May 18th, 2024

Scheidegger bringing a little experience into Canadian Curling Trials

By Dale Woodard on November 19, 2021.

This time, the Casey Scheidegger rink draws in a little bit older and wiser.

Scheidegger and her Lethbridge Curling Club rink of third Cary-Anne McTaggart, second Jessie Haughian and lead Kristie Moore have the 2022 Winter Olympics on their minds as they hit the hack for the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials in Saskatoon starting Saturday and running until Nov. 28.

This year’s Winter Games will take place in Beijing, China from Feb. 4 to Feb 20, 2022.

Four years ago, Scheidegger and her rink played at their first Olympic trials, going 3-5.

This time, the foursome returns a little more familiarized with the whole routine as they face a who’s who of Canadian curling talent also vying to wear the Maple Leaf in Beijing.

“I think that was such a great learning experience for us,” said Scheidegger Thursday afternoon, on the phone from Saskatoon where practices start today.

“I think the second time around we know what to expect and we also know every game is going to be a grind. Well see where the chips fall at the end of the week, but as long as we have some wins under our belt then you’re never really out of it until the very last game.”

Moore is the sole team member with Olympic experience. She served as an alternate on Cheryl Bernard’s 2010 rink that won silver at the Vancouver Games.

Now, the rest of the team chases that Olympic experience when Scheidegger opens the week Saturday against fellow Alberta rink Laura Walker at 2 p.m.

Walker’s rink also features Lethbridge’s Taylor McDonald at second.

“We’re really excited. We’re already in Saskatoon, so it’s a little more real now. We are thrilled to be here and grateful that curling is still happening and that Curling Canada and Health Saskatchewan has made this happen for us.”

Scheidegger and her rink earned their spot in the Olympic Curling Trials at the end of September at the 2021 Trials Direct Entry last weekend in Ottawa.

With her rink not a part of the Grand Slam tour, Scheidegger fashioned their own schedule over the past nearly two months to stay in game shape.

“We really relied on ourselves and had some really good practises as a team that we tried to use to our advantage as much as possible,” she said. “We had the competition in Camrose, which was a really good learning experience for us. The ice was probably a little different than what we’ll see at the trials. But any practices and being able to play in games was a good experience. So we’re really grateful for that.”

Scheidegger and her rink also competed at the 43rd Autumn Gold Curling Classic in mid-October, an event featuring many of the teams she’ll face this week.

“It was a good learning experience for us,” she said. “We didn’t so as well as we hoped there. But every loss is an opportunity to learn and definitely did that.”

With their opening game tomorrow, Scheidegger feels her team has done everything they can do prepare themselves for this weekend.

“Based on the current climate and what we were able to play in this season, I think we just have to take reassurance that we’ve done all we could do that was available for us.”

With every team in the field a contender, Scheidegger and her rink are aware there are no easy games on the schedule this week.

“Every game is going to be a grind and we’re going to have to work really hard and we knew that coming in. It’s the best teams in Canada. It’s a great opportunity to test ourselves and see how we rank and also to just have fun with some of our closest friends. So we’re excited.”

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