Rookie is a tough cookie!

Team Alberta, Saville Community Sports Centre, Edmonton, skip Selena Sturmay throw her rock as second Dezaray Hawes and lead Paige Papley sweep in draw 9 action. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Team Alberta making some believers at Scotties

Skip Selena Sturmay is playing in her first Scotties Tournament of Hearts, but you would never know it by looking at the standings. 

The rookie skip and her Team Alberta (4-0, Edmonton) sits in first place in Pool A after an 8-4 win over Team Saskatchewan (3-2, Saskatoon), skipped by Skylar Ackerman, in a key matchup Monday evening at WinSport Event Centre in Calgary. 

“It (4-0 record) feels amazing,” said 25-year-old Sturmay who is leading a tough nine-team group which includes such star power as Team Canada’s Kerri Einarson and Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville. 

The win also inched the ‘home team’ a little closer to one of three playoff spots available in the pool. 

Sturmay, supported by third Danielle Schmiemann, second Dezaray Hawes, lead Paige Papley, and coached by Ted Appelman, admitted she’s thrilled to be sniffing the rarified air of first place in her baptism at the Scotties, considering the competition. 

Team Alberta, Saville Community Sports Centre, Edmonton, vice-skip Danielle Schmiemann throws her rock in draw 9. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

“Coming into this we wanted to grind out as many wins as we possibly could,” she said. “I think we’re doing a great job of that. We’ve been doing a really good job of picking up on ice conditions.” 

Team Alberta followed a familiar game plan, trying to keep things simple and avoiding messy, multi-rock houses. It didn’t always work out that way, which led to some difficult shots. Sturmay jumped out quickly to a 3-0 lead, but gave it back with a miss here or there. 

The Albertans weren’t able to pull away until the eighth end when Sturmay made a clutch draw to the button for two to assume a 7-4 lead. A single steal in the ninth finally finished off the team from Saskatchewan.  

“I would be lying if I said we didn’t’ have nerves,” said Sturmay. “I don’t want to discredit the rookie story but I think we are a really good rink. We belong here. We’re ranked fifth in Canada and I think we’re out here proving that.” 

Ackerman, the youngest player to skip a Saskatchewan team in the Scotties, refused to do any hand-wringing after the loss. She’s still well-positioned in the pack, with plenty of time to go. 

“Tough Monday for us. We just couldn’t quite capitalize and get ourselves to where we wanted to be,” she said. “Get some rest, refocus and hopefully take today as a learning experience and move into tomorrow with a better attitude and better execution, for sure.” 

It was also a good night for skip Einarson’s Team Canada (4-1, Gimli). The defending champs rode a hot start to a 10-4 win over Team Prince Edward Island (0-5, Crapaud), skipped by Jane DiCarlo. 

Einarson is attempting to win an unprecedented fifth title in a row, something that will demand some kind of superhuman effort, and some luck, and the effervescent skip from Camp Morton, Man., knows it. 

“I’ve haven’t (thought about five in a row),” she said. “I’ve actually never talked about that this week. I just try to keep focus on one game at a time.” 

Meanwhile, skip Laurie St-Georges’ Team Quebec (3-1, Glenmore & Laval-sur-le-Lac) won her third straight game to move into serious contention for a playoff spot after defeating Team Manitoba-Lawes (1-3, Winnipeg), skipped by Kaitlyn Lawes. The loss dealt a serious blow to the Manitobans’ playoff hopes, with some tough games ahead.  

In another key matchup Monday evening, McCarville’s Team Northern Ontario (3-2, Thunder Bay) continued its rebound from a slow start with an 8-3 win over Team Newfoundland & Labrador (0-4, St. John’s) skipped by Stacie Curtis. 

The Scotties champion will represent Canada at the 2024 BKT Tires World Women’s Curling Championship in Sydney, N.S., from March 16 to 24. 

The final goes Sunday, Feb. 23. 8

The 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts continues with a draws Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (all times Mountain). 

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts are available at

TSN and RDS2 will provide complete coverage of the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule. 

Broadcast coverage for viewers outside of Canada is available on TSN’s YouTube channel,

For ticket information for the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, go to

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at