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Krista McCarville starts Olympic pre-trials with win after more than a year off

LIVERPOOL, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA — Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay, Ont., scored back-to-back deuces in the fifth and sixth ends in a 7-5 win over Jestyn Murphy of Mississauga, Ont., on Monday in the first draw of Canada's Olympic curling pre-trials.

McCarville, backed by vice-skip Kendra Lilly, second Ashley Sippala, lead Sarah Potts and coach Rick Lang, were pleased to start the tournament with a win after being mostly idle since Feb. 22, 2020.

“I guess it was the Scotties (losing the Page 3-4 playoff to Ontario’s Team Rachel Homan)? A year and a half ago? Almost two years ago?” said McCarville, a past silver- and bronze-medallist at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. “We were in a bonspiel around a month ago, but it’s not the same intensity as playing in the pre-trials or the Scotties.

"I missed it so much. It’s why I’m back playing."

As the reigning Northern Ontario champs, McCarville's rink could have played in the 2021 Scotties in the bubble in Calgary, but the team made the choice to stay at home, citing the travel and quarantine restrictions brought about by COVID-19.

“It’s a different feeling being out here. The bonspiels, you want to do well, but there’s not as much pressure; the nerves aren’t the same when you’re in a bonspiel," said McCarville. "To be out there, with the lights, the stands, the atmosphere of being in an arena, it’s always super exciting to play in. This is why we curl.”

In other first-round women’s games on Monday night, Corryn Brown (1-0) of Kamloops, B.C., stole two in the fifth end and three more in the sixth in a 9-4 triumph over Winnipeg's Beth Peterson (0-1).

Mackenzie Zacharias (1-0) of Altona, Man., cracked a three in the 10th end for an 8-7 win over Suzanne Birt (0-1) of Montague/Cornwall, P.E.I. Sherry Anderson (1-0) of Martensville, Sask., shaded Hollie Duncan (0-1) of Woodstock, Ont., 7-6.

In Draw 2, Danielle Inglis (1-0) had deuces in the seventh and eighth ends to lead her Mississauga, Ont., team past Winnipeg's Darcy Robertson (0-1) 9-3.

Jacqueline Harrison (1-0) of Dundas, Ont., earned a 7-3 win over Penny Barker (0-1) of Moose Jaw, Sask.

In men's action, Jason Gunnlaugson (1-0) of Morris, Man., topped Pat Simmons (0-1) of Winnipeg Beach Man., 7-4.

Tanner Horgan (1-0) of Kingston, Ont., led his rink past Calgary's Jeremy Harty (0-1) for a 7-2 win.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press