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Friday, Sep. 21, 2018
Team McCarville still in the running at Roar of the Rings
by Randy Pascal

Playoff hopes are still alive for skip Krista McCarville and her rink, even if only by a matter of inches.

Delivering last stones for a crew that includes Sudbury native Kendra Lilly at vice and a Thunder Bay front end of Ashley Sippala and Sarah Potts, McCarville dodged a bullet at the 2017 Roar of the Rings, edging Alli Flaxey 8-7 in draw 14 Wednesday evening in Ottawa.

Team McCarville trailed the winless Flaxey rink 7-5 after eight ends, but picked up a deuce with the hammer in nine to make things interesting coming home. Thankfully for northern Ontario curling fans, last rock advantage would not materialize as Flaxey was mere inches heavy on her final stone, allowing McCarville and company to steal two for the win.

The NOCA reps now find themselves in fourth place with a record of 3-2, with the top three moving on to the playoff round. That trio currently features Chelsea Carey (5-0) of Calgary, Jennifer Jones (5-1) of Winnipeg, and Rachel Homan (5-1) of Ottawa.

The good news for the McCarville rink that has absolutely no wiggle room remaining is that they still hold their fate in their own hands. Their three remaining round robin games are versus Jones (Thursday at 2:00 p.m.), Carey (Friday at 9:00 a.m.) and Val Sweeting (Friday at 2:00 p.m.).

The Roar of the Rings champion will move on to represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Same story on the men's side, as Kevin Koe (6-0) from Calgary, Brad Gushue (4-2) from St John's (NFLD), and Mike McEwen (4-2) from Winnipeg are best positioned for a shot at the title, at the moment.

Olympic gold medal winners in 2014, the Sault Ste Marie quartet of Brad Jacobs, Ryan Fry, E.J. Harnden and Ryan Harnden still have an outside chance at 2-4, but will clearly need some help.

First, the team will need to run the table in their final two encounters, facing McEwen on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m., and closing off against John Epping (1-4) of Toronto Friday at 2:00 p.m.

The championship finals are set for this Sunday (December 10th), with the women taking to the ice at 2:00 p.m. and the men grabbing the spotlight at 7:00 p.m.

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