Cathy Overton-Clapham did not have much room to work with, but her game-winning shot concluded the opening women's draw of the Capital One Grand Slam of Curling in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night.
Overton-Clapham executed an angle raise tap-back to give her Winnipeg rink a 7-6 extra-end victory over Scotland's Eve Muirhead, who appeared to be counting the game-winning point before the final shot.
"I had to bite the button, and she was biting the button," explained Overton-Clapham, referring to her rock in the top four-foot that she just had to nudge back for shot rock. "There was not much room at all."
In other games, which are all eight ends, Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland edged Canadian women's champion Heather Nedohin of Edmonton, 3-2; Saskatoon's Stefanie Lawton, defeated Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones 7-2 in six ends, and Sherry Middaugh of Victoria Harbour, Ont., doubled Chelsea Carey of Morden, Man., 6-3.
The game-winning shot was one Overton-Clapham, who led 6-1 after the fourth end, was comfortable with.
"We were fortunate enough to play it a couple of ends earlier, and I had my draw weight the whole game," Overton-Clapham said. "It was just a matter of trying to make contact with it, and it just hung on for shot by just a couple of inches. We had a lead, and we let them back in the game.
"We had a great opportunity for a double in the seventh end for four, but we just didn't get it out far enough."
Muirhead scored a deuce with the hammer in the fifth end, and then stole single points in the next three ends to force an extra end.
A key point in Lawton's victory over Jones was a three-ender in the fourth end to break a 2-2 tie. Lawton then stole singles in the fifth and sixth ends, and then Jones opted to shake hands.
"We wanted to get a good start, and we definitely did," Lawton said. "We had some really good ends going, and played a lot of different and great shots."
Lawton said it was good to be back out on the ice.
"We haven't curled in three months, so we're excited to be out here," she added. "We're here to curl, so we're exactly where we want to be."
Middaugh stole three points ¡ a single in the first end and a deuce in the second ¡ to jump out to a 3-0 lead over Carey. After that the teams exchanged single points the rest of the way with last-rock advantage.
"We got a little help from a few miscues on Chelsea's part," said Middaugh.
"You never know what the ice is going to be like. They should have had a deuce in one and we stole one, so that was a three-point swing.
"Then it just seemed they struggled a bit putting the broom in the right spot, making the shots."
Middaugh admitted her rink will have to improve its play as the week goes on.
"But I'm happy with how we played considering we haven't played together since the end of January at provincials," Middaugh said.
Tirinzoni counted a deuce in the third end with hammer to open the scoring against Nedohin. Tirinzoni then stole a single in the fourth end, and Nedohin counted single points in the sixth and seventh ends.
With the house clean in the eighth end, Nedohin's last shot went through the house, resulting in Tirinzoni not needing to throw her final shot.