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Sharpe could laugh about 'brain-dead moment' after getting first win at Scotties

SYDNEY, N.S. — Some surprising results and a couple eyebrow-raising moments made for an interesting opening weekend at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

SYDNEY, N.S. — Some surprising results and a couple eyebrow-raising moments made for an interesting opening weekend at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Second-ranked Kerri Einarson shot just 56 per cent in a wild-card game loss to open the competition at Centre 200. Fifth-ranked Manitoba skip Tracy Fleury dropped her first two games and curling minnow Nunavut recorded its first-ever main draw victory.

Newfoundland and Labrador's Kelli Sharpe got people talking Sunday afternoon with a shot she'd like to have back. She stunningly didn't realize she had an open hit for six points in the fourth end of her game against Yukon's Nicole Baldwin.

Sharpe decided to draw for four instead and missed to settle for three. She could smile about it after completing a 12-4 victory.

"The hit for six was just a brain-dead moment," she said with a laugh.

Sharpe, a resident of Torbay, N.L., scored four in the seventh end and tacked on three more points in the eighth to improve to 1-1. Teammates Stephanie Guzzwell, Beth Hamilton and Carrie Vautour didn't notice the opportunity in the fourth end either.

"Everybody on the ice, all four of us, missed it," Sharpe said. "Our coach didn't (see it). I said (after) to my coach, 'Jump up and down, do something.'

"But yeah, we just took a little time to breathe (after). I mean you're so into it out there. It was just a brain-dead moment, that's all I can say. We'll just pay a little bit more attention next time."

Sharpe is making her seventh career appearance at the Scotties and first since 2007. She realized the missed opportunity once she returned to the rings area after her throw.

"This was a new experience for me," she said. "I honestly usually see everything and that was just stupid. But you know what, laugh it off, move on and that's all we can do."

Earlier, Fleury fell into an 0-2 hole after dropping a 7-5 decision to British Columbia's Sarah Wark. Needing a deuce to tie, Fleury's first stone went through the house in the 10th end and the teams shook hands.

"We're just a little bit off our game right now," Fleury said. "But (we're) optimistic we're going to find our groove and bounce back."

Fleury had the weakest shooting percentage of the eight players at 71 per cent. Wark, a Scotties rookie, was at 84 per cent.

"We were really on the ball today," Wark said. "I think we were putting our rocks in good places. We had a good idea of draw weight, which really helps.

"We were able to put the shots together when we needed to."

In early games, Ontario's Rachel Homan defeated Nunavut's Jenine Bodner 12-4 and Alberta's Chelsea Carey edged Nova Scotia's Jill Brothers 6-5. Northern Ontario's Krista McCarville needed eight ends to complete an 8-2 rout of Quebec's Gabrielle Lavoie.

In afternoon play, Canada's Jennifer Jones scored three in the ninth end for a 7-4 win over Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories. Team Wild Card's Casey Scheidegger beat Prince Edward Island's Suzanne Birt 7-2 and Saskatchewan's Robyn Silvernagle topped New Brunswick's Andrea Crawford 6-4.

Wark dumped Nunavut 10-1 in the evening for her third straight win. Homan topped Brothers 6-3 and Carey shaded McCarville 7-6. Ontario, Alberta and B.C. led Pool A at 3-0.

Fleury skipped Northern Ontario to an 0-2 start at last year's Scotties before bouncing back with five straight wins.

"Been there, done that," she said. "So we're hoping to do that again."

She got started in the late draw with a 7-3 victory over Quebec.

Team Wild Card and Team Canada shared top spot in Pool B at 2-0. The top four teams in each preliminary round pool will advance to the championship round starting Thursday.

Three draws were scheduled for Monday. Play continues through Feb. 24.


Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.


Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press