Saskatchewan stays hot at Hearts
Saskatchewan's Amber Holland continued to roll at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and not even the defending champion could stop her.
Holland's Regina rink improved to 3-0 after a pair of wins Sunday, including a 9-3 win over Team Canada skip Jennifer Jones in the afternoon draw.
After whipping Kerry Galusha of the Yukon/Northwest Territories 12-1 in the morning, Jones ran into an opportunistic Saskatchewan team that made the veteran from Winnipeg pay for her mistakes.
"We got some opportunities there and we took advantage of those," said Holland. "That made it a little easier. We executed well and Jennifer missed some key shots, hence what happened on the scoreboard."
In the late draw, Holland continued to build on her momentum with a 10-6 win over Prince Edward Island's Suzanne Birt. Holland scored five in the eighth end to take a 10-4 lead, and Birt couldn't close the gap enough in the ninth to keep the match going.
Jones (2-1) said her rink was outplayed but also had a number of its own issues.
"We struggled with the ice, struggled with draw weight, struggled with where to put the broom. It was not our game," Jones said. "But you're not going to go through undefeated, I always say that. You have to think it may be the right time to lose and hopefully it's not going to kill us. The key is not to have back-to-back losses."
Holland said she normally wouldn't expect to catch Jones with a cold hand. Saskatchewan stole two to go up 5-1 in the fourth end when Jones pulled the string on an open in-turn draw.
"She's usually pretty bang-on, especially when we play her," Holland said. "It's tough to get up early and try to kill the game. You get up four points early and you know there's lots of game left and a lot can happen. With that team, they're going to position rocks well and you're going to have your work cut out for you even though you have a lead."
Ontario's Rachel Homan also improved to 3-0, sending Shannon Kleibrink's Alberta foursome to its first loss of the tournament with a dramatic 10-7 victory in the late draw. Homan scored three in the 10th end after Kleibrink tied the match with a pair in the ninth.
Earlier Sunday, Homan stole five points in an easy 7-1 rout Stacie Devereaux (2-2) of Newfoundland and Labrador.
"We're just playing really well and capitalizing on mistakes," said the 21-year-old Ottawa native. "I don't think anybody's been 100 per cent but you don't want to start out at 100 per cent. You want to save that for the end of the week. But I've been nervous the whole time and it doesn't matter what the score is."
In other Draw 5 scores, New Brunswick hammered Manitoba 9-3 and Nova Scotia downed the Territories 8-2.
Jones, Kleibrink and British Columbia's Kelly Scott are tied for third at 2-1.
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are at 2-2, Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., and Quebec are 1-2, while Manitoba is 1-3. The Territories are still looking for a win at 0-4.