Chelsea Carey shoots a stone during the third draw of the Princess Auto Elite 10 Thursday in Chatham-Kent, Ont. (Anil Mungal)

Carey cruises past Fleury in Draw 3 at Elite 10

September 27, 2018, 2:50 PM

CHATHAM-KENT, Ont. — Edmonton’s Team Chelsea Carey flipped the script to score a victory during the third draw of round-robin action Thursday at the Princess Auto Elite 10.

Carey, who was shutout by Team Jennifer Jones in Wednesday’s opener, was on the right side of the inch this time with a decisive 4 & 3 win (4-0 in five ends) over Winnipeg’s Team Tracy Fleury in the first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event of the season at Thames Campus Arena.

Match play rules are in effect where teams compete to win the most ends per game. Points are scored by either counting two or more rocks (with the hammer) or stealing at least one rock (without the hammer). The Princess Auto Elite 10 features three additional unique rules: Stopwatches are banned, tick shots cannot be performed on guards sitting on the centre line until the sixth rock of play, and teams have four minutes of thinking time per end.

Carey credited match play for the all-or-nothing results on the scoreboard.

“This format is kind of like that because you’re all in for twos and stuff,” skip Chelsea Carey said. “If it doesn’t go your way it’s real bad and that’s what happened to us yesterday. That’s kind of what happened to them today and we were on the other end of it. We needed a bounced back and we got it, so that was good.”

Fleury opened with the hammer but struggled to find the scoreboard. Although it wasn’t how Carey drew it up, Plan B worked just as well with her last raised stone redirecting off another one of her guards and into the house to eliminate the counter where it held for a steal as Fleury came up short with her final throw.

The door was open for Fleury to make it all square in the second but she was unable to pull off a raise to score and instead gave up another steal to fall behind by two.

Carey (1-0-0-1, 3 points) swiped another by an inch in the third as Fleury’s woes continued. She was looking to hit and roll to nudge her other stone closer but breezed by untouched.

A push in the fourth finally gave Carey the hammer in the fifth and she delivered the dagger putting the match on ice sitting shot rock and drawing another into the mix with her last to win the end and the game.

“We had a couple picks,” Carey said. “It was just a little tracky. If you got inside a spot, it would really curl and if you got outside it, it would really hang. It took us a bit to figure out where the spots were. It wasn’t too bad but it definitely took a bit of figuring for a while there.”

It was also the first win in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling for the new-look Team Carey squad featuring third Sarah Wilkes, second Dana Ferguson and spare lead Heather Rogers filling in for Rachel Brown, who is expecting a baby. Wilkes previously played with Team Shannon Kleibrink while Ferguson and Brown won three Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles as the front-end duo for Val Sweeting.

“Dana and I have played quite a few Slams, Sarah has played a few but it was Heather’s first TV game and she played great,” said Carey, who captured the Meridian Canadian Open last season. “I know she was a little bit nervous but it’s exciting to get a win, especially after a tough loss yesterday.”

Fleury, from Sudbury, Ont., is also sporting a new lineup this year joining Kerri Einarson’s former teammates Selena Njegovan, Liz Fyfe and Kristin MacCuish. Team Fleury (0-0-1-1, 1 point) played back-to-back draws falling to Team Laura Walker in a shootout during Draw 2.

Princess Auto Elite 10: Scores & Standings | Draw Schedule | TV Schedule

Meanwhile, Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan topped Jamie Sinclair’s American team 2-up. Although it’s the first-ever women’s division at the Princess Auto Elite 10, Homan (1-0-0-0, 3 points) competed against the men in the 2016 edition. Sinclair slid to a 0-0-0-2 record (0 points).

Jones, of Winnipeg, improved to a 2-0-0-0 record (6 points) with a 3 & 1 win over Team Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland (0-0-0-1, 0 points).

In men’s play, Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe crushed Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 3 & 2 and Team Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., earned a 1-up victory over Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L. It was Koe’s first game (1-0-0-0, 3 points), Jacobs dropped to two regulation losses (0-0-0-2, 0 points) while Gushue and Howard are both even (1-0-0-1, 3 points).

Teams earn three points for a regulation win, two points for a shootout win and one point for a shootout loss. The top six teams overall, regardless of pools, qualify for the weekend playoffs.

Round-robin action continues at 4 p.m. ET with broacast coverage on Sportsnet and online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and (international).

NOTES: Winners of the Princess Auto Elite 10 earn $24,000 of the $200,000 prize purse plus berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup taking place April 23-28 in Saskatoon. … Points are also on the line for the Pinty’s Cup, which is awarded to the season champions in the series with a $75,000 bonus for the winners.