Team Manitoba is out and the Team Canada Jennifer Jones rink is down to their last chance at the Scotties Tournament Of Hearts in Sydney, N.S.
A year after two Manitoba-based teams made the Scotties final, there’s now a very good possibility that neither Manitoba entry even makes the playoffs.
The Team Manitoba Tracy Fleury rink made an early exit as they were eliminated on Thursday with an 8-5 loss to British Columbia’s Sarah Wark in a tiebreaker. Fleury surrendered a steal of three points on two separate occasions as her team saw their bonspiel come to an early end.
Fleury finished in a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in her team’s pool with a 4-3 record, and with the loss in the tiebreaker game, they failed to qualify for the eight-team championship pool.
Team Jennifer Jones also had a 4-3 record in pool play, but it was still good enough to qualify for the final playoff berth in Pool B.
All the records from the preliminary round carry over into the championship round so Team Jones had little room for error.
They opened the next round with a 10-8 victory over previously unbeaten Alberta, being skipped by Jones’ former provincial rival Chelsea Carey. But Jones dropped her second game of the day to Ontario’s Rachel Homan 9-6. That leaves Jones in a tie for last place in the championship pool at 5-4 with just two games remaining.
Most years, four losses at the Scotties means elimination, but Jones can still qualify for the playoff round. Her team will need to get some help, and they’ll have to win both their remaining games against Northern Ontario (Krista McCarville) and British Columbia on Friday.
Jones is searching for a record-setting seventh Scotties title as a skip. She currently shares the mark of six with Colleen Jones.
The top four teams from the championship pool advance to the playoffs, which start on Saturday afternoon.
Standings Through Draw 14
Northern Ontario 6-3
Wild Card 6-3
Prince Edward Island 6-3
British Columbia 5-4