Scotties in Killarney in full swing


The Manitoba ladies provincial curling “rock-fest” – also known as the Scotties Tournament of Hearts – is currently in full swing here at the Shamrock Centre.

Action got underway on Wednesday, with the championship team  scheduled to be crowned on Sunday afternoon.

In this case what happened at the Shamrock Centre will not stay at the Shamrock Centre as the winner will go on to represent Manitoba at the national Scotties, which will be played in Penticton, B.C. from January 27 to February 4.

Sixteen teams began play this week, with the teams being divided into two groups of eight. Teams play a round-robin, with the top two from each group advancing to the playoffs.

Complete current standings are as follows:

Black Pool         W  L

J. Jones                4    1

S. Birchard          3    2

J. Brown              4    1

B. Meilleur          3    2

K. Watling           2    3

A. Calvert             2    3

J. Briscoe             1    4

L. Hale-Menard  1   4

Red Pool          W  L

K. Einarson         5   0

B. Spencer           4   1

D. Robertson      5   0

J. Clark-Rouire   2   3

R. Lamb               1   4

M. Zacharias       2   3

C. Reed                0   5

T. MacLean        1   4

With four previous Manitoba ladies champion skips in the field – Jennifer Jones, Kerri Einarson, Darcy Robertson and Barb Spencer – we are seeing some top notch curling – curling at its best!

On top of that, these top teams are getting severely tested – it’s anyone’s ball game!

From the Hog-Line: Excellent crowd on hand as the opening ceremonies went on Wednesday night – first class!

Somewhat of a rarity, as on Wednesday night in the black pool, after the end of the first day’s play, all eight teams had a 1-1 record. And all four teams who threw the yellow stones on the opening draw were victorious. H-m-m-m?

Last week we stated that Barb Spencer had won the Scotties the last time it was played here in “leprechaun land.” Correction – Jill Thurston was the winner that year. Spencer had won the year previous. My, my, my mistake! Fake news!

Jennifer Briscoe of Thompson had an impressive opening game, with a victory over Kristy Watling of Fort Rouge. Watling had a free draw on the tenth end to win it, but was two-feet heavy, and Briscoe took advantage to win it on the extra end. A steal of one on the sixth end by Briscoe turned out to be the TSN turning point (pardon the pun).

In a light moment, while they didn’t get “two minutes for high brooming,” skips Jennifer Jones and Lisa Hale-Menard had an accidental bumping while sweeping in game one. Both got a good chuckle out of it.

Alyssa Calvert of Carberry was impressive in game one, with a 10-5 win over Briane Meilleur of Fort Rouge. The Carberry Calverts can play!

Shannon Brichard (remember the name) provided the shot of the opening draw. Her angle raise take-out with her last brick on the tenth end gave her a 7-6 victory over Joelle Brown.

Brown bounced back in a big way, however, as she used a steal of four to down multi former Manitoba champion – and current Olympic champion – Jennifer Jones.

While Jones tasted defeat, let’s face it, if a team plans on winning this year’s Manitoba Scotties, they must go through Jones.

Jennifer Clark-Rouire of Miami tied her game with the young Rebecca Lamb team of Stonewall after a measurement, but Lamb didn’t need her last rock on the extra to post the “W”. The Lamb team will be heard from again!

Two sisters – and two former Manitoba champions in the field – Barb Spencer and Darcy Robertson (nee Kirkness) – both may be playing late on the weekend!

Former 2016 Manitoba champion Kerri Einarsson has gotten off to a great start with a 4-0 record. The Einarson team is back intact from their 2016 Scotties victory, and opponents will have to be at the top of their game to beat them.

Ice-making chairman Russ Shackel and crew have helped to have the ice in tip-top condition. Draws were timed at 26 seconds. Excellent!

Facilities co-ordinator Dwight King has the Don Paterson Arena comfy for spectators, with the temp sitting at 17 degrees.

The shot of the 8:15 a.m. draw on Thursday was a fourth end freeze by Jennifer Briscoe of Thompson who made a superb freeze on a Jennifer Jones rock which cut the end down from what looked like a possible six ender to a deuce. Briscoe has made a lot of clutch shots.

Three losses in the Red Group may be one too many. It’s getting down to the nitty gritty – now we find out who can play – when the chips are down!

Sixteen excellent foursomes! Heading down the home stretch, it’s anyone’s title to win.

Draws continue on Friday evening, with Saturday draws at 8:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Tie-breakers and playoffs to follow.

At present the final game is slated for 2:30 on Sunday afternoon.

Who will be standing on the podium late Sunday as this year’s Manitoba Scotties champion? Time will tell.

OPENING DAY UPSET – Jennifer Jones calls on the sweepers in her second match at the Scotties in Killarney vs. Team Brown. Joelle Brown (right) and her team ended up beating Team Jones 9-5. Both teams currently sit with a 4-1 record.


LEADING THE WAY – Local favourite Lisa Blixhavn throws her lead rock for Team Clark-Rouire in a tough match against Team Zacharias on Thursday night. Team Zacharias came out on top 8-4, picking up their first win of the Scotties, while Team Clark-Rouire sat with a record of 2-3 at press time.


SPENCER FAMILY TEAM – Barb Spencer, who is now competing with her three daughters Katie, Holly, and Allyson, is currently sitting at 4-1. The Spencer family, from Winnipeg, own Killarney’s Lakeview Garden assisted living complex.


TEAM CALVERT WIN WEDNESDAY MORNING – Team Calvert from Carberry won 10-5 against Team Meilleur from Fort Rouge on Wednesday morning during the opening match of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at the Shamrock Centre. Team Calvert now sits with a 2-3 record while Team Meilleur has a record of 3-2. It also turns out that the members of Team Meilleur have quite the singing voices. See the photo below.


SWEET ENTERTAINMENT – Mid Life Crisis kicked off the evening entertainment at the Scotties, inviting Team Meilleur curlers on stage for a rousing rendition of Sweet Caroline. View the front page of today’s Killarney Guide for more information on the upcoming entertainment at the Scotties.