It was a thrilling week of provincial curling championships with eight teams punching their tickets to Grande Prairie, Alta., for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Some new faces and stunning upsets highlight the action as we bring you coast-to-coast recaps.
Jump to: Nova Scotia | Quebec | Ontario | Northern Ontario | Manitoba | Alberta | BC | Summary
Jill Brothers will represent Nova Scotia at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Brothers defeated Mary-Anne Arsenault 8-5 to capture the provincial title Sunday in Halifax.
Arsenault, who entered the event as the defending champion, topped the round-robin leaderboard with a 6-1 record to advance straight to the final while Brothers defeated Theresa Breen 11-5 in the semifinal Saturday.
Meanwhile, Jamie Murphy stole a point in the extra end to edge Chad Stevens 6-5 to win the Nova Scotia Tankard and advance to the Tim Hortons Brier.
Marie-France Larouche of Levis won her seventh career Quebec Scotties Tournament of Hearts title Sunday in Valleyfield.
Team Larouche topped Lauren Mann’s team from Montreal 8-5 in the final.
Jenn Hanna stunned Rachel Homan 10-8 to capture the Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts title Sunday in Brampton.
Hanna returned this season after a hiatus from competitive curling and will be making her third trip to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, but her first in over a decade. She served as the alternate for Team Sherry Middaugh in 2004 and won the provincial crown the following year where she finished runner-up to Jennifer Jones for the Canadian championship.
The all-Ottawa rink matchup was a tough one right from the start for Homan, a two-time Canadian champion, as she opened the game with the hammer and looked to blank the first end, but her shooter stuck around to bite the top of the 12-foot circle and counted for one.
Hanna scored three in the second end and Homan countered with a deuce in the third end and tie it 3-3.
After Hanna settled for a single in the fourth, Homan added another pair of points in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead.
The game swung dramatically in the second half after Hanna made a tap for one in the sixth to tie it. Homan’s last in seven slid through the house giving up a steal of two and the lead. Hanna then swiped three more points that all but iced the game when Homan’s heartbreaking final shot in eight overcurled and wrecked on one of her own.
Homan hit and stuck for two in the ninth. She had three in the house in the 10th but without any guards or the hammer, Hanna made the takeout to secure the victory.
Earlier Sunday, Hanna stole two in the final end to edge Jacqueline Harrison of Niagara Falls 6-5 in the semifinal.
Team Homan have been the top team on tour this season winning seven titles including the Canada Cup and a record three consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling championships. They topped the round robin with an 8-1 record, falling to Middaugh, however they did need to steal a point in the extra end to get by Hanna.
Homan defeated Harrison 9-5 in the page 1 vs. 2 playoff Saturday to advance straight to the final while Hanna earned a 7-3 victory over Julie Tippin of Woodstock in the 3 vs. 4 game.
Krista McCarville will represent Northern Ontario at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts next month in Grande Prairie, Alta.
The Thunder Bay native McCarville defeated Tracy Fleury of Sudbury 8-4 in the Northern Ontario final Sunday in Timmins.
McCarville broke a 4-4 tie with a three-ender in the seventh end and stole one in nine to ice the game.
Team McCarville topped the round robin with a 6-0 record, including two wins over Fleury.
It’ll be McCarville’s fifth trip to the national Scotties. She won the Ontario title in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010. Northern Ontario was granted its own spot in the tournament last year with Fleury representing the region.
The third time was the charm for Kerri Einarson.
After finishing runner-up at the past two Manitoba provincials, Einarson won the title with a 7-5 win over Kristy McDonald on Sunday in Bousejour.
The East St. Paul-based team of Einarson, third Selena Kaatz, second Liz Fyfe, and lead Kristin MacCuish are now off to the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Feb. 20-28 in Grande Prairie, Alta.
McDonald, who defeated Einarson in the 1 vs. 1 page playoff, opened with the hammer and scored a deuce in the second end to go up 2-0.
Einarson blanked the third to retain the hammer for the fourth end. McDonald attempted a double takeout in four but jammed and Einarson capitalized with a hit and stick for two that tied it.
