(CurlManitoba Release) Jennifer Jones has won her ninth Manitoba Women’s Championship and the defending champion team of Mackenzie Zacharias, Karlee Burgess, Emily Zacharias, and Lauren Lenentine have become the first repeat winner of the Manitoba title since Jones did it with her 2012 and 2013 team.
The Zacharias team, augmented with the addition of Jennifer Jones as their skip, won the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Rocky Mountain Equipment Sunday in East St. Paul.
The team, which curls representing St. Vital and Altona and which identifies as having two leads (Emily Zacharias, and Lauren Lenentine) who alternate game to game, went undefeated through the three rounds of play in the championship. A 5W-0L in the preliminary round robin and three more wins in the championship round earned Team Jones a bye to the Sunday afternoon final.
While most anticipated a re-match of the final championship round game, in which the Jones team defeated former teammate Kaitlyn Lawes and her Fort Rouge team, the final game opponent was Team Abby Ackland, skipped by Meghan Walter, representing the host East St. Paul Curling Club.
The East St. Paul team won three games Saturday, including an evening tiebreaker win over Beth Peterson and her Assiniboine Memorial team, to advance to the Sunday morning semi-final against Lawes. In the semi-final Team Ackland, led 6-5 after eight ends. They forced Lawes to draw facing a pair and her last stone draw was about a foot heavy in the four foot circle, allowing a steal of one. Up two coming home, Team Ackland kept the pressure on, forcing Lawes to a desperation double kill attempt which jammed giving up another point in an 8-5 Ackland win.
In the final, it was the Jones team which kept continual pressure on the Ackland team. They scored three deuces through the first five ends and then stole two more on the sixth end, en route to an eight end victory.
The champion Jones team will wear the Team Manitoba colours at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kamloops in mid-February. Kerri Einarson’s Gimli team will be in Kamloops as Team Canada. Team Einarson is #1 on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) while Team Jones is CTRS #3.
CurlManitoba awaits confirmation that Kaitlyn Lawes (CTRS #4) and Team Ackland (CTRS #7) will receive wildcard Scotties berths based on other results across the country as the national Scotties field was finalized this weekend.
The much anticipated final round meeting between Jennifer Jones and Kaitlyn Lawes lived up to the expectations of curling fans in the arena and tuning in for the game on CurlManitoba’s YouTube Channel.
The Abby Ackland team, skipped by Meghan Walter, lived up tot heir own expectations, winning a pair of game Saturday to force a late tiebreaker draw and then winning the tiebreaker to earn a spot in today’s 3-team playoff.
The Jones team earned the bye to the Sunday 2PM final game but it wasn’t easy. On the opening end, with a routine draw for two as the easy choice, Kaitlyn Lawes elected to play a tough but makeable double kill for a possible four. A 2, a 3, or a 4 ender were all possible outcomes from curling ‘not quite enough’ or from curling ‘just a little too much’. The result was in-between and the Lawes thrown stone rolled across the top of the second stone without touching it – scoring just a single point.
From there, the teams traded deuces until Lawes was forced to a single on the eight, scored only because she called and made a big weight double between two centre lines guards which contacted both and continued through to remove a Jones stone on the four foot.
Jones and her St. Vital/Altona foursome finally jumped ahead with a deuce on the ninth and had Lawes apparently beaten coming home when Lawes tried one more highlight reel shot. Her attempted double raise double kill for two and a tie was “oh so close” – as her promoted stone sailed between the two Jones stones on either side of the button in the four foot circle.
It left curling fans wanting more but the only way they get more is if the Lawes Fort Rouge team wins the Sunday 9:30AM semi-final against the Walter/Ackland foursome.
Saturday began with Team Ackland facing the daunting task of winning three games – and two would be against Beth Peterson’s Assiniboine Memorial team – if Peterson lost her opening match to Jennifer Jones.
The Ackland team, who give the East St. Paul organizers a team representing their own club in the playoffs, built momentum throughout the day. They defeated Darcy Robertson while Peterson was challenging Jones in a game which went to the final end. The disappointing loss set the stage for a tough day for Peterson’s team. Team Ackland was on a roll, leading 6-5 after seven ends, they stole the eight and ninth for a victory and then dominated the late tiebreaker game against the same Peterson team.
No matter today’s results, Jennifer Jones and Kaitlyn Lawes and their teams will be going to the national Scotties, either as Manitoba champions or wildcard entries. Ranked #3 & #4 respectively on the Canadian Team Ranking they’ll be at the nationals in Kamloops. Team Ackland, who formal name by that time will be Team Walter, still have a very good chance of being there as well.
