Canadian skip Jennifer Jones of Team North America delivers a rock at the South Okanagan Events Centre in the opening round of the WFG Continental Cup event in 2013. Western News file photo

Field set for Scotties Tournament of Hearts national curling championship

The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts begins on Jan. 27 in Penticton

There will be a blend of experience and youth heading to Penticton for the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, beginning on Jan. 27 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The field was completed with the conclusion of provincial and territorial championships on the weekend, with 15 teams, including Team Canada’s Michelle Englot of Winnipeg, qualifying for the main round robin.

Among the qualifiers was the Jennifer Jones team from Winnipeg; Jones won her eighth Manitoba title on Sunday in Killarney and will be attempting to win her sixth Scotties national title, a mark that would tie the record currently held by Colleen Jones of Halifax.

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Jennifer Jones will be naming a replacement for vice-skip Kaitlyn Lawes, who will miss the Scotties in order to compete with partner John Morris in the first Olympic mixed doubles medal event at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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Englot’s team was the runner-up at the 2017 Scotties in St. Catharines, Ont., and earned the trip to Penticton when 2017 champion Rachel Homan and her Ottawa team prevailed at the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, making them Team Canada for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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The 16th team will be decided on Friday night, Jan. 26, at 6:30 p.m. (all times Pacific; TSN) with the first-ever Wild Card play-in game, featuring Calgary’s Chelsea Carey, the 2016 Scotties champ, and Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson, at the SOEC. They were the top two teams on the Canadian Team Ranking System who didn’t qualify out of their provincial/territorial championship. Admission to the Wild-Card game will be free.

The play-in game winner will be known as Team Wild Card during the Scotties.

With the conclusion of the regional qualifiers, not only is the field set, so are the two eight-team round-robin pools as the 16-team format for the Scotties and Tim Hortons Brier makes its debut.

The teams will be split into two pools of eight, with the top four teams from each pool then advancing to a championship pool that will determine the final four playoff teams.

The pools are set based on the teams’ position on the CTRS as of Dec. 31, 2017; the winner of the Wild Card game will automatically have a No. 4 seed.

Here’s a look at how the two pools set up:

Pool A

(teams listed according to seeding)

1. Manitoba, Jennifer Jones (TBC, Jill Officer, Dawn McEwen; Winnipeg)

4. Team Wild Card

5. Northern Ontario, Tracy Fleury (Crystal Webster, Jenna Walsh, Amanda Gates; Sudbury)

8. Nova Scotia, Mary-Anne Arsenault (Christina Black, Jennifer Baxter, Jennifer Crouse; Halifax)

9. Saskatchewan, Sherry Anderson (Kourtney Fesser, Krista Fesser, Karlee Korchinski; Saskatoon)

12. New Brunswick, Sylvie Robichaud (Melissa Adams, Nicole Bishop, Kendra Lister; Moncton)

13. Northwest Territories, Kerry Galusha (Sarah Koltun, Megan Koehler, Shona Barbour; Yellowknife)

16. Yukon Territory, Chelsea Duncan (Jenna Duncan, Kara Price, Jody Smallwood; Whitehorse)

Pool B

(teams listed according to seeding)

2. Alberta, Casey Scheidegger (Cary-Anne McTaggart, Jessie Scheidegger, Kristie Moore; Lethbridge)

3. Team Canada, Michelle Englot (Kate Cameron, Leslie Wilson, Raunora Westcott; Winnipeg)

6. Ontario, Holly Duncan (Stephanie LeDrew, Cheryl Kreviazuk, Karen Sagle; Toronto)

7. British Columbia, Kesa Van Osch (Marika Van Osch, Kalia Van Osch, Amy Gibson; Nanaimo)

10. Newfoundland/Labrador, Stacie Curtis (Erin Porter, Julie Devereaux, Erica Trickett; St. John’s)

11. Prince Edward Island, Robyn MacPhee (Sarah Fullerton, Meaghan Hughes, Michelle McQuaid; Charlottetown)

14. Quebec, Émilia Gagné (Mélina Perron, Marie-Pier Harvey, Chloé Arnaud; Alma)

15. Nunavut, Amie Shackleton (Geneva Chislett, Denise Hutchings, Robyn Mackey; Iqaluit)

You can purchase tickets at the South Okanagan Events Centre box office, online at curling.ca/tickets or by phone at 1-877-763-2849.

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