Virtually every team has a terrible game at the Scotties and Team Saskatchewan had that game Tuesday evening. It was a surprise after their fine game Tuesday afternoon.
In the afternoon Saskatchewan, playing Quebec, once again controlled the game with its patient approach and taking advantage of opportunity. In the third end, with the game scoreless, Quebec, going for a steal, started with a centre line guard and stayed aggressive
as the end developed ignoring Saskatchewan rocks on the side to keep play in the centre. When Stephanie Lawton made a takeout through a narrow port and rolled Quebec was in trouble. After missing a double Robyn Silvernagle had an easy draw for three.
While Quebec stayed in the game Saskatchewan was giving them few chances to score.
Silvernagle made her key shot of the game in the seventh when, facing three Quebec counters, she calmly made an excellent draw to score.
The eighth end had set up nicely for Quebec until Lawton made her a triple takeout for her shot of the game. The front end swept the takeout hard. Jessie Hunkin said the shot was perfect and straight.
In the ninth, with Saskatchewan holding the hammer, Hunkin said they chose not to set up the corner guard as they were up and not trying to force the end. On her second shot she set up the end for a blank with a double takeout of Quebec guards. Modestly she said the Quebec rock had slide a bit and set up decent for the double.
In the 10th end Hunkin was on a roller coaster with her shots. On her first shot attempting a double she said she was a touch wide and made the field goal sliding between the Quebec rocks. With her second she followed her routine and made the double on the guards.
With her last rock, Silvernagle needed to draw the eight foot to seal the win. As the rock was coming down the skip was yelling and even jumped in to sweep as the rock neared the house. Hunkin said the front end knew it was there the whole way and made a little fun of Silvernagle for getting so excited.
Playing Manitoba in the evening Saskatchewan, especially Silvernagle, had a disastrous start to the game.
In the second end Silvernagle had a choice with her first rock between going for a double or a draw on the other side of the four foot. Lawton said they thought Silvernagle would probably need to draw with her second shot so they called for the draw. She was light, barely making the house.
After Kerri Einarson drew in Silvernagle had the choice now of going for a triple or making the same draw. Lawton said they went for the triple for two rather than trying to draw for the single. Silvernagle was a touch outside and slid between the Manitoba rocks to give up a steal of three.
In the fourth end Silvernagle completely missed a takeout on her first rock.
Facing four Manitoba counters with her second shot, she needed a good draw to attempt to reduce the damage. This time she was heavy and the rock did not curl as called and, in the house barely slipped by a Manitoba rock. Lawton said there was miscommunication during the shot. She said had she known the rock was heavy she would have called for the sweep to get the tick that would have let the rock roll covered. Einarson still might have knocked it out with a raise but it would have been more difficult than the draw she actually had to score five to go up 9-3.
Silvernagle’s team battled through to the ninth but there was never a comeback in sight.
Manitoba knew Saskatchewan’s pain. Undefeated going into the afternoon, they gave up a Scotties record seven- ender against New Brunswick to lose their first game.
Silvernagle said she analyzes a lot at night. Hopefully Tuesday night she spent more time thinking about the five good games she has played rather than the one bad game. She added they will go out Wednesday to have fun. With a pile of potential scenarios on who will advance a win in their final game against Northern Ontario would guarantee they move ahead.
Bill Selnes, who’s based in Melfort, has written about sports since the late 1970s.