As #7 on CTRS, they can go as Manitoba champions if they beat Lawes and then Jones to day. If not, a wildcard invitaiton appears to be as simple as Rachel Homan winning the Ontario final today.
The current CTRS rankings are: #1 – Kerri Einarson (Team Canada) #2 – Rachel Homan #3 – Jennifer Jones #4 – Kaitlyn Lawes #5 – Clancy Grandy (BC Champion) #6 – Casey Scheidegger (Alberta Finalist – she’ll get a wildcard entry) #7 – Abby Ackland
With three wildcard spots available, the formula appears simple. Einarson & Grandy don’t need one and Scheidegger will have one – leaving two for four teams. Assuming a Jones-Lawes final, then one will be provincial champion and the other will get a wild card invitation – leaving one for two teams, either Homan or Ackland.
So Team Ackland will be cheering for Homan – but when the day begins at East St. Paul they can also just focus on the task of beating Lawes and then Jones, an accomplishment which would earn them the champions’ berth at Kamloops and create a legendary finish to be talked about for years.
FYI: Homan in Ontario, like Jones in Manitoba, has advanced to the final and awaits the semi-final winner (Hollie Duncan vs Danielle Inglis)
(Curl Manitoba Release) CurlManitoba has announced the top five seeds for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Rocky Mountain Equipment which will be played January 24-29 at East St. Paul. The seeding of the draw is done by the curlers with the some weighting for each team’s CTRS rankings.
The host East St. Paul Curling Club has three teams representing them in the championship and two of those teams have been ranked in the event’s top five.
Including CTRS #1, Kerri Einarson and her Gimli Team Canada, Manitoba has three teams in the CTRS top five and four in the CTRS top ten teams in Canada. Not surprisingly the three are the top three teams in the draw seeding. Team Canada earned an automatic berth in this year’s national Scotties by winning a year ago.
The top three seeds go slightly against traditional patterns where the defending champion team has often been accorded the first seed.
Seed #1: Representing Fort Rouge CC: Kaitlyn Lawes (Selena Njegovan, Jocelyn Peterman, Kristin MacCuish, Jill Officer) – With a very brief pause for the birth of Kaitlyn Lawes’ baby, the team has focussed this season on the week at East St. Paul. All former champions, their season has justified the top seed position. They have qualified in nine events, reached the final three times and won two championships in their first season together. They are currently ranked CTRS #4. They qualified as the November 2022 CTRS leader.
Seed #2: Representing St. Vital CC/Altona CC: Jennifer Jones (Karlee Burgess, Mackenzie Zacharias, Emily Zacharias, Lauren Lenentine) – Currently ranked CTRS #3, the defending champion Mackenzie Zacharias team has added the many times Manitoba and Canadian champion Jennifer Jones to the roster. The season’s performance also includes qualifying in nine events with two final appearances and two championships. They hold the defending champion’s berth.
Seed #3: Representing East St. Paul CC: Abby Ackland (Meghan Walter, Sara Oliver, Mackenzie Elias, Kaitlyn Jones) – The top seed among a talented group of highly regarded aspiring young teams, they are currently ranked CTRS #8. Their season performance includes a championship and a finalist finish in tour events along with a finalist finish in the CurlManitoba berth bonspiel. They are a Manitoba Curling Tour Points qualifier for the Scotties.
The 4th and 5th seeds are the other two Manitoba teams currently in the CTRS top 25. In ranking these two, their fellow competitors have acknowledged the past Scotties championships as a consideration.
Seed #4: Representing East St. Paul CC: Chelsea Carey (Jolene Campbell, Liz Fyfe, Rachel Erickson) are currently ranked CTRS #25, qualifying in 2 events this season. A former Manitoba champion and a twice Canadian champion from Alberta, Chelsea Carey returns to Manitoba and the Carey-Peters partnership evokes the success of their fathers curling together as Manitoba Men’s champions in the 90’s. They were untested in qualifying through the CurlManitoba Winnipeg regional playoff.
Seed #5: Representing Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club: Beth Peterson (Jenna Loder, Katherine Doerksen, Melissa Gordon, Robyn Njegovan) –They are currently ranked CTRS #21, the Peterson team qualified twice this season and reached the semi-final once. Three members of the team (Peterson, Loder, Doerksen) were impressive in a 2021 national Scotties Wild Card appearance which saw them finish with a 7W-5L record, one placement out of the playoffs. While playing a lesser schedule than the more high profile teams above them, they are a strong aspiring Manitoba team. They qualified by winning the CurlManitoba berth bonspiel.