The teams alternated pairs of points again as McDonald got another deuce in the fifth and Einarson matched with two in the eighth.
The game took a sharp turn in the ninth when McDonald’s last shot broke and Einarson picked up a huge steal of three to take the lead. McDonald had two stones in the house in the final end, but Einarson just needed to punch one of them out to clinch the championship.
Earlier Sunday, Einarson defeated Shannon Birchard 8-3 in the semifinal.
Birchard was playing in just her second career Manitoba Scotties. The 21-year-old Birchard played with Kaatz and MacCuish in juniors and finished runner-up at the 2012 Canadian junior championships. She was a finalist at the Canadian junior championships in 2013 as well.
Chelsea Carey ran Val Sweeting out rocks in the final end to clinch an 8-5 victory and capture the Jiffy Lube Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts title Sunday in Calgary.
It was an intense back-and-forth battle with Sweeting, who entered the event as the double defending champion, holding a 4-2 lead after six ends. Carey made an open hit to score three in the seventh end and jump ahead by one. Sweeting faced two counters in eight and the team dragged their final stone just enough into the eight-foot circle to avoid the steal and knot it up 5-5.
The Calgary-based Team Carey earned another huge three-ender in nine to reclaim the lead.
Carey was competing in her third straight provincial final with a third different team. She won the Manitoba Scotties in 2014 before heading west later that year. She played with Laura Crocker, Taylor McDonald and Jen Gates last season and finished runner-up to Sweeting.
Earlier Sunday, Carey cruised into the final with a 9-3 win over Edmonton’s Jessie Kaufman during the semi.
Team Carey — featuring third Amy Nixon, second Jocelyn Peterman, and lead Laine Peters — jumped out to a 5-0 lead scoring a deuce in the first and stealing singles in three straight ends. Kaufman settled for a single in five to get on the board. Carey kicked out Kaufman’s shot stone to score a deuce in six. Kaufman gave up a steal of two in the seventh, scored a deuce in eight and shook hands.
Sweeting finished with a 3-0 record in the A-side of the triple knockout, qualifying with an 8-3 win over Carey in the bracket final Thursday night to advance. Team Sweeting, from Edmonton, stole a point in the 10th end to edge Carey 5-4 in the A vs. A page playoff Saturday and swipe a spot in the final.
Karla Thompson was practically perfect in the B.C. Scotties final dispatching six-time provincial champion Kelly Scott 11-3 for the title Sunday in Coquitlam.
Thompson scored deuces in the first and third ends to lead 4-1. Scott missed both her skip shots in the fourth, wrecking on the guard with her second, to give up a steal of two.
Scott struggled again in the fifth end and was forced to take a single. Thompson was on point again in the sixth end and nailed a double takeout with her last to score four.
Scott hit and stuck for a single in seven and shook hands after Thompson added another point in eight.
Team Thompson now head to Grande Prairie, Alta., but will have to play in the pre-qualifier stage before reaching the main round of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Thompson topped Scott 11-10 in a wild page 1 vs. 2 playoff Saturday.
Scott built up a 7-0 lead scoring four in the first, stealing two in the second and one in the third. Thompson charged back with a three-ender in four and stole one in five and two in six to close within one 7-6.
The two-time Canadian champion Scott scored a deuce in seven and Thompson added another three in eight to knot it up 9-9. Scott was held to a single in nine and Thompson scored a deuce coming home to secure a spot in the final.
Scott edged Diane Gushulak 9-8 with a point in the extra end Sunday in the semifinal to advance.
The Scotties Tournament of Hearts runs Feb. 20-28 in Grande Prairie, Alta. The winner of the Scotties will represent Canada at the world championship March 19-27 in Swift Current, Sask.
|New Brunswick||Playdowns: Jan. 27-31|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||Playdowns: Jan. 26-31|
|Northwest Territories||Playdowns: Jan. 27-31|
|Northern Ontario||Krista McCarville|
|Nova Scotia||Jill Brothers|
|Saskatchewan||Playdowns: Jan. 27-31|
Note: B.C., Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon will have to play a pre-qualifier round first.