In a battle for first place, the Patti Knezevic rink came up a little short.
During Thursday play at the B.C. Scotties Tournament of Hearts women's provincial curling championship in Cloverdale, the Knezevic crew clashed with three-time defending champion Kelly Scott. Heading into the game, Knezevic and Scott were tied at the top of the standings with 5-1 records. Thanks to a 6-4 victory, Scott moved to 6-1 and Knezevic slipped to 5-2, which was still good for second place.
In the match, Scott put up deuces in the third and fifth ends and that proved to be the difference. Scott also scored single points in the first and 10th ends. Knezevic, meanwhile, managed only single points in the second, fourth, seventh and eighth ends. Her steal in the eighth pulled her into a 5-4 deficit but Scott successfully blanked the ninth and then got her insurance point in the final end.
Scott hails from Kelowna. During her career, she has won the provincial championship five times, including in 2005 and 2006. Scott also swept to national titles in 2006 and 2007 and capped the 2007 season with a world championship.
Scott was undefeated at this year's provincials until a 9-7 setback against Allison MacInnes of Abbotsford on Wednesday night.
Knezevic and her Prince George Golf and Curling Club rink of Kristen Fewster, Jen Rusnell and Rhonda Camozzi won easily on Wednesday night, 11-7 in nine ends against a Williams Lake team skipped by Simone Groundwater.
In Thursday's late game, Knezevic improved to 6-2 when she beat Simone Brosseau of Victoria 10-4 in seven ends. Knezevic scored three in the second and seventh ends and picked up a deuce in the fifth and sixth.
Today, Knezevic will face Vernon's Roberta Kuhn in her final round-robin game and will need a top-four overall finish to qualify for the Page playoffs. Tiebreakers will be held if necessary.
In the Page playoffs, the top two teams will go head-to-head, with the winner moving directly to Sunday's final (2 p.m.). Meanwhile, the winner of the game between third and fourth will play the loser of the first versus second game in a Saturday night semifinal.
The eventual champion will compete as Team B.C. at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Feb. 16-24 in Kingston, Ont.