MacPhee wins squeaker to take control at the Scotties, Gorveatt captures Tankard B section, Pineau wins Future opener

It was an exciting evening at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Community Complex, with the “B” finals in both the Scotties provincial women’s championship, and the Tankard men’s, plus the opening game in the Future Scotties and Tankard developmental event for young curlers all going on at the same time on the six sheet ice surface. As a pilot to help increase interest in the Olympic sport of curling, the Tankard and the Scotties, along with the Future events, are being held on the same weekend at the same venue.

Team MacPhee (Emily Gray photo)

The Robyn MacPhee rink from Charlottetown now has a big advantage in the Scotties, winning her second section, the B, this evening in the modified triple knockout draw with a hard fought 7-6 extra-end win over clubmate Veronica Smith. MacPhee had a 5-0 lead after three ends, but Smith took singles in the next three ends to narrow the gap to two points. MacPhee was kept to a single in end seven, with Smith again recording single counters in the next three ends to tie the game at six-all to force the extra, where MacPhee had hammer and pulled out the win. This victory puts MacPhee in both of the championship games on Sunday, and gives her the championship if she wins either game, while her opponent, the winner of the C event, would have to win both games. MacPhee also drops down to compete in the C final, at 6 pm on Saturday. Should she also win that game, against the winner of a 1 pm match between Smith and Lisa Jackson, also from Charlottetown, MacPhee would take the championship on Saturday evening without playing the championship round. Jackson eliminated Tammy Dewar of Montague with a 7-4 win this evening.

There will definitely be at least one championship round game in the Tankard, as there are separate winners of the A and B sections. Eddie MacKenzie of Charlottetown won the A final over Blair Jay of the host club on Thursday, but lost his B semi-final game this afternoon 8-3 to clubmate Phil Gorveatt. Jay got by Charlottetown’s Jamie Newson by an 8-7 score in the other B semi. In this evening’s B final, Gorveatt kept Jay off the scoreboard in the first half, leading 5-0. Jay got on the board with a deuce in the 6th, but a single in seven and a deuce in the eighth brought the game to an early conclusion, with Gorveatt winning 8-2. 

The “C” semi-finals go Saturday at 1, with Jay taking on Charlottetown’s Robert Campbell, and Gorveatt facing clubmate Tyler Harris. The winners square off in the C final at 6 pm. If Gorveatt is in that game and wins it, he, like MacPhee in the Scotties, would have a “double life” in the Sunday championship round, and would win if he took either game. If there is a different winner, two of the section winners would square off in the first championship game, Sunday at 10, with the winner advancing to the 3:30 pm second championship game against the team that played in the most section finals.

The winning Tankard team advances to the Tim Hortons Brier, March 4-12 at Mile One Centre in St. John’s, NL, while the Scotties winner will go to the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts, February 18-26 at Meridian Centre, St. Catharines, Ont. 

The first game in the eight-team partial round robin Future Scotties/Future Tankard developmental event for curlers under 21 took place on Friday evening, with the two boys teams, skipped by Chase MacMillan of Cornwall, and Cruz Pineau from the host Silver Fox club, squaring off in an eight-end contest (Scotties and Tankard games are 10 ends), with Pineau picking up a 7-6 come-from-behind win. MacMillan led 6-3 after five ends, but Pineau fought back with a deuce in six to narrow the gap to 1, and then stole the next two ends for the victory. The Future teams each play three games in the event, with the remaining games at 9 am and 1 pm on Saturday, and 1 pm on Sunday.

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