Middaugh defeats Robertson to open Road to the Roar pre-trials

Skip Sherry Middaugh yells to her sweepers. (John Woods/CP)

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — Sherry Middaugh defeated Winnipeg’s Darcy Robertson 7-5 in the opening draw Monday at the Home Hardware Road to the Roar Pre-Trials curling competition at Credit Union Place.

Middaugh, from Coldwater, Ont., scored a ninth-end deuce and stole one point in the 10th for the victory.

"It’s important to start off with a win, it’s important to start off by making some great shots and getting comfortable (with) the ice," said Middaugh. "It got a little frosty, so it was hard for the sweepers, but it really didn’t affect the ice surface. It was great."

In the late women’s draw, Jacqueline Harrison of Mississauga, Ont., downed Winnipeg’s Briane Meilleur 10-6 and Theresa Breen of Halifax topped Tracy Fleury of Subdury, Ont., 11-6.

Jon Morris of Chestermere, Alta., beat Halifax’s Jamie Murphy 9-3 and Glenn Howard from Tiny, Ont., defeated Mark Bice of Sarnia, Ont., 9-2.

"I really like the way the boys have been playing," Howard said. "We’re coming off two really great ‘spiels and we had a solid game there."

In other early games, Edmonton’s Kelsey Rocque stole three in the 10th end for a 6-3 win over Calgary’s Nadine Scotland. Winnipeg’s Shannon Birchard posted a 6-5 win over Julie Tippin of Woodstock, Ont., and Kerri Einarson of East St. Paul, Man., scored four in the 10th end for an 11-7 win over Karla Thompson of Kamloops, B.C.

Round-robin play continues through Friday and the crossover playoffs begin Saturday.

There are 14 teams entered in both the men’s and women’s draws. Four teams — two men’s teams and two women’s teams — will qualify for the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings next month in Ottawa.

The Roar of the Rings — also known as the Olympic Trials — will determine Canada’s representatives at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February.