VICTORIA, February 21, 2009... B.C.'s Marla Mallett kicked off the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian women's curling championship in dramatic style Saturday afternoon at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.
Mallett, backed up by third Grace MacInnes, second Diane Gushulak and lead Jacalyn Brown, came back from a 7-3 deficit after seven ends to beat Saskatchewan's Stefanie Lawton 8-7 in Draw 1 action.
Mallett, playing out of the Vancouver Curling Club, started the comeback with two in the eighth, stole one in the ninth, and then watched Lawton come up wide and heavy with her outturn draw to backing in the four-foot to steal the winning deuce.
In other first-draw action, P.E.I.'s Rebecca Jean MacPhee forced extra ends with a 10th-end deuce, then stole the winning point in the 11th to beat Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories/Yukon 8-7.
Ontario's Krista McCarville put three on the board in the 10th end to knock off Newfoundland/Labrador's Heather Strong.
And in the other Draw 1 game, Quebec's Marie-France Larouche scored a 7-5 triumph over Andrea Kelly of New Brunswick.
Defending champ Jennifer Jones and Team Canada, Alberta's Cheryl Bernard, Manitoba's Barb Spencer and Nova Scotia's Nancy McConnery all had byes in Draw 1. They'll be in action when play at the Scotties resumes Saturday night with a 10 p.m. (all times Eastern) draw, to be televised by TSN.
On Sunday, draws are scheduled for 11:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., all live on TSN.
(Courtesy Canadian Curling Association)