Alberta skip Casey Scheidegger throws the stone while taking on Newfoundland at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton, B.C., on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

N.L. beats Alberta to remain unbeaten at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

PENTICTON, B.C. — Stacie Curtis came out on top in a battle of unbeaten teams at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

The Newfoundland and Labrador skip defeated Alberta’s Casey Scheidegger 9-5 in Monday afternoon’s marquee matchup at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Curtis is 4-0 and first in the Pool B, followed by Scheidegger with a 3-1 record.

“It is kind of a little surreal right now,” said Curtis of the St. John’s Curling Club. “We had a really great game just now against Alberta. They are a really tough team.”

On Sunday evening, Curtis took in some extra practice delivering her rocks with coach Eugene Trickett keeping a close eye.

“We had a couple of games yesterday and I wasn’t throwing quite as well as I wanted to,” said Curtis, a border services officer with the Canadian government.

She said the practice was a good tune-up prior to facing Alberta and the extra work paid off by shooting 91 per cent. Newfoundland and Labrador as a team shot 80 per cent.

Scheidegger shot 68 per cent, while her team shot 77.

In other afternoon action, B.C.’s Kesa Van Osch (2-2) defeated Quebec’s Emilia Gagne (1-3) 10-4 in eight ends.

“We had a tough game today,” said Gagne from Alma, Que. “We had difficulties with the ice, with the weight. That is what made the difference today.”

Team Canada’s Michelle Englot (3-1) defeated Nunavut’s Amie Schackleton (0-4) 13-4 in eight ends. Englot’s Winnipeg rink is replacing defending champion Rachel Homan as the Ottawa skip prepares for the Olympic Games. Ontario’s Hollie Duncan (2-2) defeated Prince Edward Island’s Robyn MacPhee (1-3) 8-6 in 11 ends.

In Pool A action, Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones led 6-1 through four ends en route to an 11-5 win over Nova Scotia in the morning draw. The five-time champion sealed her third straight double-digit victory with three in the ninth and final end.

“I feel like we’re playing well and making a lot of big shots when we have to,” said Jones. “We had some tough shots there today and we made them.

“I feel like we’re in a good place.”

Jones likes that her rink is getting something from every shot. As a team, Manitoba shot 87 per cent as second Jill Officer led the way at 86 per cent with Jones at 75 per cent.

Jones isn’t content, however, and says her team will strive to continue getting better.

Nova Scotia chipped away at Manitoba’s lead with two in the seventh and one in the eighth to make it an 8-5 contest. But Arsenault wasn’t happy with her rink’s play.

“It wasn’t very good, we were kind of flat,” said Arsenault, who curls out of the Dartmouth Curling Club. “I personally didn’t play as well as I have been.

“Skips have got to make saves and I didn’t make them. Hopefully we will be back on track against New Brunswick (later Monday night).”

Wild-card entry Kerri Einarson also improved to 3-0 to move into a first-place tie with Jones atop Pool A. Einarson’s rink kept pace with Manitoba with an 8-4 win over Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson.

Einarson secured the win in the ninth end after Anderson missed her shot to give Einarson a four-point lead. Einarson said her team struggled a little bit with some shots but overall felt the match was pretty well played.

Facing a veteran curler like Anderson, Einarson expected a good game.

“We definitely had to come out and be on top of them,” she said.

In other early action, Northern Ontario’s Tracy Fleury (1-2) earned an 8-5 win over Yukon’s Chelsea Duncan (0-3) while New Brunswick’s Sylvie Robichaud (2-1) scored one in the 11th for an 8-7 victory over Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories (1-2).

The top four teams from each pool advance to the championship round.

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