Updated at 3:40 p.m. MST with comments from Sadie Pinksen.
Last year, Nunavut created a splash by winning their first main draw game at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts over Quebec.
They’ve won again this year but this result is much bigger.
The foursome of Lori Eddy, Sadie Pinksen, Alison Griffin and Kaitlin MacDonald out of the Iqaluit Curling Club took down Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville by a score of 6-5 on Tuesday morning in the biggest upset so far at the Canadian women’s curling championship.
The ladies literally stole the win from under McCarville’s nose, scoring their last three points without last rock advantage, the hammer as it’s known in curling parlance.
Pinksen spoke with Nunavut News following the win and said the win this year was huge.
“Beating Quebec last year was huge but this one was even bigger,” she said. “(Northern Ontario is) such a high-ranked team and we’re just incredibly proud. It was a special win and I don’t think it really set in until a few minutes after.”
Patience was the key as the ladies were down, 5-1, at the fifth-end break but they began the comeback by scoring a deuce in the sixth end with the hammer to cut the deficit to 5-3. After a blank in the seventh, Nunavut stole a single in the eighth to make it 5-4 after one of McCarville’s picked (lost the handle of the rock). Another steal followed in the ninth end to tie the game at 5-5 to set up the drama of the 10th and final end.
“We just encouraged each other during the break,” said Pinksen. “We just wanted to park the steal out of our minds and do the best we could in the sixth end. We felt good and we were just patient. We waited for our chances and they came. You never like to see a picked rock happen to anyone but it was a break for us.”
Eddy, who’s skipping the team as an import player from Ontario, buried her final rock and McCarville’s final rock was too heavy, giving Nunavut another steal and the win. McCarville also missed a take-out attempt with her first rock of the final end, which gave Eddy the chance to bury her final stone.
Eddy spoke in the media scrum following the game and was in disbelief.
“When I missed that draw to give up the steal (in the fifth end) I thought ‘we are sunk in the water’,” she said. “But we rallied, regrouped, kept plugging away and next thing, a couple of steals.”
As soon as McCarville nosed her first rock, Eddy said she had draw on her mind all the way.
“I played the same shot in eight so I was pretty confident about the weight,” she said. “I was super proud of the girls. Honestly, our game was to be competitive and make the other teams deserve their win against us, so this is a huge bonus.”
One thing Pinksen noted was how the scorelines look much different than in past years. There haven’t been any blowout losses to speak of as of Tuesday and Pinksen figured it’s all down to a better focus.
“We’ve had good games all week long so far and the other teams know that we’re going to give them a good game,” she said. “It’s getting easier to be focused because you know you’ve done what you have to in order to be ready.”
Nunavut has two more games remaining in pool play and they happen tomorrow against Team Canada, the defending champions, and Quebec. See the next edition of Nunavut News for the outcome of those two games.