Team Manitoba skip Cathy Overton-Clapham calls a shot while Team P.E.I. skip Suzanne Birt strategizes her next move during Scotties Tournament of Hearts action Thursday morning. Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonaldTeam Manitoba skip Cathy Overton-Clapham calls a shot while Team P.E.I. skip Suzanne Birt strategizes her next move during Scotties Tournament of Hearts action Thursday morning. Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonald
Welcome to The Guardian's live coverage from Thursday morning action at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at the Civic Centre.
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9:15 a.m. -- Teams out for the warmup. P.E.I. (4-5) taking on Manitoba (3-6) on Sheet A, Alberta (6-3) facing Nova Scotia (6-3) on Sheet B, Saskatchewan (8-1) meeting New Brunswick (3-6) on Sheet C, and Ontario (6-3) tackling the Yukon-Northwest Territories (3-6) on Sheet D.
Doing the math -- Saskatchewan has clinched no worse than a tiebreaker and will be in the one vs. two Page playoff with one win in its last two games today.
After that, it gets messy. The local hopes look like this.
P.E.I. is mathematically alive. There are four three-loss teams (Alberta, Canada, Nova Scotia and Ontario) and P.E.I. has to hope two of those teams lose twice today while P.E.I. wins twice.
Alberta and Nova Scotia are playing each other in a few minutes, so someone will get their seventh win and thus dash P.E.I.'s hopes of catching them. Canada plays Nova Scotia this afternoon and Alberta tonight, so that really complicates matters for the host province.
Two of those four three-loss teams are assured of a seventh victory, so including Saskatchewan, that's three teams P.E.I. won't be able to catch and there are only four playoff spots available.
Then there's B.C. sitting at 5-4. If B.C. wins out, that also sends P.E.I. to the sidelines.
P.E.I. has to hope one of Nova Scotia, Alberta or Canada loses twice and hope Ontario loses twice (Ontario's got the Territories in a few minutes and Quebec tonight) plus win out against Manitoba shortly and Newfoundland and Labrador tonight and hope B.C. does not win twice. B.C has New Brunswick this afternoon and Saskatchewan tonight.
Got all that? Good.
9:31 a.m. -- Teams are being piped on to the ice. Action set to begin shortly.
9:38 a.m. -- And we're underway. P.E.I. with hammer to start against Manitoba. TSN showing Alberta versus Nova Scotia.
9:44 a.m. -- The Manitoba squad was in quite the celebratory mood last night after the dramatic win over Canada, according to one eyewitness report. The Heart Stop Lounge closed at around 2 a.m., and Manitoba was the only team still enjoying the night's festivities as the band was playing its last song.
9:51 a.m. -- Manitoba steals a point to start. 1-0 over P.E.I. after one.
9:53 a.m. -- Ontario has scored two to start against the Territories. Saskatchewan takes a point against New Brunswick. Nova Scotia picks up two in the first against Alberta.
10:05 a.m. -- Birt hits and sticks around in the four-foot facing three to tie it up. 1-1 after two.
10:08 a.m. -- Territories gets one to trail Ontario 2-1. N.B. level with Saskatchewan at 1-1, both after two.
10:12 a.m. -- Nova Scotia steals a point and leads Alberta 3-0 through two.
10:17 a.m. -- Manitoba fifth Breanne Meakin warming up behind the coaches bench. Looks like she's getting ready to come into the game after this end.
10:23 a.m. -- Cathy Overton-Clapham with few options on her last shot in three. She has one rock in the four-foot with three red Island stones lurking and a bunch of traffic out front. She tries a tapback and misses and it's a steal of one. 2-1 P.E.I.
10:27 a.m. -- Around the sheets (all playing four): Ontario 3 Yukon-NWT 1, Saskatchewan 2 New Brunswick 1, and Nova Scotia 3 Alberta 2.
10:30 a.m. -- Manitoba had a brief huddle after the end and opted not to make a change, so Meakin sits back down.
10:38 a.m. -- P.E.I. in trouble in the fourth. Suzanne Birt in the hack staring at four Manitoba counters, one frozen to another in the four-foot and two more in the back 12.
10:40 a.m. -- Birt's last shot spills one Manitoba rock in the four-foot out of play and another to the back of the eight-foot, and her shooter gets a roll partially behind cover for shot stone. Overton-Clapham tries to take that one out and count as many as four, but doesn't push it back far enough and it's another steal of one. 3-1 P.E.I.
