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Manitoba’s Jones, Nova Scotia’s Black reach final four at Scotties with playoff victories



Christina Black’s opportunistic Nova Scotia curling team stole its way into the final four at the Canadian women’s curling championship Friday.

Black won back-to-back playoff games by stealing a point in an extra end.

Her Dartmouth Curling Club foursome eliminated three-time champion Rachel Homan of Ontario with a 7-6 victory.

Nova Scotia joined defending champion Kerri Einarson, Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones and Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville among teams still in contention at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kamloops, B.C.


Black stole a point in the 11th end to beat Kaitlyn Lawes’ wild-card team 7-6 in the morning tiebreaker.

Black’s larceny also got her to that tiebreaker as Nova Scotia stole one in the 10th end the previous evening to get by Quebec 7-6.

“That’s our third straight steal to win a game in must-win games,” Black said. “We’re a team that never gives up. We know we’ve won lots of different ways. Just have to stay in it until the end, give ourselves a chance and make her throw her last rock.

“I feel there’s a little bit of curling gods on our side helping us out.”

The skip’s drawing ability has forced her opposing counterparts into low percentage shots on their final throws.

Black’s freeze to an Ontario stone just below the pin with another Nova Scotia counter higher in the rings had Homan throwing a double takeout for the win.

Homan’s attempt jammed and left Nova Scotia as shot stone.

“We had a double and missed it,” the Ontario skip said. “We didn’t think it would fall that much there.”

Six-time Canadian champion Jones ousted the host province with an 8-3 win over B.C.’s Clancy Grandy, who shook hands after nine ends.

“It’s a pretty crazy format, so I’m pretty happy to be in the final four,” Jones said.

Curling Canada has tinkered with the national championship format in recent years.

Jones didn’t compete in last year’s Hearts in Thunder Bay, Ont., because she represented Canada in Beijing’s Olympic Games.

While Black brings new blood to the upper level of Canadian women’s curling, so has Jones with her four new teammates this season all under the age of 25 reaching the final four for the first time.

Jones employed a five-player rotation this season to play more games than any other women’s foursome at 88.

“We’ve worked hard,” the 46-year-old skip said. “It’s really nice to have the opportunity to play on the weekend. That’s what you come here for. When you win that game … it really is the craziest game I think I’ve ever played in.”

Black and Jones ensured they will play in Saturday’s Page playoff with their victories.

Jones was to face Einarson and Black was to continue her day’s curling marathon against McCarville on Friday evening to determine Page seedings.

“Before that game, I said ‘maybe we’ll get to play 33 ends today’ and we’re on track,” Black said.

In the Page playoff, the top two seeds meet Saturday evening with the victor earning an express ticket to Sunday’s final.

The loser drops to Sunday’s semifinal to face the winner of the three-four game Saturday afternoon.

Black went 5-3 and lost out in the round-of-six playoffs to McCarville in her debut skipping Nova Scotia in Thunder Bay.

She’d apprenticed under Marianne Arsenault, who was a five-time champion front-end player with Colleen Jones, and reached the Hearts semifinal playing third for Arsenault in 2018.

“I had three Scotties appearances with Marianne,” Black said. “If you’re going to learn the game from someone, like a five-time champion, she’s amazing.

“I always imagined myself skipping in the Scotties. Once she left (Nova Scotia), it was time for me to step up and skip.”

The expressive Black doesn’t hide her emotions on the ice.

“Yeah, I don’t have a good poker face,” the 35-year-old said.

Grandy defeated Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges 8-3 in Friday’s tiebreaker before falling to Jones.

“Definitely some disappointment because we know we were capable of a bit more during that game,” Grandy said. “This is our first year together as a team and our first Scotties.

“Getting the chance to be the home team here and have that extra little bit of pressure I think was a really good thing for our team moving forward.”

The Hearts winner represents Canada at the world championship March 18-26 in Sandviken, Sweden, and returns to the 2024 national championship in Calgary as the defending champion.

The victor also earns $108,000 from a total prize purse of $300,000 and is eligible for Sport Canada “carding”‘ money as part of Curling Canada’s national-team program.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2023.


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Maple Leafs @ Islanders 3/21 | NHL Highlights 2023 – NHL



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Japan's Shohei Ohtani named WBC MVP after historic performance at plate, on mound –



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Need to Know: Bruins vs. Senators



BOSTON – The Bruins will be back on home ice on Tuesday night as they return from a lengthy five-game road trip to host the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Boston has bounced back to win three straight after a brief lull in its record-breaking season produced a stretch of three losses in four games.

“Hold ourselves accountable,” Matt Grzelcyk said of how the Bruins have rebounded quickly from the downturn. “And I feel like that Winnipeg game, we got a huge goal second shift, I think that just kind of starts getting things going the right way – and having that more attacking mentality offensively, defensively, taking time and space away from them. And I think it was a good transition and that’s when we could kind of overwhelm teams.”


Here’s everything else you need to know ahead of the 7 p.m. ET puck drop on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub:


On the Injury Front

Derek Forbort did not take part in the morning skate and is unlikely to play again before the postseason, per coach Jim Montgomery. The blue liner suffered a lower-body injury after blocking a shot on March 16 in Winnipeg.

“We do not expect him back before the end of the regular season,” said Montgomery, who added that Forbort does not require surgery.

Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno, both of whom have been out for nearly a month with lower-body injuries of their own, have resumed skating. Foligno took the ice on his own ahead of Tuesday’s morning skate, while Hall joined his teammates donning a maroon non-contact jersey.

“They’re checking boxes and are progressing well, but there’s no timeline for them yet,” said Montgomery. “I still think they are a ways away. It’s not at the point where I’m starting to think about lines and stuff.”

When they do return, however, Montgomery is eager to have plenty of options up front.

“I don’t think it’s a problem. It’s a great situation,” he said. “You’ll get to see when they get back who plays with who, and a deep lineup is going to get even deeper. So, it’s a great problem to have.”

After sitting out Sunday’s game in Buffalo, David Krejci (soreness) and Dmitry Orlov (defense rotation) will be back in the lineup. A.J. Greer and Jakub Zboril will be the healthy scratches.

Opposing View

The Senators, on the second end of a back-to-back, snapped a five-game losing streak on Monday night with a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh. The recent downturn has pushed Ottawa (34-31-5, 73 points) six points behind Florida for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

After winning the first two games against the Bruins this season – both on home ice – the Senators fell to Boston, 3-1, on Feb. 20 at TD Garden.

“I think they won [on Monday night], so they’re probably feeling pretty good about themselves,” said Grzelcyk. “Every game probably feels pretty close to a playoff game and they haven’t been there in a few years. They’ve got a lot to prove and they’ve got a lot of young talent…a good power play.

“We’ve got to stay disciplined, something we’ve lacked in a little bit recently. I’ve got to be mindful of that and I don’t want to give them any easy opportunities. And they played last night, so get on them early and make them work for it.”

Ottawa is paced by Tim Stutzle, who leads the club with 35 goals and 78 points in 66 games. Brady Tkachuk (30-42-72) has also hit the 30-goal, 70-point plateau, while Claude Giroux (28-30-68), Alex DeBrincat (21-35-56), and Drake Batherson (21-34-55) have reached the 20-goal mark.


Tuesday’s Projected Lineup


Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronJake DeBrusk

Pavel Zacha – David Krejci – David Pastrnak

Tyler BertuzziCharlie CoyleTrent Frederic

Jakub LaukoTomas NosekGarnet Hathaway


Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy

Hampus LindholmBrandon Carlo

Dmitry Orlov – Connor Clifton


Linus Ullmark/Jeremy Swayman


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