OKOTOKS – The first draw of the 2020 Sentinel Storage Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts saw the first major upset of the tournament on Wednesday afternoon at the Murray Arena in Okotoks.
Coming into the the tournament as the bottom seed out of eight clubs, skip Krysta Hilker led her rink past the Alberta powerhouse of Team Casey Scheidegger in a dominating 12-5 performance.
“We played pretty solid and the ice was awesome,” said Hilker after the opening draw. “We wanted to stay close with them and not give then any more than two points in an end. We knew if we did that that we could take the match to them and we were able to have a couple chances for four.”
After a cautious start in the opening draw, the Hilker rink out of St. Albert, drastically shifted momentum of the match in the sixth end scoring four and taking its first lead of the tournament.
“That sixth end was a game changer,” said Hilker with a smile.
“We capitalized on a couple of their misses, my teammates set some good rocks and I had a wide open draw for four. You can’t really ask for any more than that when going for multiple points.”
New mother and two-time Alberta Scotties champion, Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, opened the scoring in the second end picking up a par of points.
Hilker drew even after scoring a single point in the following two ends, before Scheidegger took a 3-2 lead halfway through the match.
After Hilker’s four-point sixth end, Scheidegger pulled to within one in the seventh, but the St. Albert rink turned on the afterburners scoring two in the eighth and four more in the ninth, forcing the Scheidegger rink to concede before the final end.
The 12-5 scoreline was the largest margin in the opening draw, propelling Hilker to the top of the standings.
“This win definitely gives us a lot of confidence heading into the next game. We just have to keep on doing what we’ve been doing this season and we know we’ll have close games in the rest of the tournament.”
In other action around the rink, number two-seeded Team Kelsey Rocque from Lethbridge defeated Marla Sherrer 7-5. The Lethbridge club scored a pair of points in the ninth end to break the the deadlock.
The number-three seed, Kayla Skrlik dominated her opening draw of the provincial championships. The Calgary rink, curling out of the Glencoe Club, opened up a commanding 7-0 lead after only five ends of play against Jodi Vaughan.
Team Vaughan attempted to mount a comeback, but could not overcome the large deficit, losing 9-3 to Skrlik.
An extra end was needed to decide the match between Laura Walker and Nicky Kaufman. A four-point eight end for the fourth seeded Walker rink turned a three point deficit into a 9-8 lead heading into the ninth end.
The Edmonton rink picked up an extra point the following end for a two point-cushion heading into the 10th end.With the advantage of holding the hammer, the Kaufman rink scored a pair in the 10th to force an extra end. In the end Walker rink took the victory 12-10.
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