10:44 a.m. -- Territories has tied it up against Ontario at 3-3 playing five. New Brunswick scores two to lead Saskatchewan 3-2 through four.
10:46 a.m. -- To just wondering: the correct data has now been posted. Thanks for the heads-up.
10:48 a.m. -- Alberta steals one to pull even with Nova Scotia at 3-3 after four.
11 a.m. -- Manitoba gets a point and we're at the fifth-end break. 3-2 P.E.I.
11:01 a.m. -- Ontario takes one in five to lead the Territories 4-3.
11:10 a.m. -- A couple of measurements needed to determine scoring in the fifth in two games. Alberta gets a valuable second point on the measure to lead N.S. 5-3, and Saskatchewan counts one to tie N.B. 3-3.
11:15 a.m. -- Cathy O. in trouble in the sixth. Five P.E.i. rocks in the rings and Manitoba with a lonely yellow stone biting the back four-foot.
11:17 a.m. -- Overton-Clapham bites the 12-foot with her first shot in six. Looks like P.E.I. is lying two, but it's close. Suzanne Birt stepping into the hack for her first throw.
11:19 a.m. -- Birt's first pushes the rock Overton-Clapham just threw to a piece of the eight-foot, while the shooter rolls behind cover top 12. Overton-Clapham comes through a port on her last and it looks like P.E.I. is first shot and Manitoba is two and three.
11:22 a.m. -- Manitoba must have been sitting two, as Birt threw big weight to move the stone Overton-Clapham threw through the port and push back her own far enough to jam on a P.E.I. stone in the back four-foot. End result is one for P.E.I. 4-2 P.E.I. after six.
11:25 a.m. -- Ontario has stolen one to up the lead on the Territories to 5-3 after six.
11:33 a.m. -- N.S. held to one with hammer in six. Alberta leads 5-4.
11:35 a.m. -- Bad news from Sheet D for the locals. Ontario steals two in the seventh for a 7-3 lead over the Territories. Ontario wins and P.E.I. is out.
11:39 a.m. -- P.E.I. with a big steal of three as Overton-Clapham is light on a draw. 7-2 after seven.
11:48 a.m. -- N.B. picks up a point with hammer in seven, trails Saskatchewan 5-4.
11:49 a.m. -- Alberta takes one to push its lead to 6-4 over N.S.
11:51 a.m. -- Birt rubs on her own rock in the top 12 on an attempt to freeze to Manitoba's shot stone in the four-foot, and Overton-Clapham has a draw for two. 7-4 P.E.I.
11:53 a.m. -- It's all over on Sheet D. Kerry Galusha misses a double attempt on her last rock in eight and Ontario steals two more for a 9-3 victory. Islanders now officially eliminated.
12:01 p.m. -- Saskatchewan takes one in eight and leads N.B. 6-4.
12:08 p.m. -- Nova Scotia ties it up against Alberta. 6-6 after eight.
12:09 p.m. -- Birt gives up a steal of one in nine as her draw was a little heavy. Still up two with hammer come home. 7-5 P.E.I.
12:15 p.m. -- Andrea Kelly with an open hit for two for New Brunswck to level their match with Saskatchewan at 6-6. Sask. with hammer heading to 10.
12:18 p.m. -- Midway through the 10th on Sheet A. A couple of guards out front, but that's it as P.E.I. tries to run Manitoba out of rocks.
12:19 p.m. -- Shelly Bradley with a lovely hit and roll behind cover to lie one. Bradley is in contention for an all-star berth, two points behind the leader in percentages at her position going into today.
12:21 p.m. -- Saskatchewan second Tammy Schneider just took a tumble while sweeping, landing hard on her left arm. Looks like she'll be all right.
12:22 p.m. -- Skip stones on Sheet A. P.E.I. still lying one.
12:25 p.m. -- Overton-Clapham light on a tapback and Birt doesn't have to throw her last stone. 7-5 P.E.I. final.
12:55 p.m. -- N.S. over Alberta 8-7 in the final game of the morning. Big win for the Bluenosers as they move to 7-3. Alberta is 6-4.
Action resumes at 2:30 with Quebec against the Yukon/Northwest Territories, B.C. versus New Brunswick, Manitoba facing Newfoundland and Labrador, and the marquee matchup of Canada taking on Nova Scotia.