Edmonton’s Heather Nedohin shaded New Westminster’s Kelley Law 3-2 in a low-scoring battle of former Canadian women’s champions to open the Prestige Hotels & Resorts Curling Classic Thursday morning at the Vernon Curling Club.
Nedohin, the 2012 Canadian champ, used the hammer in the eighth end to count a point for the win after picking up singles in two and five.
Law, who won the 2000 worlds in Glasgow, answered with single in four and seven.
In other opening-day action at the $40,000 cashspiel, Calgary’s Cheryl Bernard gave up a single steal in eight to fall 5-4 to Cassie Potter of St. Paul, Minn.
Bernard, a silver medalist at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, cracked a triple in five to earn a 4-2 lead, but gave up a deuce in six before blanking seven.
Calgary’s Shannon Kleibrink, another former Olympic medal winner (bronze in 2006, in Torino), surrendered singles in six and seven as she bowed 5-3 to Korea’s Ji-Sun Kim.
Other opening-round scores saw Saskatoon’s Stephanie Lawton double Kamloops’ Allison McInnes 6-3; Winnipeg’s Barb Spencer shaded Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa 5-4; Edmonton’s Laura Crocker outgunned Yellowknife’s Kerry Galusha 8-3; Kelowna’s Kelly Scott fell 5-3 to Japan’s Ayumi Ogasawara; and Edmonton’s Valerie Sweeting racked up a four-point sixth end to ground Winnipeg’s Darcy Robertson 7-4.
Vernon’s Robbi Kuhn fell 5-3 to Scotland’s Eve Muirhead in her Thursday afternoon draw.
Kuhn and Muirhead swapped deuces in ends two and three, but the Scottish rink pulled ahead with back-to-back singles in five and six.
Preliminary action for the 32-team event continues today with draws at 8 a.m., 1 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday games go at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Playoffs begin Sunday with quarterfinals at 9 a.m., semis at noon and the final at 4 p.m.
The winner pockets $9,000, with $6,500 going to the runners-up, $5,000 to third and fourth, and $3,000 to quarterfinalists.
Meanwhile, Vernon’s Jim Cotter, featuring new skip John (Johnny Mo) Morris, begins his Prestige men’s title defence when he battles Kamloops’ Brent Yamada this morning (10:30) at the Vernon club.
Cotter, supported by second Ty Griffith and lead Rick Sawatsky, enters the 32-team, $26,000 men’s draw after a quarterfinals performance at the Point Optical Curling Classic last weekend at the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon.
Vernon’s Mark Longworth (third Jamie Sexton, Hugh Bennett and Michael Longworth) begins Prestige play against China’s Rui Liu, while Vernon’s TJ Perepolkin (Deane Horning, Tyler Orme and Chris Anderson) takes on Edmonton’s Jamie King in his opening draw.
Tickets for the Prestige event are $10 for the day (includes men’s and women’s draws), or $30 for a full pass.
The men’s playoffs begin Monday with quarterfinals at 9 a.m., semis at noon, and the championship game at 3 p.m.