Chelsea Carey’s team has a guaranteed spot in the 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts as Team Canada, in a Dec. 17, 2019 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Eddy returns to Scotties for first time since dropping ‘97 final to Schmirler

Chelsea Carey’s team has a guaranteed spot in the 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts as Team Canada. Lori Eddy and her Nunavut teammates are the first to join the defending champions in the 16-team field.

Eddy will return to the national women’s curling championship this season for the first time since representing Ontario with skip Alison Goring back in 1997. They reached the final that year in Vancouver before falling to the legendary Sandra Schmirler.

For her Scotties return, Eddy will be joined by third Sadie Pinksen, second Alison Griffin and lead Kaitlin MacDonald. They were unchallenged in Nunavut to secure a berth in the Feb. 14-23 competition at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Sask.

“I know last time I went with the attitude of, ‘Enjoy every second and have the best week of your life,’” Eddy said. “That’s what happened and I’m hoping to just do the same thing.”

Eddy, 48, has played on a number of different competitive teams since making her lone Scotties appearance. She has been a regular at the Ontario playdowns and most recently reached the provincial final in 2015 with skip Sherry Middaugh.

Eddy, from Dundas, Ont., also served as a fifth with Middaugh at the Olympic Trials in 2013. Jennifer Jones beat Middaugh in the final and went on to win gold at the Sochi Games.

Plans for her new team came together last June, when Griffin reached out to see if she’d be interested. Pinksen and MacDonald, who came up through Nunavut’s junior program, were also on board.

Eddy, who also coaches McMaster University’s varsity men’s team, wanted to make sure they could put in the work with their various schedules to become a solid four-player unit. Once they hammered out a schedule for games and training camps, plans were a go.

“It’s too good an opportunity to say no to,” she said. “It’s a challenge though and it’s going to be a challenge.”

The team held a training camp in Halifax before making its debut at a recent World Curling Tour event in Kemptville, Ont., posting a 1-3 record. Its opening game, a 5-2 defeat, was a stiff test against world No. 20 Isabella Wrana of Sweden.

“When we went upstairs with the Wrana team afterwards, they asked us how long we’d been playing together,” Eddy recalled. “I took that as a big compliment because it was in fact our first game together. They were very surprised to hear that.

“The girls are great and they’re super supportive. I feel like we all just want to learn and be better together. I feel like everybody has like-minded goals and that makes it a pleasure to be with them.”

Another training camp followed in Ottawa — with Hall of Fame coach Earle Morris making an appearance — and another camp is planned for the post-holiday period in Eddy’s hometown. The team will head to Saskatchewan before the Scotties for one last camp before round-robin play begins Feb. 15.

“We want to put in a good performance,” Eddy said in a recent interview. “We want to make (teams) have to work hard to beat us. The goals are to be competitive and give everybody a good run and you never know.”

In addition to her playing and coaching duties, Eddy also stays connected to the sport via the “2 Girls And A Game” curling podcast she co-hosts with Mary Chilvers, who played lead for the Ontario champions in 1997.

The podcast, in its fifth season, explores a wide variety of curling topics. Recently featured guests have included curlers Glenn Howard, Casey Scheidegger and Darren Moulding, CurlingZone president Gerry Geurts and journalist Devin Heroux.

“We are just both so passionate about the game and we love it so much,” Eddy said. “It’s been so good to us.”

Nunavut will be making its fifth Scotties appearance overall and third in the main draw. The territory’s first Scotties victory came last year in Sydney, N.S., when Jenine Bodner’s team edged Quebec’s Gabrielle Lavoie 4-3.

Geneva Chislett skipped Nunavut to a 1-2 record in the 2016 Scotties qualification round and she went 0-3 in 2017.

The unpopular qualification format — or relegation — was dropped for the 2018 event, giving every province and territory a spot in the main draw. Import skip Amie Shackleton posted an 0-8 mark that year while Bodner went 1-6 last season.

Jake Higgs will represent Nunavut at the Feb. 29-March 8 Tim Hortons Brier in Kingston, Ont., with teammates Ed MacDonald, Greg Howard and Darryl McGrath. Defending champion Kevin Koe returns as Team Canada.

Most of the provincial/territorial playdowns will be held throughout January, with some set to wrap up in early February.

In the Rings, a weekly curling column, is published weekly.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 17, 2019.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

CALGARY — An inquiry into who is funding environmental opposition to the… Continue reading

Whatever snow may possibly fall in Red Deer on the weekend will melt when it hits the warm ground, says meteorologist Kyle Fougere with Environment and Climate Change Canada. (File photo by ADVOCATE staff)
Weather expected to get warmer next week in Red Deer

It’s going to be a cold weekend, according to Environment Canada. Saturday… Continue reading

Retired city manager Craig Curtis will argue for keeping the Molly Banister Drive right-of-way at Tuesday's public hearing. He warns of future gridlock if the extension is removed by city council. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Former Red Deer city manager warns killing the Molly Banister Drive extension is ‘a terrible mistake’

Craig Curtis will argue for keeping the road alignment at next week’s public hearing

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada's top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Canada’s top physician painted a bleak picture Saturday of the toll the… Continue reading

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole is naming his shadow cabinet, including his predecessor Andrew Scheer as the party's infrastructure critic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were “late and confused” on COVID response

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says Alberta has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Indigenous fishermen carry lobster traps in Saulnierville, N.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Andrew Vaughan
Federal representative hopes to ease tensions in Nova Scotia lobster dispute

HALIFAX — The man tasked with lowering the temperature in a heated… Continue reading

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Most Read