Birt rink defeats Newfoundland and Labrador 12-7
Suzanne Birt and her Prince Edward Island team finally got into the win column late Sunday night at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kingston, Ont.
A 12-7 victory over Newfoundland and Labrador’s Stacie Devereaux improved the team’s record to 1-3 at the Canadian Women’s Curling Championship, which opened Saturday.
Playing in the confines of the K-Rock Centre, in front of crowds ranging from 2,500 to 3,600 each game, Birt, Shelly Bradley, Sarah Fullerton, and Leslie MacDougall had opened the event with three losses.
That streak included being edged 7-6 by Heather Nedohin and her Team Canada rink out of Alberta Sunday afternoon. The earlier losses came Saturday at the hands of New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford, 11-5, and Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones by an 8-6 count in draw one.
With the win, the Birt foursome jumped out of last place into a tie for eighth, ahead of three teams still looking for their first victories. P.E.I. is now just one game back of three teams tied for fifth.
Ontario, skipped by Rachel Homan, was in a four-way tie for first-place at 3-0 following the first five draws on the weekend. Also undefeated were the rinks of Saskatchewan (skipped by Jill Shumay), Manitoba, and Team Canada. The top four teams at the end of the week advance to the playoff round for a shot at the national crown.
Birt’s team has lost two games to front runners Canada and Manitoba and are set to play Saskatchewan Monday evening in their only game of the day. It means most of the Birt foursome’s remaining games are against teams in a similar situation, trying to chase down a playoff spot.
“Everybody is just so talented,” Birt told The Guardian prior to departing for Kingston. She hoped for a good start, but said losses are bound to happen in the nine-day event.