May 25th, 2024

Walker makes game-winning draw to win Alberta playdown and book Scotties ticket

By Lethbridge Herald on January 11, 2022.

Edmonton’s Laura Walker made a game-winning draw Sunday afternoon to win the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts women’s curling playdowns and secure a berth in the upcoming national championship.

Walker threw her final stone to the four-foot ring for a 6-5 win over Casey Scheidegger of the Lethbridge Curling Club at the Bonnetts Energy Centre in Grande Prairie.

Walker – whose rink features Lethbridge product Taylor McDonald at second – finished third at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts last year in the Calgary bubble.

Scheidegger, whose rink also consists of third Cary-Anne McTaggart, second Jessie Haughian and lead Kristie Moore, went 6-1 in the round-robin to finish in a tie with Walker and Edmonton’s Kelsey Rocque.

In the semifinal Saturday, Scheidegger defeated Rocque 10-7 to advance to face Walker, the defending Alberta champion.

Scheidegger scored two in the first end for a quick 2-0 lead and lead 3-1 after four ends before Walker scored two in the fifth end to tie it 3-3 at the halfway point.

After a blanked sixth end, Scheidegger was forced to take one in the seventh end to grab a 4-3 lead.

Walker took advantage of the hammer in the eighth end with a pair to move up 5-4.

Scheidegger tied it back up at 5-5 with one in the ninth end before Walker dialed up the draw weight she needed on her last shot to post the winning point and grab the 2022 Alberta title.

The 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts is set for Jan. 28 – Feb. 6 in Thunder Bay.

Mary-Anne Arsenault beat Kayla MacMillan 8-6 on Sunday to win the British Columbia title. Penny Barker earned the Saskatchewan crown with a 7-5 victory over Chelsea Carey.

Two-time defending champion Kerri Einarson and her Manitoba-based team will play as the Canada entry at the Scotties.

Other confirmed entries include Manitoba’s Mackenzie Zacharias, New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford, Sarah Hill of Newfoundland and Labrador, Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville, Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia’s Christina Black, Nunavut’s Brigitte MacPhail, Suzanne Birt of Prince Edward Island, Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges and Yukon’s Hailey Birnie.

Three-time Scotties winner Rachel Homan has a provisional spot out of Ontario. However, the provincial association has said that Hollie Duncan will be the Ontario representative if Homan is selected to play on the Canadian mixed doubles team at the Beijing Olympics.

Curling Canada will return to a single play-in game this year to determine the Team Wild Card entry. Three wild-card teams played last year in a one-time expanded format.

Canada’s Olympic mixed doubles trials were cancelled on Boxing Day due to COVID-19 issues. An announcement on the Canadian representatives is expected over the coming days.

Jennifer Jones will represent Canada in the four-player women’s competition at the Beijing Games. Brad Gushue will skip the men’s entry.

On the men’s side in Grande Prairie, Calgary’s Kevin Koe doubled Edmonton’s Ted Appelman 8-4 in the Boston Pizza Cup final Sunday.

In the Page Playoffs Saturday, Koe beat Calgary’s Jeremy Harty 10-3, while Appelman got past Karsten Sturmay of Edmonton 7-1.

In the semifinal Saturday, Appelman got past Harty 7-6.

The men’s national championship, the Tim Hortons Brier, is scheduled for March 4-13 in Lethbridge.

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