Perennial curling assertive Manitoba will be able-bodied represented at abutting month’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts with three teams from the province about affirmed to play at the civic playdowns.
The champ of the accessible bigoted championship will wear the buffalo at the Feb. 14-23 Scotties in Moose Jaw, Sask. Since Tracy Fleury, Kerri Einarson and Jennifer Jones are calmly accepted in the top three of the Canadian Aggregation Ranking System standings, the play-in game is a basic lock to be an all-Manitoba affair.
It should accomplish for a doozy of a Manitoba championship abutting anniversary in the boondocks of Rivers, just alfresco of Brandon. Top-25 teams skipped by Beth Peterson, Theresa Cannon, Darcy Robertson and Abby Ackland are also in the acreage of the best ample women’s regional playdown in the country.
“It’s candidly activity to be anybody’s provincials,” said Team Fleury drillmaster Jill Officer, who won Olympic gold with Jones in 2014.
The champ of the Manitoba appellation can breathe accessible alive a atom in the main civic annular robin is secure. The top two rinks in the CTRS standings who do not win bigoted or territorial championships get wild-card game spots.
The play-in game winner is called Team Wild Card and becomes the 16th and final access in the Scotties field.
Curling Canada will acceptable accomplish an announcement in early February account the official access account once regional playdowns are complete and the CTRS is formally updated.
However, after-effects from aftermost week’s Canadian Open have essentially secured a Manitoba top three with fourth-place Rachel Homan — who absent the playoffs — too far aback to bolt them. Fleury has a healthy CTRS advance while Jones and Einarson will get a bang acknowledgment to quarterfinal appearances at the Grand Slam event.
The Manitoba ascendancy puts pressure on added top teams about the country to accomplish abiding they get through provincials since fallback wild-card plans are no best an option.
Calgary’s Chelsea Carey doesn’t accept to anguish as she gets the Aggregation Canada access as arresting champion.
But Homan has to get through a challenging field abutting anniversary in Cornwall. Other top-20 teams in the Ontario playdowns include Jestyn Murphy, Megan Balsdon and Hollie Duncan.
The Alberta championship begins Wednesday with Casey Scheidegger, Kelsey Rocque and Laura Walker serving as headliners.
This is the third division that Crimper Canada has acclimated the play-in bold architecture at the civic championships. It’s additionally set to be the third beeline time that three altered Manitoba teams accept accomplished the Scotties.
Jones represented the arena at the 2018 event in Penticton, B.C., where Michelle Englot skipped Aggregation Canada and Einarson was Aggregation Wild Card. Jones alternating as arresting best aftermost year in Sydney, N.S. Fleury won provincials and Einarson played in the wild-card game.
Officer, meanwhile, served as a fifth for Jones at aftermost year’s nationals and was an alternating for Carey at the apple championship.
She has backward alive in the action back dispatch abroad from aggressive play almost two years ago. Officer is pursuing her coaching acceptance and has additionally been accomplishing some crimper broadcasting work.
She filled in on Fleury’s aggregation at a brace bonspiels this division — Officer’s niece Kristin MacCuish plays advance on the squad — and afresh agreed to serve as their drillmaster at the playdowns and possibly some approaching contest too.
Fleury, who won the Masters in October, has risen to No. 2 in the apple rankings abaft Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg.
“I anticipate that they’ve done a bigger job at paying absorption to some of the abate details,” Officer said of Aggregation Fleury’s breakthrough. “I anticipate that’s accidental to a little bit added bendability for them.”
Scotties audience Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories and Suzanne Birt of Prince Edward Island accept already anchored their spots for the 2020 competition. Added able teams accommodate Erica Curtis of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut’s Lori Eddy and Yukon’s Hailey Birnie.
The men’s civic championship — the Tim Hortons Brier — is set for Feb. 28-March 8 in Kingston, Ont. Kevin Koe is the arresting champion.
Most men’s bigoted and territorial championships will be played over the abutting three weeks. Bryan Cochrane of Prince Edward Island and Nunavut’s Jake Higgs accept already qualified.
In the Rings, a crimper column, is appear weekly.
This address by The Canadian Press was aboriginal appear Jan. 21, 2020.
Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.
Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
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