Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No. 1 with a bull's-eye

Top seed Carey the team to beat at this year's Scotties

  • Print

With the Olympic trials spotlight twinkling behind her, and the lights of the national bonspiel sparkling beyond, Chelsea Carey will enter the provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts wearing the promise -- and the pressure -- of being No. 1.

On Thursday, Curl Manitoba revealed the top five seeds and draw for the provincial women's championship, which kicks off in Virden on Jan. 8. Carey is at the top, followed by veteran Barb Spencer, third-seeded Michelle Montford, fourth-ranked Darcy Robertson and fifth-seeded Kerri Einarson. With the powerhouse Jennifer Jones rink absent as they prepare for the Olympics, the announcement came as little surprise to Carey and her team.

"You never know, but we've been seeded two I think about three years running now," said Carey at Thursday's press conference to announce the draw. "It's different, for sure... certainly a little bit more spotlight, but coming from the (Olympic) trials experience, it doesn't seem like as big a deal as it might have otherwise. The spotlight and the pressure is so much bigger on a stage like that. I think we're ready."

In the weeks after Carey slipped out of the Roar of the Rings, in a 6-3 tiebreaker loss to Ontario's Sherry Middaugh, the skip and her crew -- third Kristy McDonald, second Kristen Foster and lead Lindsay Titheridge -- took some time off to lick their wounds. But they hit the practice ice soon after that, getting ready to take a crack at a Scotties which is now, with Jones' absence, wide open.

The caveat: Anything could happen. The circumstance: Carey has twice made it to the Scotties final, including in 2011 where she lost a tough one to Cathy Overton-Clapham and 2012 when she lost a tight 6-5 final to Jones. Last year, Carey fell in the Page playoff to Spencer, who ranks second in all-time games (137) and wins (93) at the provincial championship.

Still, Carey isn't entertaining the idea that it's now or never for her Fort Rouge Curling Club foursome to take the provincial title.

"I don't think you can ever feel like that," she said. "If you start to feel like that, you put too much pressure on yourself that way, and you can't expect to win then. You just have to go out, and try to make some shots, and hope you come out on top at the end of the week."

The opportunity presented by Jones' absence isn't lost on Spencer, a three-time provincial champion who fell to Jones in last year's final. "Jennifer has a great team, and you know you're only going to beat her once in awhile, so it's nice to have a new champion coming out of Manitoba," said Spencer, who made it to the Road to the Roar Olympic pre-trials in Kitchener in November. "It's going to be exciting."

Whether the top two seeds face each other, time will have to tell. Sixteen teams earned a berth to the Scotties, divided into two round-robin groups of eight: Carey, Robertson and Einarson are the top seeds in the Asham Black Group, while Spencer and Montford lead the Red Brick Red Group.

The top-ranked teams from each group after the round robin will play each other for a bye to the final, with the second-ranked teams battling for a spot in the semifinal.

Games are set to begin at Virden's new Tundra Oil and Gas Place on Jan. 8. Over 500 passes have already been sold, and 300 volunteers have signed up to help host the event, which is the first curling event at the arena. The sheet ice was set to go in on Thursday night.

The bonspiel will also serve as a fundraiser for the Virden Curling Club, which is looking to do major upgrades on its aging facility.

"The curlers should be thrilled with the crowds that are going to be out there," said Scotties co-chair and Virden Curling Club president Cory Barkley. "I think everybody's pretty excited to see a big event come to town."

melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 3, 2014 C6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the Bombers MVP so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google