record to earn the top spot for the playoffs at the B.C. Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Coquitlam.

The Kelowna native Scott stole a point in the extra end to edge Karla Thompson of Kamloops 8-7 during the final round-robin draw Friday. Thompson finished second overall at 5-2 and will face Scott in a rematch during the page 1 vs. 2 game Saturday at 11 a.m. PT.

There will be a new champion crowned this year in the province as 2015 winner Patti Knezevic of Prince George finished with a 2-5 record, however, she ended her run on a high note defeating Vancouver's Amy Gibson 9-4.

Diana Gushulak (4-3) of New Westminster earned third place beating Amanda Russett (1-6) of Kamloops 6-5. Gushulak meets Sarah Wark (4-3) in the page 3 vs. 4 game after the Victoria native rolled out to a 10-4 victory over Kesa Van Osch (3-4) of Nanaimo to secure the final playoff spot. Wark settled for a single in the first but jumped out to a 7-0 lead thanks to a steal of four in the second and two in the third and held on from there.

The page 3 vs. 4 game will take place Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PT.

All teams have one round-robin game remaining with action resuming Saturday at 8:30 a.m. CT.