The draw for the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by RME is available now at curlmanitoba.org.
The remaining teams in the competition, listed alphabetically are:
WINNIPEG: Grace Beaudry (St. Vital) WESTMAN: Alyssa Calvert (Carberry) WINNIPEG: Emma Jensen (Heather) WINNIPEG: Katy Lukowich (Granite) MCT Champion: Lisa McLeod (Portage) WINNIPEG: Darcy Robertson (AMCC) 2021-22 Season CTRS: Kristy Watling (East St. Paul)
Jubilation for Jennifer Jones and her team and heartbreak for Tracey Fleury and her team, as Fleury’s last stone on an extra end, an attempted tapback for victory, over-curled and rubbed a guard. Jennifer Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, and Dawn McEwen won gold undefeated eight years ago in Sochi. Kaitlyn also won gold in Pyeongchang in Mixed Doubles. Jocelyn Peterman is a first time Olympian. Fifth Lisa Weagle went to the Olympics in South Korea with Rachel Homan but will be looking for her first Olympic medal.
For Team Fleury – undefeated for nine full games but the taste of defeat for the first time in the 11th end of the final, next up is the Manitoba Scotties in Carberry. With Jones and Einarson absent from the field, they will be the over-whelming favourites to win and go to the national Scotties as Team Manitoba.
(11PM: Saturday, Nov. 27) FLEURY-JONES FINAL IN THE WOMEN’S TRIALS .. A Manitoba team will represent Canada in Women’s Curling at the Beijing Olympics. Tracey Fleury and her East St. Paul team, who finished #1 in the round robin, will play Jennifer Jones and her St. Vital foursome, who finished #2 and won the Saturday evening semi-final.
Krista McCarville team lost that semi-final 8-3 to Jones. McCarville’s Northern Ontario team had reached the semi-final with a 4-3 extra end win over Kerri Einarson. The Gimli team had won the first tiebreaker game over Casey Scheidegger.
(7PM: Friday, Nov. 26)MANITOBA WOMEN’S TEAMS #1 & #2, PLAYOFF FOR #3 AT THE TRIALS .. Tracey Fleury and her East St. Paul foursome played, and beat, former Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Jones and her St. Vital team in the Canadian Curling Trials. They had already assured themselves of the bye to the Sunday final. The 7-6 win gave Team Fleury an undefeated record and, perhaps more important, if/when they play Jones again they have that knowledge they have already beaten Jones once.
To advance, Team Einarson faces a three game day Saturday. In Tiebreaker #1 at 9AM, Einarson plays Scheidegger. The winner plays against McCarville in Tiebreaker #2. The winner plays Jones in the semi-final at 7PM
Team Jones finished in 2nd place with their 5-3 record. Their playoff gamed will be against the survivor of a three game tiebreaker draw.
Kerri Einarson was positioned to grab the third playoff spot with a win but lost 8-4 to Kelsey Rocque. With a final record of 4W-4L. the Gimli team is tied with Krista McCarville, who had already completed their 8 games and with Casey Scheidegger, who defeated Rachel Home on the final draw.
FINAL ROUND ROBIN STANDINGS 8-0 Tracey Fleury (Manitoba) 5-3 Jennifer Jones (Manitoba) 4-4 Krista McCarville (N. Ontario) 4-4 Kerri Einarson (Manitoba) 4-4 Casey Scheidegger (Alberta) 3-5 Laura Walker (Alberta) 3-5 Kelsey Roque (Alberta) 3-5 Jacqueline Harrison (Ontario) 2-6 Rachel Homan (Ontario
(10PM: Thursday, Nov. 25)FLEURY UNDEFEATED, EARNS BYE TO THE TRIALS FINAL … Tracey Fleury and her East St. Paul team won a pair of games today (11-7 over Laura Walker, 10-3 over Casey Scheidegger) and have assured themselves of finishing first in the Canadian Curling Trials round robin.
They will have the bye to the final, a win away from the trip to the Olympics, no matter the result of their Friday game against Jennifer Jones and her St. Vital team.
Jones lost 7-5 to Rachel Homan and has a 5W-2L record and needs to beat Fleury to be assured of second place in the standings.
