P.E.I. is into the championship round at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
The Suzanne Birt-skipped rink from the Montague Curling Club won its third straight game Thursday to close out the preliminary round 5-2 in Moose Jaw, Sask. They finished third in Pool B behind Ontario’s Rachel Homan-led rink and the Jennifer Jones-skipped wild card entry, which both went 6-1.
Tie-breakers are set for 10 a.m. Thursday to determine the final two berths in the championship round. P.E.I. will carry its record forward and play the top four teams from Pool A – Manitoba (6-1), Northern Ontario (5-2), Canada (4-3) and the winner of the tie-breaker between New Brunswick (4-3) and Saskatchewan (4-3).
The Birt rink will play the winner of the New Brunswick-Saskatchewan game at 2:30 p.m. Atlantic and Manitoba at 8:30 p.m. The top four teams after the championship pool advance to the Page playoffs. The third- and fourth-place teams play Saturday afternoon with a berth in Sunday afternoon's semifinal on the line. The top two teams meet Saturday night with the winner advancing to Sunday night's final and the loser going to Sunday afternoon's semifinal.
Team P.E.I., which consists of Birt, vice-skip Marie Christianson, second Meaghan Hughes, lead Michelle McQuaid and coach Mitch O’Shea, defeated the Northwest Territories 8-7 in its final game of the preliminary round.
Northwest Territories opened the scoring with a deuce in the first, but P.E.I. scored a single in the second and stole two in the third and fourth ends to take a 5-2 lead. The teams traded singles the next two ends before the Northwest Territories scored two in the seventh to cut the deficit to 6-5.
The Island squad scored a single in the eighth, but the Northwest Territories tied it with two in the ninth.