Green good as Red

The women in red looked right at home Saturday at the Centrium, considering they normally wear green.

Amber Holland

The women in red looked right at home Saturday at the Centrium, considering they normally wear green.

Amber Holland’s Regina foursome, the 2011 Saskatchewan and national women’s curling champions, won their first game ever as Team Canada, taking advantage of a Heather Strong miscue in the eighth end to post a 7-4 victory over Newfoundland/Labrador in the opening draw of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

“It felt really good out there. We just tried to get a feel for the ice and everything else going on,” said Holland.

And the ice, insisted the Team Canada skip, was just fine.

“It was good. The ice had good curl, good finish and nice speed,” she said. “If it stays like that we’ll be happy, but we all know that sometimes it doesn’t so we’ll just keep an eye on it.”

Team Canada never trailed in the contest and was up 4-3 playing the eighth end when Strong missed her final stone and allowed a steal of three.

The veteran skip was attempting a tap-back on Canada’s shot stone in the four-foot, but had a tad too much pepper on her delivery.

Still, she had an opportunity to nick off a rock sitting close by in the eight-foot and roll to the shot stone, but instead caught just a piece and drifted through the hole. Game, set and match.

“I overthrew it. We tried to salvage it on a Plan B and couldn’t,” said Strong.

“The rock ran straight because of the extra weight and it terms of communication with the Plan B, it was just coincidental bad timing because Alberta was making a big shot on the next sheet and the crowd went wild and rightly so. We kind of had a bit of bad luck on that but ultimately it was a bad shot by me.”

And a stroke of good fortune for Team Alberta, which allowed a single point in the ninth end and then ran Strong and company out of rocks playing the 10th.

“Heather had the exact same shot on her first one in the eighth and maybe there was a little pressure on her,” said Holland.

“It was unfortunate for her that she missed her last one, but we wanted to make sure we were relatively close in the last few ends but in control.”

Holland’s crew shot a collective 84 per cent, a welcome sign for a team that didn’t excel on the cashspiel tour this season.

“I think earlier in the year we probably had lots of games like that, we just didn’t follow up on the next game,” said the Team Canada skip. “The key here for us is consistency, so if we can take something from today and move forward then that’s good.

“It’s always great to come out and win your first game at the Scotties. It’s a good feeling, the energy level stays up moving into the next few days.

“We have three tough games in a row coming up so it’s good to have that positive energy.”

As a veteran of 10 national championships, Strong knows that the Scotties is a marathon, not a sprint.

“You can’t ride the highs and you can’t get too low,” she said. “It’s a long week and we lost to a good team.”

And her team can take solace in the fact that — basically — the game was decided on one shot.

“You know, we have two rookies on our team. It was a televised game and it was the opening draw with lots of people in the stands.

“I was pleased with how they played,” said Strong, who dropped to 0-2 on the day after giving up two on the 10th end to drop a 7-5 decision to Marie-Frances Larouche of Quebec in the evening.

Strong’s foursome takes on Michelle Englot of Saskatchewan at 8:30 a.m. today and faces Kerry Galusha’s Northwest Territories/Yukon rink in the day’s final draw at 6:30 p.m.

On Monday, Newfoundland/Labrador meets Jennifer Jones of Manitoba at 1:30 p.m.

Team Canada goes up against Rebecca Atkinson of New Brunswick and Heather Nedohin of Alberta today at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m., and takes on Manitoba at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

See Scotties schedule in Scoreboard section.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Maxime Bernier reaches out to Red Deer

Voters looking at The People’s Party of Canada

Rocky-area widow pleads for better cardiac treatment for Central Albertans

Lillian Hay wonders if her late husband Grant would have survived with local cardiac catheterization

Festival of Trees lineup announced

Popular event has raised millions for Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre

Maskwacis Mall has gone solar

Ermineskin Cree Nation receives provincial funding for project

Chefs de mission arrive to check Winter Games progress

Visitors will check on venues, accommodations and food services and transportation plans

WATCH: Barbecue in support of Red Deer Food Bank

The sun came out for the sixth-annual Feed the Need community barbecue… Continue reading

Black communities seek cannabis amnesty as pot legalization nears

OTTAWA — Members of Canada’s black communities are praising the Liberals for… Continue reading

Goodale tours Ottawa area destroyed by tornado, says feds ready to provide help

DUNROBIN, Ont. — Canada’s public safety minister says the federal government is… Continue reading

Province reports first decrease in child welfare numbers in 15 years

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government says the number of kids in the… Continue reading

Woman says boyfriend pressed her to ‘produce a baby’

FARGO, N.D. — A North Dakota woman convicted of killing her pregnant… Continue reading

Defence focuses on behaviour of teen killed by Chicago cop

CHICAGO — Lawyers for a white Chicago police officer on trial for… Continue reading

Washington wants Canada to improve spill plan for U.S. spur of Trans Mountain

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington’s Department of Ecology wants the Canadian government to… Continue reading

National Transportation Safety Board to determine cause of Air Canada close call

Video captured the moment that an Air Canada jet flew off course… Continue reading

Most Read