Tracy Fleury has captured the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Fleury, third Selena Njegovan, second Liz Fyfe and lead Kristin MacCuish rallied from an early 5-1 deficit and defeated Kerri Einarson 13-7 in the provincial final Sunday at the Gimli Recreation Centre.
The East St. Paul foursome got a single point in the first end but then surrendered a five-ender in the second before rallying to tie the game at 6-6 at the fifth end break.
"It's not an ideal start but if you're going to give up a big end you want it early in the game so we knew we still had lots of time to fight back and we did that," said Fleury.
Fleury stole two in the sixth and never looked back.
"I know we got a five but it was early," said Einarson who had huge support from her hometown fans all week in Gimli. "I know we had to keep at it but we just struggled with draw weight a little bit."
Njegovan, Fyfe and MacCuish captured their first provincial title in 2016 in Beausejour with Einarson throwing the last two rocks.
That team broke up last spring after spending five years together.
Einarson picked up former skips Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard and Briane Meilleur while Njegovan, Fyfe and MacCuish recruited Fleury to handle their teams skipping duties.
"It's not really any different than any other team," said Njegovan when asked how it felt to beat their former skip. "I know we played together for a very long time but you have to put that stuff behind you and just focus on your new team. This is our team now. We're Team Tracy Fleury so we don't really focus on who we're playing ever anyways so this was another game - four players we were playing against."
Fleury represented Ontario at the 2012 Scotties and won the Northern Ontario women’s championship in 2015 & 2018.
Einarson bounced Darcy Robertson of Assiniboine Memorial 11-4 in the semifinal Sunday morning.
Robertson, who went undefeated in the round robin, lost back-to-back playoff games.
Fleury outscored Robertson 8-6 in the 1-2 page playoff game Saturday night.
Fleury, Njegovan, Fyfe and MacCuish will represent Manitoba at the Canadian Women’s Curling Championship in Sydney, Nova Scotia from February 16-24.
It will be Fleury’s fourth trip to the Scotties as she represented Ontario in 2012 and won the Northern Ontario women’s championship in 2015 & 2018.
Einarson will also be in Sydney as her team has already qualified for the wild card game at the Scotties.
CurlManitoba has announced that the 2020 Provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be held in Rivers.
photo courtesy CurlManitoba