Chelsea Carey's debut skipping Alberta at the Canadian women's curling championship was a successful one as the host team downed defending champion Jennifer Jones 12-5 in Saturday's opening draw.
Saskatchewan's Jolene Campbell and Quebec's Marie-France Larouche also won their openers. B.C.'s Karla Thompson gained entry into the 12-team main draw with an 8-5 win over Kerry Galusha of Northwest Territories.
Campbell scored five in the fourth end and another four in the seventh to down Nova Scotia's Jill Brothers 11-7. Larouche defeated Ontario's Jenn Hanna 9-5.
Carey, who is from Winnipeg, skipped Manitoba to a 9-2 record two years ago at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The 31-year-old moved to Alberta the following year and lost the 2015 provincial final to Val Sweeting with a different team.
Stepping in this winter for Nedohin, Carey, Nixon, second Jocelyn Peterman and lead Laine Peters downed Sweeting in this year's Alberta championship.
They were in hurry-up mode this season learning each other's personalities on and off the ice.
"It was definitely an adjustment for me and for them," the skip said. "We spent a lot of time both on the ice trying to figure out how to read each other's throws and for sweeping and judging and all that kind of thing.
"We also spent a lot of time off the ice talking about dynamics and chemistry and what everybody needs to hear and where we need to be mentally and all that kind of stuff. We saw some results from that."
Nixon, 38, says adapting to her new skip has been a two-way street.
"I've played third for a long time and I can figure people out. She's a smart woman, so she's figured me out too," Nixon said.
"I think it says a lot more about her than anyone else that she came with three players she's never played with before ever and certainly never expected to play with I think. I put the lion's share of our success on Chelsea and her smarts in the house and her reading."
Carey outcurled her counterpart Jones 90 per cent to 78 in Saturday's opener. The defending champions, also from Winnipeg, gave up a steal of four in the third end and fell behind 5-0.
Jones clawed her way back into the game with a wide double to score three in the eighth and trail 7-5. But when Carey executed a pair of precise hits for a five-point end, Jones shook hands after nine.
"If you're going to give up a steal of four, the first game of the event is the one to do it in," Jones said. "It's the first game, so we're OK. It gives us a little kick in the butt coming into tomorrow."