Team Jane DiCarlo (Veronica Mayne, Sabrina Smith, Whitney Jenkins) needed an incredible angle runback in an extra end to book their ticket to their first Scotties championship.
By: Cameron Sallaj
Prince Edward Island will have some new faces representing the province at this year's national championship. Following the disbanding of the provinces dominant Suzanne Birt rink, this year's field was wide open for any rink to claim the title.
From the onset, it appeared Team DiCarlo, comprised of skip/third Jane DiCarlo, fourth Veronica Mayne, second Sabrina Smith and lead Whitney Jenkins from Crapaud would be the team to beat, winning their first three games to secure the A qualifier position. The team then lost two consecutive games in the B and C brackets, however, allowing Cornwall's Amanda Power to secure the other two playoff qualifiers.
By winning the B and C events, Team Power, with Sara Spafford, Emily Best, Shelly Bradley and Janique LeBlanc earned a direct bye to the final, along with a spot in the semifinal where they faced DiCarlo. The rink only needed one win in either game to secure the provincial title, while the team from Crapaud needed to defeat Power twice for the win.
In the semifinal Sunday morning, the game was tied at two all heading into the tenth with six blank ends being recorded throughout the game. With the hammer, Amanda Power needed a draw through a port facing two counters for the win. Her stone overcurled, however, wrecking on the guard and setting up a final matchup Sunday afternoon to determine the Island's representative at the Hearts.
The final saw a high scoring affair, with Team Power taking two in the third to jump ahead. Team DiCarlo stayed in it though, scoring one in the fourth before stealing three consecutive singles to climb ahead 6-4 after seven.
Despite a score of three by Power in the eighth, DiCarlo reclaimed the lead with two in the ninth to go back in front 8-7 heading to ten. There, they forced the Cornwall rink to just one point, tying the game at eight all and forcing overtime to determine the winner.
Facing one on her last, Amanda Power executed a perfect hit-and-roll to the button, completely buried behind the center guards. This left only an angle runback on a stone in the side twelve-foot for fourth rock thrower Veronica Mayne, which she made to perfection. This gave Team DiCarlo the point they needed to record a 9-8 victory and their ticket to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary in February.
Despite no previous Scotties appearances for any of the members, the DiCarlo rink are no strangers to the national stage. From 2013 to 2015, Mayne, DiCarlo and alternate Emily Best competed for the UPEI Panthers at the U Sport Curling University Championships, finishing fourth in 2014. Mayne, formerly Smith, also skipped the PEI junior women's team at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships from '13 to '15. The team also included second Sabrina Smith.
Entering the Scotties field seeded sixteenth out of eighteen teams, Team PEI will have work to do to advance to the knockout round. The team's Scotties debut comes on opening night where they will face fellow Scotties rookies Team Skylar Ackerman representing Saskatchewan.