North Battleford's Robyn Silvernagle will represent Saskatchewan for the second year in a row. Picture: Curling Canada
Provincial and territorial playdowns wrapped up this past weekend, and we know 15 of the 16 teams who will be chasing the Canadian Women’s Curling Championship in Moose Jaw, and that field will feature most of the country’s best teams.
Six of the top nine teams on the Canadian Team Ranking System have qualified, and the Wild Card Game on Feb. 14, to determine the final entry into the 2020 Scotties, will feature two other top-nine teams — No. 1 Tracy Fleury (East St. Paul) and No. 3 Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg) in an all-Manitoba battle.
The main Scotties field is headed by pair of skips are looking to add to their already impressive haul of Canadian championship gold medals.
Rachel Homan and her team from Ottawa (No. 4 on the CTRS) — vice-skip Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney, lead Lisa Weagle and coach Marcel Rocque — will be looking for a fourth Scotties title, and her first since winning in 2017 at St. Catharines, Ont.
But Homan will have to find a way to get past defending champion Chelsea Carey and her Calgary team, who defeated Homan in last year’s final at Sydney, N.S. Carey, backed up by vice-skip Sarah Wilkes, second Dana Ferguson, lead Rachel Brown and coach Dan Carey, is looking for a third Scotties title.
Ontario will get an early test on opening day — Team Homan will play the winner of the Wild Card Game in the evening draw on Feb. 15, starting at 6:30 p.m. (all times CT).
Also in the mix will be the home team from Saskatchewan — Robyn Silvernagle’s team from North Battleford (vice-skip Stefanie Lawton, second Jessie Hunkin, lead Kara Thevenot, alternate Stephanie Schmidt, coach Lesley McEwan) that won bronze at Sydney last year.
Saskatchewan will open the 2020 Scotties in Draw 1 on Feb. 15 (1:30 p.m.) against New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford, and then will be back on the ice for a pair of games on Sunday, including a battle with the reigning champs, Team Canada, in the afternoon draw at 1:30 p.m., followed by a night game (6:30 p.m.) against Nunavut’s Lori Eddy.
The Wild Card game (7:30 p.m., TSN/RDS2) at Mosaic Place will feature Jones, a six-time Scotties champion, taking on Fleury after both teams fell short to Kerri Einarson’s Gimli team in the Manitoba championship. Team Jones and Team Fleury qualified for the Wild Card Game as the top two teams on the Canadian Team Ranking System that didn’t win their provincial or territorial championship.
Jones defeated Fleury in the Manitoba semifinal before being losing to Einarson in the final. Admission to the Wild Card Game is free, but donations to the Curling Canada Foundation, helping youth curling across Canada, are being accepted at the door.
The 16 teams have been split into two pools of eight. The top four teams from each pool after the preliminary round robin will then advance to a championship pool that will determine the final four playoff teams.
The pools are set based on the teams’ position on the CTRS as of Dec. 31; the winner of the Wild Card game will automatically have a No. 3 seed.
Here’s a look at how the two pools set up:
(teams listed according to seeding, and listed in order of skip, vice-skip, second, lead, alternate, coach/High Performance Consultant)
1. Manitoba, Kerri Einarson (Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard, Briane Meilleur; Patti Wuthrich; Gimli)
4. Team Canada, Chelsea Carey (Sarah Wilkes, Dana Ferguson, Rachel Brown, Dan Carey; Calgary)
5. Alberta, Laura Walker (Kate Cameron, Taylor McDonald, Nadine Scotland, Kelsey Rocque, Brian Chick; Edmonton)
8. Saskatchewan, Robyn Silvernagle (Stefanie Lawton, Jessie Hunkin, Kara Thevenot, Marliese Kasner, Lesley McEwan; North Battleford)
9. Northern Ontario, Krista McCarville (Kendra Lilly, Jen Gates, Sarah Potts, Rick Lang; Thunder Bay)
12. New Brunswick, Andrea Crawford (Jennifer Armstrong, Jillian Babin, Katie Forward, Daryell Nowlan; Oromocto)
13. Nunavut, Lori Eddy (Sadie Pinksen, Alison Griffin, Kaitlin MacDonald, Donalda Mattie; Iqaluit)
16. Quebec, Noémie Verreault (Alana Routledge, Marie-Pier Côté, Jill Routledge, Joëlle St-Hilaire; Chicoutimi/Glenmore/Trois-Rivieres)
2. Ontario, Rachel Homan (Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney, Lisa Weagle, Marcel Rocque; Ottawa)
3. Wild Card
6. British Columbia, Corryn Brown (Erin Pincott, Dez Hawes, Ashley Klymchuk, Allison MacInnes; Kamloops)
7. Prince Edward Island, Suzanne Birt (Marie Christianson, Meaghan Hughes, Michelle McQuaid, Mitch O’Shea; Montague)
10. Northwest Territories, Kerry Galusha (Sarah Koltun, Jo-Ann Rizzo, Shona Barbour, Stacey Stabel, Amanda Gates; Yellowknife)
11. Nova Scotia, Mary-Anne Arsenault (Christina Black, Jennifer Baxter, Emma Logan, Kristin Clarke, Stuart MacLean)
14. Yukon, Hailey Birnie (Chelsea Duncan, Gabrielle Plonka, Kimberly Tuor, Rhonda Horte, Lindsay Moldowan; Whitehorse)
15. Newfoundland/Labrador, Erica Curtis (Erin Porter, Julie Devereaux, Beth Hamilton, Eugene Trickett)