Team Middaugh skip Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, Ont., shouts to her front end during her draw one victory over Team Robertson of Winnipeg at the 2017 Home Hardware Road to the Roar Pre-Trials curling competition in Summerside, P.E.I., on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Michael Burns

Middaugh moves into first-place tie at Road to the Roar Pre-Trials

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — Sherry Middaugh moved into a tie for first place at the Home Hardware Road to the Roar Pre-Trials on Thursday with a 7-5 victory over Krista McCarville at Credit Union Place.

Middaugh, from Coldwater, Ont., was wide on a takeout attempt in the ninth end and McCarville delivered a hit for three for a 5-4 lead. But McCarville was heavy with a draw attempt in the 10th end and Middaugh nailed an open hit for the victory to improve to 3-1.

“I felt like we’re playing well, we’re reading the ice really well,” Middaugh said. “It’s important that we’re 3-1, but we still have two really good matches tomorrow.”

Middaugh was tied with Kerri Einarson of East St. Paul, Man., for top spot in Pool B of the women’s competition. McCarville, from Thunder Bay, Ont., fell to 2-2.

Einarson posted a 9-4 win over Jacqueline Harrison of Mississauga, Ont., and Briane Meilleur (3-2) outscored fellow Winnipeg skip Darcy Robertson 10-6, who dropped to 1-4.

In Pool A, Calgary’s Nadine Scotland improved to 3-2 after defeating Halifax’s Theresa Breen (3-3) 8-2 in the evening draw. Scotland is tied for first along with Shannon Kleibrink of Okotoks, Alta., and Julie Tippin of Woodstock, Ont.

Kleibrink got past Tippin 7-4 and Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont., downed Edmonton’s Kelsey Rocque 8-3 to round out Pool A evening action. Winnipeg’s Darcy Robertson (2-3) scored two in the 10th end for a 9-8 win over Karla Thompson (1-4) of Kamloops, B.C., in Pool B.

Edmonton’s Charley Thomas improved to 4-0 in Pool B and nailed down a tiebreaker berth with a 7-5 evening win over Winnipeg’s Pat Simmons (1-3). Glenn Howard (4-0) of Tiny, Ont., is atop Pool A after beating Jason Gunnlaugson (2-2) of Winnipeg 8-5.

Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher (2-2) drew one in the 10th to beat Greg Balsdon (2-2) of Kingston, Ont., 5-4, Winnipeg’s William Lyburn (3-2) held off Jean-Michel Menard (2-3) of Saint-Romuald, Que., 6-4, Adam Casey’s Regina-based team (2-2) topped John Morris (2-2) of Vernon, B.C., 9-8 and Mark Bice (1-4) of Sarnia, Ont., toppled Halifax’s Jamie Murphy (2-3) 8-6.

The top three teams from each pool will advance to the playoffs beginning on Saturday, with the first- and second-place teams crossing over to meet each other in the first round of the A-side. The winners will then meet for the first Roar of the Rings berth.

The first-round losers will drop to meet the third-place teams in each pool in the first round of the B-side. The winners of the two games will then meet, with the winner taking on the A-side final loser for the second berth.

The Road to the Roar is the final qualifying event for teams to reach the Roar of the Rings — the Dec. 2-10 Olympic Trials in Ottawa — where Canada’s four-player curling teams for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games will be decided.

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