A busy weekend of curling across Canada has nearly filled the field for the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Montreal.
Strong won her 11th Newfoundland/Labrador championship on Saturday in St. John’s. Curling out of the Bally Haly Club in St. John’s, Strong, vice-skip (and sister) Laura Strong, second Jessica Cunningham and lead Kathryn Cooper rolled to a 10-3 win over Shelley Nichols of St. John’s in the final.
In the Saskatchewan final at Tisdale, the Lawton foursome from Saskatoon (third Sherry Anderson, second Sherri Singler and lead Marliese Kasner) beat Regina’s Michelle Englot 5-2 for the provincial title. It will be a third trip to the Scotties for Lawton, who also has won three times at the Canada Cup of Curling.
Crawford, meanwhile, won her sixth straight New Brunswick women’s championship, and seventh in total, with a dramatic 8-7 win over Moncton’s Sylvie Robichaud. Crawford’s team from Oromocto — third Rebecca Atkinson, second Danielle Parsons and lead Jodie DeSolla — scored a 10th-end deuce for the victory.
The Alberta championship final at Sylvan Lake featured one of the game’s rising stars taking on one of the most familiar faces in the sport, and it was youth winning the day. Edmonton’s Val Sweeting, who competed at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials in Winnipeg last month, doubled 2010 Olympic silver-medallist Cheryl Bernard of Calgary 8-4 in the final. Sweeting’s team is rounded out by vice-skip Dana Ferguson, second Joanne Courtney and lead Rachelle Pidherny.
At Charlottetown, there was another veteran winner as Kim Dolan won her 10th Prince Edward Island championship, scoring a 6-4 extra-end win over Charlottetown rival Kathy O’Rourke. Dolan will be joined in Montreal by third Rebecca Jean MacDonald, second Sinead Dolan, and lead Michala Robison.
And in the Nova Scotia final at Sydney, Heather Smith of Halifax earned a fifth trip to the Scotties, scoring three in the 10th end for a 6-3 win over Dartmouth’s Kelly MacIntosh. Smith, third Jill Brothers, second Blisse Joyce and lead Teri Lake went unbeaten through the provincial championship.
Homan’s defending champion team from Ottawa — third Emma Miskew, second Alison Kreviazuk (the older sister of Ontario second Lynn Kreviazuk) and lead Lisa Weagle — was the first team to qualify for the 2014 Scotties and will wear Team Canada colours in Montreal.
The last team in the Scotties field will be decided next Sunday, Jan. 19. The Quebec Scotties provincial championship got underway Sunday in Val-d’Or.
Tickets for the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts are available at www.curling.ca/2014scotties-en/tickets/.