Brothers edges Arsenault to secure host province berth at Scotties playdowns

Jennifer Jones already has her Scotties ticket. Rachel Homan will be in Sydney too.

Now you can lock in big names like Chelsea Carey, Tracy Fleury and Kerri Einarson for the national championship as well after a wild day at provincial playdowns across the country.

“All the right teams are winning,” said longtime curling commentator Mike Harris. “I think that’s fair to say.”

Jill Brothers will be the host team at the Feb. 15-24 Scotties Tournament of Hearts at Centre 200 after a 6-5 win over Mary-Anne Arsenault in the Nova Scotia final on Sunday morning in Dartmouth.

Brothers stole two points in the 10th end to knock out the five-time national champion.

Later on, Fleury outscored Einarson 13-7 to win the Manitoba final at Gimli. Fleury gave up a rare five-ender in the second end but pulled even in the sixth, added a deuce in the eighth and stole three points in the ninth when Einarson missed both of her throws.

Einarson, who sits No. 2 in the Canadian Team Ranking System, settled for a spot in the win-and-you’re-in wild-card game before pool play begins at the Scotties.

In Stettler, Carey secured the Alberta title by hitting a brilliant triple-takeout to score four points for an 8-3 win over Kelsey Rocque.

Robyn Silvernagle won the Saskatchewan crown in Humboldt by scoring a single in the 10th end for a 6-5 win over Sherry Anderson. Andrea Crawford was victorious in New Brunswick after doubling Sarah Mallais 6-3 in Moncton.

The Scotties field already includes Kerry Galusha of Northwest Territories, Nunavut’s Jenine Bodner, Quebec’s Gabrielle Lavoie and Jones, the defending champion, as Team Canada.

Yukon’s Nicole Baldwin, Suzanne Birt of Prince Edward Island and Kelli Sharpe of Newfoundland and Labrador also previously qualified.

Homan is guaranteed a spot in the wild-card game unless she wins the Ontario championship on Saturday. If she does, Einarson would likely face Casey Scheidegger, who made an early exit from the Alberta playdowns.

Northern Ontario and British Columbia will hold their women’s playdowns over the next week.

Also Sunday, two more men’s teams earned berths in the Tim Hortons Brier.

Terry Odishaw will represent New Brunswick after topping James Grattan 7-4 in Moncton. Stuart Thompson took the Nova Scotia crown with a 6-4 win over Jamie Murphy in Dartmouth.

The national men’s curling championship is set for March 1-10 at Westoba Place in Brandon, Man.

Nunavut’s Dave St. Louis, P.E.I.’s John Likely, Quebec’s Martin Crete and Team Canada’s Brad Gushue have already secured spots.

Wild-card teams were added to the national championships last year. Einarson beat Carey in the 2018 women’s play-in game and made it all the way to the final.

Homan, meanwhile, was supposed to be Team Canada at the Scotties last year, but had to decline the berth after winning Canada’s Olympic spot for the Pyeongchang Games.

Curling Canada announced last fall that Homan would get to play in this year’s wild-card game if she didn’t directly qualify by winning her province. As it turned out, Homan would be assured at least a wild-card spot anyway because of her healthy lead atop the CTRS list.

Homan (513.711 points) is followed by Einarson (411.289) and Jones (335.285) in the standings. Carey is fourth (210.416) and Scheidegger holds the fifth spot (206.045).

Eighth-place Darcy Robertson of Manitoba would be Scheidegger’s closest challenger (185.007) since No. 6 Fleury and No. 7 Silvernagle locked up berths.

The men’s list is much tighter. Alberta’s Kevin Koe (385.263) holds top spot ahead of Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs (363.465).

Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher (331.369), Ontario’s John Epping (329.682) and Gushue (321.422), from Newfoundland and Labrador, round out the top five.

B.C., Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador and Northern Ontario will hold their men’s playdowns over the next week. Alberta, Manitoba, Yukon, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories are on tap the week after.

Just Posted

NEB gives Trans Mountain pipeline expansion its endorsement

CALGARY — The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the… Continue reading

Regulator’s report unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline expansion battle

CALGARY — An environmental group that tried to widen the scope of… Continue reading

Red Deer firefighter is recovering, thanks community for support

Firefighters who help together, stick together. Red Deer firefighter medic Ben Barthel,… Continue reading

Biathlon women sweep the podium for second time

Biathlon women took top four spots in Thursday’s 10-km race

Zion’s freak injury ripples in basketball, business worlds

DURHAM, N.C. — Soon after Zion Williamson’s shoe ripped apart, Nike’s stock… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Must-have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

Rabbits saved from barn fire in Ponoka County

The Ponoka County East District Fire Department was called to a barn fire

Abel begins diving season on brink of record for most worlds medals

MONTREAL — Jennifer Abel could make history this summer in Gwangju, South… Continue reading

On eve of return to Toronto, former Raptors star DeRozan says he’s “moved on”

TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan has found closure. When the player once fondly… Continue reading

ACTRA to honour actress Jayne Eastwood who says being on set is her ‘happy place’

TORONTO — Looking back on her five decades in show business, Toronto… Continue reading

If proven, Smollett allegations could be a ‘career killer’

LOS ANGELES — Jussie Smollett is enmeshed in weekly drama on the… Continue reading

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Gaudreau snaps goal drought to help Flames double up Islanders 4-2

CALGARY — The drought is over for Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau’s first goal… Continue reading

Most Read