(MOOSE JAW, SK) – Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw saw the first full day of pool play at the 2020 Tournament of Hearts today. After the first draw four teams have jumped into an early 1-0 record atop their respective pools. Northern Ontario and host Saskatchewan lead the way in Pool A while British Columbia and Nova Scotia kicked off Pool B in a winning way.

Ashley Sippala (L) and Jen Gates of Team Northern Ontario guide the rock down rink during Draw 1 play at the 2020 Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, SK, on 15 February. Along with Kendra Lilly and skip Krista McCarville, Northern Ontario defeated Team Canada 8-3 in nine ends. (Photo by Rob Gandhu)
Ashley Sippala (L) and Jen Gates of Team Northern Ontario guide the rock down rink during Draw 1 play at the 2020 Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, SK, on 15 February. Along with Kendra Lilly and skip Krista McCarville, Northern Ontario defeated Team Canada 8-3 in nine ends. (Photo by Rob Gandhu)

Skip Krista McCarville and her Northern Ontario foursome of lead Jennifer Gates, second Ashley Sippala, and third Kendra Lilly enjoyed a 3-1 4th end lead over Chelsea Carey and Team Canada. A 10th end wasn’t needed as Carey capitulated trailing 8-3 at the end of nine.

Saskatchewan’s Robyn Silvernagle also needed just nine ends to dispose of their Maritime opponents from New Brunswick. Andrea Crawford’s east coast squad wasted an outstanding performance from lead Katie Forward by dropping a 6-4 result when the Prairie province broke a 4-4 deadlock in the ninth.

Saskatchewan skip Robin Silvernagle led her team to a nine-end, 6-4 victory over Team New Brunswick during pool play at the 2020 Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, SK. (Photo by Rob Gandhu)
Saskatchewan skip Robin Silvernagle led her team to a nine-end, 6-4 victory over Team New Brunswick during pool play at the 2020 Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, SK. (Photo by Rob Gandhu)

Corryn Brown skipped BC to a 2-0 1st end lead and added two more in the ninth to cap a 7-5 win over Prince Edward Island. Needing three to tie, Suzanne Birt could recover just one in the 10th to drop the first draw.

Meanwhile Nova Scotia’s Mary-Anne Arsenault was the only right coast team to escape the first draw with a victory. She dispatched Jo-Ann Rizzo and Team Northwest Territories 8-6 despite the northerners scoring four over the last three ends.

Canada's Sarah Wilkes (L) and Chelsea Carey watch the play at the 2020 Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, SK, on 15 February. Canada dropped an 8-3 result to Northern Ontario in the first draw. (Photo by Rob Gandhu)
Canada’s Sarah Wilkes (L) and Chelsea Carey watch the play at the 2020 Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, SK, on 15 February. Canada dropped an 8-3 result to Northern Ontario in the first draw. (Photo by Rob Gandhu)

Today’s second draw will pit the wild card team of Jennifer Jones against Rachel Homan’s Team Ontario and Team Newfoundland’s Erica Curtis will meet Hailey Birnie of the Yukon in Pool B play. In Pool A, Quebec’s Noémie Verreault and Manitoba’s Kerri Einarson will lead their respective teams in battle while Lori Eddy and Nunavut will face off against Alberta and Laura Walker.

Lead Jen Gates of Northern Ontario targets her rock down range at the 2020 Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, SK. (Photo by Rob Gandhu)
Lead Jen Gates of Northern Ontario targets her rock down range at the 2020 Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, SK. (Photo by Rob Gandhu)

The Tournament of Hearts continues with pool competition leading to the playoffs and finally a Canadian champion being crowned February 23. The winner will represent Canada at the 2020 World Women’s Curling Championship next month in Prince George, BC, as well as gaining a seat at the Olympic qualifying table for the 2021 Roar of the Rings in Saskatoon.