Only one thing is absolutely clear going into this afternoon’s final round-robin draw of the 25th-annual Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts here.
Janet McGhee will finish in first place outright at 8-1 if she beats Krista Scharf (Fort William Curling Club).
If she loses to Scharf, however, that’s when things could get a little complicated.
Scharf has a shot of finishing in first place if she can beat Janet McGhee while defending champ Jenn Hanna loses to former world champ Marilyn Bodogh.
While both rinks would be tied at 7-2, Scharf would get the nod by virtue of having beaten McGhee in their round-robin match.
But if Scharf beats McGhee, and Hanna takes out Bodogh, that would create a three-way tie for first at 7-2.
About the only other sure thing is that if Bodogh wins this afternoon, the top four playoff teams would be determined—Bodogh, Hanna, Scharf, and McGhee.
As such, Jo-Anne Rizzo (Brant Curling Club) and Chrissy Cadorin (Guelph Curling Club) both are hoping that Bodogh loses while they win their respective games this afternoon.
Rizzo is meeting Natalie Beauchamp (Coniston Curling Club) while Cadorin is squaring off against Nancy Wickham (Sudbury Curling Club).
If that scenario plays out, there would be a three-way tie for fourth place at 5-4—necessitating some tie-breakers to determine the final playoff berth.
McGhee (Uxbridge and District Curling Club) suffered her first loss of the tournament this morning—an 8-7 setback against Chrissy Cadorin (Guelph Curling Club).
“We didn’t come into this expecting to win every time,” said McGhee. “We know their will be bumps in the road.
“We just have to keep doing what we’re doing and make shots,” she added.
Scharf improved to 6-2 with an 8-4 win over Rizzo this morning while Hanna (Ottawa Curling Club) kept pace with a 7-4 over Marlo Dahl (Fort William Curling Club), who remained the lone winless team through eight draws.
Bodogh, meanwhile, stayed in the playoff hunt this morning with an 11-5 win over Wickham—scoring a five-ender in the ninth end to turn a close match into a blowout.
Cadorin kept her slim hopes alive with her win over McGhee. Rizzo (4-4), on the other hand, now needs help to make the playoffs after her loss to Scharf this morning.
In a game having no impact on the playoff chase, Kathy Brown (Sutton Curling Club) knocked off Beauchamp 10-2 this morning.
In last night’s seventh draw, Rizzo beat Hanna 8-5, Bodogh dumped Cadorin 9-1, Beauchamp routed Dahl 10-1 in five ends, Scharf downed Wickham 10-4 thanks to a five-ender in the eighth, and McGhee downed Brown 7-4.
In yesterday afternoon’s draw, Cadorin topped Dahl 9-7 in an extra end, McGhee beat Wickham 8-5, Brown downed Rizzo 7-3, Hanna dumped Beauchamp 9-4, and Scharf hammered Bodogh 13-5.
Tie-breakers, if necessary, would go tomorrow, followed by the #3 vs. #4 game at either 1:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. and the #1 vs. #2 at 7:30 p.m.
The semi-final goes at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the final set for 7:30 that evening.
The winner advances to the Scott Tournament of Hearts on Feb. 25-March 5 in London, Ont.