McGhee rink on fire at Scott

It’s been four years since Janet McGhee’s last appearance at the Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts, but the drought certainly hasn’t affected her performance here.
McGhee, representing the Uxbridge and District Curling Club, improved to 5-0 after a narrow 7-6 win over Natalie Beauchamp (Coniston Curling Club) in last night’s draw.
It wasn’t easy. Trailing 6-5 heading into the 10th and final end, McGhee scored the deuce with the hammer to pull out the victory and remain unbeaten heading into her draw this afternoon against Nancy Wickham (Sudbury Curling Club).
“It’s nice to be doing so well early in the week,” said second Lee Merklinger. “We’re not tired. We’re a young team and I think that is reflected in our curling.”
McGhee had opened with a 6-5 win over former world champ Marilyn Bodogh (St. Catharine’s Curling Club) on Monday afternoon, then beat Jo-Ann Rizzo (Brant Curling Club) 9-8 that evening.
And her rink was perfect in their three draws yesterday, which also included a 6-5 win over defending champ Jenn Hanna (Ottawa Curling Club) and a 10-8 slugfest in an extra end against Marlo Dahl (Fort William Curling Club).
Hanna, meanwhile, sits alone in second place at 4-1 heading into this afternoon’s draw versus Beauchamp.
She won both her draws Monday—beating Kathy Brown (Sutton Curling Club) by an 11-6 score before edging Krista Scharf (Fort William Curling Club) 7-6 that night.
Then came the loss to McGhee on Tuesday morning.
“The loss this morning was a bit disappointing,” Hanna admitted after dumping Wickham 11-3 in just eight ends yesterday afternoon. “But we didn’t come here expecting to go undefeated.
“We’re not in a bad spot, and we’re going to go out there and do out best,” she vowed.
After a horrendous start, Bodogh caught fire yesterday to put herself back in contention for a playoff berth.
Sitting at 0-2 after Monday thanks to losses to McGhee and Beauchamp, Bodogh reeled off three-straight wins yesterday to improve to 3-2 heading into this afternoon’s draw versus Scharf.
Bodogh, who’s been battling a cold, hoped to be feeling better for the rest of the tournament.
“I’m going to home, gargle, get 10 hours of sleep, and life will be better,” she had said Monday night.
Through five draws, Bodogh was in a four-way tie for third with Wickham, Scharf, and Rizzo.
Wickham had been tied for first at 3-0 with McGhee after three draws, but then lost her final two games yesterday. They were thumped 11-3 by Hanna in the afternoon and then fell 7-4 to Rizzo last night.
Scharf has been on a roller-coaster ride so far, splitting her first two games Monday before dumping Beauchamp 8-2 yesterday morning.
But she only managed to split her other two games yesterday, losing 8-3 to Brown before rebounding with a 6-5 extra-end win last night over Dahl, who remained the only winless team (0-5).
Rizzo, for her part, opened with an 8-4 win over Dahl on Monday afternoon but then lost 9-8 to McGhee that night.
She hammered Chrissy Cadorin (Guelph Curling Club) 9-0 yesterday morning before losing 8-2 to Bodogh in the afternoon. She, too, rebounded, though, with a 7-4 win over Wickham in nine ends last night.
Cadorin was alone in seventh place heading into this afternoon’s sixth draw with a 2-3 record while Brown and Beauchamp were tied for eighth at 1-4.
Round-robin action continues tonight at 7:30 p.m., then wraps up tomorrow (Thursday) at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The top four teams advance to the playoff round, with tie-breakers (if necessary) starting Thursday night if three are needed.
Under the Page playoff system, the #3 vs. #4 game either will be played Friday at 1:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. (depending on how many tiebreakers are needed).
The #1 vs. #2 game is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The semi-final then will go Saturday at 1:30 p.m., followed by the final at 7:30 p.m.
The winner advances to the Scott Tournament of Hearts running Feb. 25-March 5 in London, Ont.
“It’s going to be a tough week because there are so many good teams here,” said Hanna. “Whoever does win will be a good representative at the [national] championship.”