01/27/2018 20:25 EST | Updated 01/30/2018 16:05 EST

Alberta earns opening draw win over Ontario at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

PENTICTON, B.C. — Alberta's Casey Scheidegger kept it simple to begin the Scotties Tournament of Hearts with a victory.

Scheidegger's rink from Lethbridge, Alta., opened the women's national curling championship Saturday with a final-end 6-5 win over Ontario's Hollie Duncan.

"The excitement is great but we're really good at coming back down and playing that level headedness that we kind of know and stick to. This is one game. We have got to come back out firing."

Ontario drew to score two and make it 5-5 heading into the final end at the South Okanagan Events Centre, but Scheidegger made a draw to clinch.

"I'm always happy to throw a draw to win the game. Obviously I would have liked a few less rocks in play at the front there. It was good. It's a good confidence builder when you're trying to move on."

Scheidegger said her rink had a good handle on draw weight the whole game.

"I actually felt pretty good," said Scheidegger of her last shot. "I was a little nervous coming up to it because the end wasn't going the way that we had planned. I felt confident in my sweepers and the ice that we had finally decided on."

In the evening draws, Manitoba's Jennifer Jones beat Saskatchewan's Sherry Anderson 12-5 in eight ends. Jones scored five in the fifth to blow it open.

Nova Scotia's Mary-Anne Arsenault scored four in the ninth to beat Northern Ontario's Tracy Fleury 10-4. Kerri Einarson, who got into the main draw as a wild card, held on to beat New Brunswick's Sylvie Robichaud 8-6 and Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories toppled Yukon's Chelsea Duncan 9-6.

Also, Team Canada, led by Winnipeg skip Michelle Englot, went on to win 6-2 in nine ends over British Columbia after scoring two points in the eighth and ninth.

Englot credited making key shots to get their deuce in eight as a big moment as they still get a feel for the ice.

"I need to get a little bit better handle on and get a little bit quicker start, but other than that, we are playing really well. Feeling good about how things are looking."

Englot — a replacement for Olympics-bound Rachel Homan — said it is pretty special wearing the Maple Leaf.

"We really want to wear it with pride and play our hearts out," said Englot, who also joked they are the "token Team Canada."

B.C. skip Kesa Van Osch said she felt some nerves at the start since her sisters Marika (third) and Kalia (second), along with Amy Gibson (lead), haven't been to the Scotties and this is only her second appearance. Her first was in 2014 in Montreal.

"I thought we played pretty good for our first game out there today," the Nanaimo native said.

Also, Stacie Curtis of Newfoundland and Labrador scored three in the eighth and added a deuce in the ninth to beat Robyn MacPhee from Prince Edward Island 11-6. And, Quebec's Emila E. Gagne routed Amie Shackleton of Nunavut 9-2 in eight ends.

Behind 5-0 after three ends, Nunavut scored its first point on last rock. The team raised their sticks to the air as the crowd applauded.

"When Nunavut scored that was awesome when they all cheered like that. I thought it was fantastic. What a supportive crowd," said Scheidegger.

The field features 16 teams and is divided into two eight-team pools.

The top four teams in each pool advance to the championship pool starting Feb. 1. The top four teams from that will advance to the Page playoffs.