Off to Trials!

Team Scheidegger has qualified for the 2021 Tim Hortons Curling Trials, presented by AGI. (Photo, Curling Canada/Claudette Bockstael)

Team Scheidegger is first to clinch Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials spot

Team Scheidegger had looked at the Canadian Curling Trials Direct-Entry event and circled its Saturday night bye on the calendar.

It would be the first team to complete the five-team round-robin, and it looked like a nice night to go out and enjoy dinner together. But there’s cause for more celebration as the team became the first to qualify for the 2021 Tim Hortons Curling Trials, presented by AGI. It is the first of three women’s spots available.

“Uhhh, yes!” Scheidegger exclaimed when asked about a celebration tonight. “We said we if qualified we are going to The Keg and I guess we’ll be having a nice dinner!”

Scheidegger, vice-skip Cary-Anne McTaggart, Jessie Haughian, lead Kristie Moore and coach Joan McCusker punched their ticket following a 6-4 win against Corryn Brown (1-2; Kamloops, B.C.) on Saturday at the RA Centre in Ottawa.

“We tried not to think about it, but we did do a little scenario check this morning, hence the celebration. We’re very excited after guaranteeing our spot,” Scheidegger said.

The teams exchanged plenty of hugs and high-fives after finishing the 10th end. Team Scheidegger played a hit around a corner guard to eliminate the only Brown stone in play and prevent her from scoring the two points she needed to tie the game.

Scheidegger joins Kerri Einarson, Tracy Fleury, Rachel Homan and Jennifer Jones on the list of teams to qualify for the nine-team event that will determine Canada’s four-player men’s and women’s teams at the Olympic Winter Games. 

It will be Scheidegger’s second time at the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials and she aims to improve on her 3-5 record at the 2017 event in Ottawa.

“We did a lot of work during the offseason with our mental training and with Joan. She’s been amazing for our team. I feel like even though we weren’t curling we still improved and we worked on some things that needed to be worked on with team dynamics,” Scheidegger said. “We’ve always been friends and I think that we’ve been able to grow even closer from the experience of Covid.”

Her team opened the game with an efficient score of two with the hammer. Brown played a great draw through a port for one in the second, halved the lead, and tied the game in the third with a steal after Scheidegger was heavy on a draw.

However, Scheidegger battled back in the middle ends of the game, scoring a single point with the hammer in the fourth and stole points in the fifth and sixth ends. 

But Brown started a comeback attempt in the latter ends of the game. In the eighth end, Brown nailed a perfect double attempt, needing the get the angle just right while also not rolling out of the house for a score of two. She forced Scheidegger to one point in the ninth end and tailed 6-4, but with hammer in the last end. 

“It is just thrilling to be back out here and compete at a high level. We’re feeling really positive and really excited for the rest of the season,” Scheidegger said.

Mike McEwen controls his own destiny at the Trials Direct Entry event after a win against Colton Flasch. (Photo, Curling Canada/Claudette Bockstael)

The team’s travel schedule is limited, with no Grand Slam of Curling events on the schedule. Instead, they’ll opt for training camps, practice sessions and practice games against a talented field of teams from Alberta.

Two more women’s teams will qualify for the Tim Hortons Canadian Trials by the end of this weekend. Three wins is the magic number, as any team that can achieve that mark by Sunday will qualify.

Kelsey Rocque (2-1; Edmonton) is in a good position to qualify following a 6-5 win against Suzanne Birt (0-3; Cornwall/Montague, P.E.I.) during the afternoon draw.

On the men’s side, both Teams Matt Dunstone (4-1; Regina) and Mike McEwen (4-1; West St. Paul, Man.), control their destinies after wins this afternoon.

Dunstone defeated Jason Gunnlaugson (1-4; Morris, Man.) 6-5 in an extra end. McEwen toppled Colton Flasch (1-4; Saskatoon) 9-4.

If both teams win their games this evening, they will qualify for the Tim Hortons Curling Trials.

The Canadian Trials and Pre-Trials Direct-Entry events continue on Saturday with draws at 5 p.m., and 9 p.m. (all times ET).

For playoffs and rankings scenarios associated with the men’s Trials Direct-Entry event, click here. 

For playoffs and rankings scenarios associated with the women’s Trials Direct-Entry event, click here.

For the men’s Pre-Trials Direct-Entry tournament bracket, click here.

For the women’s Pre-Trials Direct-Entry tournament bracket, click here

Live scoring and standings for the events are available here.

Live streaming for all draws is available on Curling Canada’s YouTube page.

This story will be published in French as soon as possible here.

Curling Canada