Provincial curling championships live tracker: Walker wins Alberta

Laura Walker shoots a stone during the 2018 Tour Challenge in Thunder Bay, Ont. (Anil Mungal)

Keep it here for live updates from coast-to-coast during Sunday’s provincial curling championships determining the representatives for the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the Tim Hortons Brier.

Watch the Alberta women’s final live now on Sportsnet West.


Alberta

Laura Walker is bound for nationals following a 7-4 victory over Kelsey Rocque in the Sentinel Storage Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts final in Okotoks.

The Edmonton-based team of Walker, third Kate Cameron, second Taylor McDonald and lead Nadine Scotland completed an undefeated run through the tournament finishing first in round-robin pool play at 7-0 and added another to the tally with a decisive 7-1 victory over Rocque in Saturday’s Page 1-2 playoff game.

Walker opened the final with the hammer and was looking to blank the first but hit, rolled and stayed in the rings to settle for a single. Facing three counters in the second, Rocque was forced to tap for one to tie it.

Walker re-took the lead in three drawing for a piece of the button and stole two in four when Rocque came up light on her last. Rocque, also from Edmonton, gave up another steal in five while facing three and hitting and rolling too far.

The teams alternated singles in six and seven and Rocque hit for a deuce in eight to cut the deficit in half. Walker hit for another point in nine. Rocque held the hammer for the final frame but would have needed to make a quad takeout on her last to force an extra end and opted to shake hands instead.

Rocque also finished runner-up last season to Calgary’s Chelsea Carey, who also captured the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts and earned an auto-berth back to the event as Team Canada.

Earlier Sunday, Rocque ousted Krysta Hilker of St. Albert 8-1 in the semifinal in Okotoks.

Rocque blanked the first few ends and her patience paid off in the fourth. A couple of mistakes from Hilker allowed Rocque to sit two biting the back of the 12-foot circle and an open hit led to a three count.

Back-to-back steals in five and six allowed Rocque to build a 5-0 advantage. Hilker was unable to make a double with her first skip stone in the fifth leading to Rocque drawing to the back of the four-foot circle to lie two. The shot rock held up for a steal as Hilker’s last ran too straight, chipped and rolled. Rocque stole another point in six when Hilker attempted a runback for two but didn’t get the right angle and ran high and wide of the target.

Hilker broke up the shutout with a draw for a single in seven but the deficit proved to be too much to overcome. Rocque put the exclamation mark on the match with a hit and roll for three points in nine.

Hilker scored four points in an extra end to eliminate Edmonton’s Nicky Kaufman 11-7 during the Page 3-4 playoff game.


New Brunswick

Andrea Crawford will skip New Brunswick for an eighth time at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Crawford and her Oromocto team defeated Moncton’s Sylvie Quillian 6-3 during Sunday’s provincial final in Saint John.

After giving up a steal in the first, Crawford scored three in the third to grab the lead and never looked back. The teams traded singles in four and five and Quillian was held to a lone point again in six. Crawford added another in eight and stole one in nine.

It was a perfect provincial playdown for Crawford, who went 5-0 through round-robin play to secure the bye to the championship game. Quillian stole a point in the 10th end to clip Fredericton’s Justine Comeau 8-7 during Saturday’s semifinal.


Nova Scotia

Halifax’s Jamie Murphy will skip Nova Scotia at the Brier for the fourth time in five years.

Murphy trumped Kendal Thompson, also of Halifax, 10-4 during Sunday’s final in Dartmouth.

It’s the sixth time in total Murphy has won the provincial title.

Meanwhile, Mary-Anne Arsenault beat Colleen Jones 7-4 in the all-Halifax women’s final. Arsenault opened with a deuce and stole a pair in the third for an early 4-0 advantage. The teams traded singles in four and five, Jones counted another in six and a stole a point in seven to narrow the gap. Arsenault added another deuce in eight and Jones was held to another lone point in nine.

Arsenault was part of Jones’ legendary team that won five Scotties Tournament of Hearts titles and two world championships.


Quebec

Noemie Verreault of Chicoutimi will represent Quebec at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Verreault stole a point in the eighth end and another in the 10th to top Montreal’s Laurie St-Georges 3-1 during Sunday’s Quebec Scotties final in Valleyfield.

Alek Bedard of Lacolle is off to the Tim Hortons Brier with a 7-2 decision over Vincent Roberge of Levis in the WFG Quebec Tankard final. Bedard sprinted ahead with a three-ender in five and added single steals in six and nine.


The Scotties Tournament of Hearts runs Feb. 15-23 in Moose Jaw, Sask. with the Tim Hortons Brier taking place Feb. 29 to March 8 in Kingston, Ont.


2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Team Playdown dates/Winner
Canada Chelsea Carey
Alberta Laura Walker
British Columbia Jan. 28-Feb. 2
Manitoba Jan. 28-Feb. 2
New Brunswick Andrea Crawford
Newfoundland and Labrador Erica Curtis
Northern Ontario Jan. 28-Feb. 2
Nova Scotia Mary-Anne Arsenault
Ontario Jan. 27-Feb. 1
Prince Edward Island Suzanne Birt
Quebec Noemie Verreault
Saskatchewan Jan. 24-28
Northwest Territories Kerry Galusha
Nunavut Lori Eddy
Yukon Hailey Birnie
Wildcard Feb. 14: Top two teams on CTRS standings who did not win their provincials

2020 Tim Hortons Brier

Team Playdown dates/Winner
Canada Kevin Koe
Alberta Feb. 5-9
British Columbia Jan. 28-Feb. 2
Manitoba Feb. 4-9
New Brunswick Jan. 28-Feb. 2
Newfoundland and Labrador Jan. 28-Feb. 2
Northern Ontario Jan. 28-Feb. 2
Nova Scotia Jamie Murphy
Ontario Jan. 28-Feb. 2
Prince Edward Island Bryan Cochrane
Quebec Alek Bedard
Saskatchewan Jan. 28-Feb. 2
Northwest Territories Jan. 29-Feb. 3
Nunavut Jake Higgs
Yukon Thomas Scoffin
Wildcard Feb. 28: Top two teams on CTRS standings who did not win their provincials

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