2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts kicks off Friday in Thunder Bay
The 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be one to remember, with many engaging and historical storylines ready to come to life at Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay, Ont.
The event will be remembered in the history books as the second time the Canadian women’s curling championship occurred in a fans-free environment due to the ongoing pandemic.
The winning team will claim a berth as Team Canada at the 2022 OK Tire & BKT Tires World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Nature’s Bounty Vitamins, in Prince George, B.C., later this season and then return to the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kamloops, B.C. That’s in addition to pocketing $108,000 as the winning team.
Defending champions, Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., could join an elite group of curling royalty by winning this event for the third time in a row. Should Einarson’s Team Canada claim the top spot, her team would join the ranks of Manitoba’s Team Jennifer Jones (2008-2010) and Saskatchewan’s Vera Pezer (1971-73) as the only teams to win the event three consecutive times.
Only one team won the event four times in a row: Team Colleen Jones of Nova Scotia from 2001-2004.
But Team Einarson is in for tough company who will be clamouring for a chance to knock the two-time defending champions off their throne.
Northern Ontario’s Team Krista McCarville is competing in its homestead of Thunder Bay. McCarville is one of the most consistent skips over the past decade. She’s qualified for the playoffs in all five of her last national championships played since 2010.
And while the hometown fans won’t be there to cheer her on during the round robin, Curling Canada, in consultation with local health authorities, is looking into the possibility of a modified ticket plan for the final three days of the event, which could coincide with a playoff push the hometown team.
But other players with proven Scotties experience are in the mix, including five-time Scotties champion Mary-Anne Arsenault, who will represent British Columbia for the first time in her career. One of the most successful teams representing British Columbia backs Arsenault in her pursuit for a record-tying number of Scotties championships. Three members of Kelly Scott’s old powerhouse team – vice-skip Jeanna Schraeder, second Sasha Carter, and lead Renee Simons – will back Arsenault in Thunder Bay. The group is known for winning back-to-back Scotties championships in 2006-07 and the world championship in 2007.
The field will feature 18 teams to account for teams losing opportunities at competing for a provincial or territorial championship because of Covid-19.
Three Wild Card teams were invited based on 2021-22 Canadian Team Ranking System standings, and wild is the best adjective as all three have the potential to make a splash.
Tracy Fleury’s team from East St. Paul, Man., represents Wild Card 1 and comes off the hottest stretch of curling the team has ever produced. The team fell short to Team Jennifer Jones in an extra-end final at the 2021 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, presented by AGI, and is among the top contenders in playing in Sunday’s final.
Two-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Chelsea Carey leads one of the country’s most battle-tested teams of the season from Regina. Her team rose through the CTRS and was short of representing Saskatchewan at the Scotties. However, that strong showing all season long locked up the team’s spot as Wild Card 3.
We will also see one of the most accomplished thirds in the event’s history move into a skip role this year. With Rachel Homan’s selection to the Canadian mixed doubles team at the Olympic Winter Games, Emma Miskew takes control of the house for the Ottawa-based team. She will aim to take her team one step further this season after finishing second overall at the past three events.
The teams are separated into two pools of nine and seeded based on final standing on the CTRS as of Jan. 10, 2022.
They will play a full round robin within their respective pools, and the top three teams in each pool move on to an extended playoff format that culminates in a Page playoff.
The Page 3v4 game is Saturday at 2 p.m. (all times Eastern), and the evening features the Page 1v2 game at 7 p.m. On Sunday at Noon, two teams will play in the semifinal, with the winner advancing to the 7 p.m. final.
Here’s a look at how the two pools are set up:
(Teams listed according to seeding, and listed in order of skip, third, second, lead, alternate, coach/High Performance Consultant)
- Team Wild Card 1, Tracy Fleury (Selena Njegovan, Liz Fyfe, Kristin MacCuish, Robyn Njegovan, Sherry Middaugh; East St. Paul, Man.)
- Team Wild Card 2, Chelsea Carey (Jolene Campbell, Stephanie Schmidt, Jennifer Armstrong, Rachel Erickson, Colin Hodgson; Regina)
- Team Wild Card 3, Rachel Homan (NOTE – Homan will not be participating due to mixed doubles commitment at 2022 Olympic Winter Games; Emma Miskew to skip; Sarah Wilkes, Alli Flaxey, Joanne Courtney, Lynn Kreviazuk, Marcel Rocque; Ottawa)
- Saskatchewan, Penny Barker (Christie Gamble, Jenna Enge, Danielle Sicinski, Amber Holland, Mark Lang; Moose Jaw, Sask.)
- Northern Ontario, Krista McCarville (Kendra Lilly, Ashley Sippala, Sarah Potts, Jen Gates, Rick Lang; Thunder Bay, Ont.)
- New Brunswick, Andrea Crawford (Andrea Crawford, Sylvie Quillian, Jill Babin, Katie Foward, Daryell Nowlan; Fredericton)
- Prince Edward Island, Suzanne Birt (Marie Christianson, Meaghan Hughes, Michelle McQuaid, Kathy O’Rourke; Montague & Cornwall)
- Newfoundland & Labrador, Sarah Hill (Kelli Sharpe, Beth Hamilton, Adrienne Mercer, Laura Phillips; St. John’s)
- Nunavut, Brigitte MacPhail (Sadie Pinksen, Kaitlin MacDonald, Alison Taylor, Donalda Mattie; Iqaluit)
- Alberta, Laura Walker (Kate Cameron, Taylor McDonald, Nadine Scotland, Dana Ferguson, Shannon Pynn; Edmonton)
- Team Canada, Kerri Einarson (Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard, Briane Meilleur, Krysten Karwacki, Reid Carruthers; Gimli, Man.)
- Manitoba, Mackenzie Zacharias (Karlee Burgess, Emily Zacharias, Lauren Lenentine, Lori Olson-Johns, Sheldon Zacharias; Altona)
- Ontario, Hollie Duncan (Megan Balsdon, Rachelle Strybosch, Tess Bobbie, Julie Tippin, Barry Westman; Woodstock)
- Northwest Territories, Kerry Galusha, lead stones, (Jo-Ann Rizzo, Sarah Koltun, Margot Flemming, Megan Koehler, Shona Barbour; Yellowknife)
- Nova Scotia, Christina Black (Jenn Baxter, Karlee Everist, Shelley Barker, Carole MacLean, Stuart MacLean; Dartmouth)
- British Columbia, Mary-Anne Arsenault (Jeanna Schraeder, Sasha Carter, Renee Simons, Morgan Muise, Gerry Richard; Kelowna)
- Quebec, Laurie St-Georges (Hailey Armstrong, Emily Riley, Cynthia St-Georges, Alanna Routledge, Michel St-Georges; Glenmore & Laval-sur-le-Lac, Que.)
- Yukon, Hailey Birnie (Patty Wallingham, Kerry Campbell, Kerry Campbell, Kim Tuor, Stephanie Brown, Bill Tschirhart; Whitehorse)
Click here to view the schedule for the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Click here to access the media guide for the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
TSN/RDS will provide complete coverage of every draw at the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Click here for the broadcast schedule.
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