An Oil Slick

Scotties comeback win; local NCHL team news

SCOTTIES

In a game that shouldn't have even been close, Alberta's Chelsea Carey somehow pulled the proverbial "rabbit out of the hat" trick and overcame a 5-1 deficit to score the largest comeback win in finals history by defeating Ontario's Rachel Homan to win the Scot Tournament of Hearts. This is her second national title, having won in 2016, and they're now off to the Ford Worlds in Denmark in two weeks.

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Carey was in trouble through most the match but some questionable strategy and shots on Homan's part, especially late in the game, proved to be her downfall. She "pulled the string" on a couple of critical last rock draws that unfortunately resulted in steals and if you can't close, you can't win. In one sense, Homan and her second Joanne Courtney are both winners in a different way as they are both pregnant with their first child. 

TIM HORTON'S BRIER

The "Timmies" begin in earnest tomorrow in Brandon with a star-studded cast that includes defending champion Brad Gushue (NL) looking for a threepeat, Kevin Koe (AB), Brad Jacobs (NO), Scott Donald (ON), and our own Mike McEwen. The wildcard will be either John Epping or Brendan Bottcher and will be seeded fourth. I'll take Gushue over Koe in the final.

This is the third time Brandon has hosted this prestigious event, the last time being in 1982.

Trivia #1) where are the Men's Ford Worlds being played?

Trivia #2) what city is hosting the 2020 Brier? 

NHL 

This season's NHL trade deadline has come and gone and the big winners, most people think, are the Vegas Golden Knights who locked up the consensus number one player available, F Mark Stone. It doesn't hurt that the former Wheat King captain has been reunited with assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon, his coach and GM in Brandon, and then promptly signs an eight-year extension worth $78 million. Not a bad move at all. 

In total there were 24 trades involving 39 players and although the Winnipeg Jets didn't land the big fish, they did make six trades including acquiring rugged F Kevin Hayes from the Rangers and bringing back versatile Matt Hendricks from the Wild. It sure looks like the Western Conference teams have loaded up big time in anticipation of the upcoming playoffs and the undeniable attrition that is sure to follow. As they say, preparation is paramount while luck is the "residue of design". 

MJHL

The league's regular season is over this weekend and it looks like the Oil Caps and the Selkirk Steelers will be fighting it out for fourth place and home advantage, with the Steelers currently holding a slight edge. No matter how it shakes out, they'll face each other in round one and I really don't think home cooking will make that much of a difference. The team that plays the best and makes the fewest errors always comes out on top. 

NCHL 

The Oil Kings and the Miniota/Elkhorn C-Hawks are locked in a tough semi-final battle with game four set for tonight at TOGP. Down two games to one, the Oil Kings will need to play their best to stave off elimination to force a game five. The winner of this best of five series takes on the winner of the Russell-Swan Valley series with the Rams holding a two zip lead. 

Of greater concern to the league may be the distinct possibility of losing two teams for next season. Foxwarren didn't even finish their playoff series with Elkhorn this year and won't be back, and there's a good chance that the Rivers Jets will fold.

Trivia answers, #1) this year's Worlds are being held in Lethbridge, AB. #2) next year's Brier will be in Kingston, ON.

© Virden Empire-Advance

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