(by Kyle Jahns)
Prince Edward Island
Robyn MacPhee returns to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts for the eighth time in her career, but 2017 marks the first time she will call the shots in the house at the women’s national curling championship.
MacPhee defeated Veronica Smith 7-5 to book her spot as Prince Edward Island at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in St. Catharines, Ont., from Feb. 18-26. The Charlottetown skip is making back-to-back appearances at the Scotties. In 2016 she played third for Suzanne Birt, guiding the team to a 4-7 record.
MacPhee backed Birt on four other occasions at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, with their best appearance occurring in 2003 when the team reached the semifinal, losing to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Cathy Cunningham. In 2009 MacPhee threw skip stones for Prince Edward Island while her sister Rebecca Jean MacDonald controlled the house.
Joining MacPhee is third Sarah Fullerton, second Meaghan Hughes and lead Michelle McQuaid. MacPhee’s teammates will make their second appearances at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Mary Mattatall defeated Jill Brothers [whose team included PEI native Erin Carmody at 3rd stone] 10-4 and is making her first appearance at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 12 years.
A steal of five in the seventh end went a long way in securing victory for Mattatall, third Andrea Saulnier, second Jill Alcoe-Holland and lead Marg Cutcliffe at the Nova Scotia provincial women’s curling championship.
Mattatall’s last national women’s championship appearance was in 2005 when she played third for Kay Zinck. Prior to that she skipped the 1998 Nova Scotia team to a 4-7 record. In 1989, 1991 and 1992 Mattatall was third for Colleen Jones, the Canadian legend who won six national women’s championships during her curling career.
Cutcliffe is a 1985 national women’s championship finalist, playing third for Virginia Jackson. She lost to an undefeated Linda Moore of British Columbia in the final. Saulnier and Alcoe-Holland represented Nova Scotia at the 2010 Canadian Senior Curling Championships.
2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts single draw and full-event packages are now available for purchase. Don’t miss out and get yours today at: http://www.curling.ca/2017scotties/tickets/.