Kerri Einarson’s Gimli team takes on Kelsey Roque (currently 2W-5L) and needs a win to be assured of a playoff spot. With a loss she would be tied for third with Krista McCarville who has finished at 4W-4L.
STANDINGS AFTER DAY FIVE 7-0 Tracey Fleury (Manitoba) 5-2 Jennifer Jones (Manitoba) 4-3 Kerri Einarson (Manitoba) 4-4 Krista McCarville (N. Ontario) 3-4 Laura Walker (Alberta) 3-4 Casey Scheidegger (Alberta) 2-5 Jacqueline Harrison (Ontario) 2-5 Rachel Homan (Ontario 2-5 Kelsey Roque (Alberta)
(6PM: Wednesday, Nov. 24) FLEURY, JONES IMPROVE TO 5 WINS IN SASKATOON …They needed an extra end but Tracey Fleury and her East St. Paul team bested Jacqueline Harrison this afternoon at the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials in Saskatoon to improve their perfect record to 5W-0L. As the only team with a perfect record, Team Fleury sits in first place in the women’s Trials.
A loss behind is Jennifer Jones and her St. Vital team with a 5W-1L record following their Wednesday afternoon victory over Kelsey Roque and two wins back are Kerri Einarson (Gimli) and Krista McCarville (N. Ontario) after McCarville’s win over Einarson.
STANDINGS AFTER DAY FOUR 5-0 Tracey Fleury (Manitoba) 5-1 Jennifer Jones (Manitoba) 3-3 Krista McCarville (N. Ontario) 3-3 Kerri Einarson (Manitoba) 2-3 Laura Walker (Alberta) 2-3 Jacqueline Harrison (Ontario) 2-3 Casey Scheidegger (Alberta) 1-4 Rachel Homan (Ontario 1-4 Kelsey Roque (Alberta)
(10PM: Tuesday, Nov. 23)MANITOBA WOMEN TOP 3 IN SASKATOON … Tracey Fleury and her East St. Paul team are the only unbeaten team left in the women’s Canadian Curling Trials in Saskatoon. Team Fleury handed Rachel Homan’s Ontario team their third loss, an 8-3 Fleury win.
At the same time, a dramatic last shot victory for Kerri Einarson’s Gimli team over previously unbeaten Jennifer Jones and her St. Vital foursome handed Team Jones their first loss in five starts Tuesday in Saskatoon.
Team Einarson jumped out to a 6-0 three end lead but trailed 9-8 coming home. When Jones was inches heavy on her last stone draw to split the rings, Einarson played a hit for two and victory.
STANDINGS AFTER DAY FOUR 4-0 Tracey Fleury (Manitoba) 4-1 Jennifer Jones (Manitoba) 2-3 Kerri Einarson (Manitoba) 2-2 Jacqueline Harrison (Ontario) 2-3 Casey Scheidegger (Alberta) 2-3 Krista McCarville (N. Ontario) 1-3 Rachel Homan (Ontario 1-3 Laura Walker (Alberta) 1-3 Kelsey Roque (Alberta)
(10PM: Monday, Nov. 22)JONES, FLEURY BOTH WIN TO STAY PERFECT IN SASKATOON .. With wins Monday evening, Jennifer Jones and her St. Vital team improved to 4W-0L and Tracey Fleury and her East St. Paul team improved their perfect record to 3W-0L.
Team Jones, was a 7-5 winner Monday evening over Casey Scheidegger (Alberta). On the weekend, they had posted wins over Krista McCarville (N. Ontario), Jacqueline Harrison (Ontario), and Laura Walker (Alberta).
Team Fleury’s Monday evening win was a 9-2 victory over Krista McCarville (N. Ontario. On Sunday, they defeated Kelsey Roque (Alberta) and they opened Saturday with a win over Manitoba’s 2-time reigning Canadian Scotties champion Kerri Einarson.
After the opening loss to Fleury, Team Einarson has a record of 2W-2L, with wins over Casey Scheidegger and Laura Walker (both Alberta) and a loss to Harrison.
STANDINGS AFTER DAY THREE 4-0 Jennifer Jones (Manitoba) 3-0 Tracey Fleury (Manitoba) 2-1 Jacqueline Harrison (Ontario) 2-2 Kerri Einarson (Manitoba) 2-2 Casey Scheidegger (Alberta) 1-2 Rachel Homan (Ontario 1-2 Laura Walker (Alberta) 1-3 Krista McCarville (N. Ontario) 0-3 Kelsey Roque (Alberta)