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Assiniboine’s Peterson team to watch at Manitoba Scotties

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It’s easy to get caught up with the names at the top of the list for next week’s Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

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It’s easy to get caught up with the names at the top of the list for next week’s Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Down in the No. 5 spot is a group that everyone needs to keep an eye on — Assiniboine’s Beth Peterson.

Curl Manitoba revealed the seeds late Tuesday night with Kaitlyn Lawes taking the top spot, followed by Jennifer Jones, Abby Ackland, Chelsea Carey, and then Peterson. The unranked teams include Grace Beaudry (St. Vital), Alyssa Calvert (Carberry), Emma Jensen (Heather), Katy Lukowich (Granite), Lisa McLeod (Portage), Darcy Robertson (Assiniboine) and Kristy Watling (East St. Paul).

Lucas Punkari / The Brandon Sun files

Beth Peterson.

While Peterson, third Jenna Loder, second Katherine Doerksen, and lead Melissa Gordon haven’t had as much success this season as the other teams in the Top 5, they are only two years removed from a fifth-place finish at the Canadian Scotties as the third and final wild card. Gordon couldn’t get the time off work for the big event in Calgary so she was replaced by Brittany Tran of the Northwest Territories.

“It was amazing, and it definitely makes the fire burn in you to get back there,” said Peterson.

“When we were at the Scotties, it was a bit different with no crowd and being in a bubble and stuff like that, but it was a fantastic experience… and unfortunately, Melissa didn’t get to go with us so that’s a driving factor for us to get Melissa to the Scotties.”

Unfortunately for Peterson and Co., if they want to get Gordon to the national stage, doing so in Manitoba colours will be their only option as they’re currently ranked 26th in the Canadian Team Ranking System.

“You try not to think about it too much. Realistically, Manitoba is probably the hardest province to get out of and if we won the province, there’s a potential of having five Manitoba teams at the Scotties which I think says a lot,” said Peterson, alluding to the fact that Gimli’s Kerri Einarson will be there as Team Canada and Lawes, Jones, and Ackland can all likely fall back on wild-card spots if needed due to all three being ranked in the country’s top seven.

“So, yeah, it definitely adds pressure because I wish we had that other option, but I’d rather be at the Scotties with the Manitoba buffalo on my back anyways.”

Peterson owns a 23-15 record this season, which includes a pair of semi-final appearances and a first-place finish at a five-team Manitoba Scotties Berth Bonspiel. Perhaps the biggest thing Peterson has going for her is the fact they’re the only ranked team that isn’t in their first year playing together. Peterson, 28, and Gordon are cousins and have been sharing sheets of ice since they were kids. In 2018, the relatives joined forces with Loder and Doerksen, who previously played with Rhonda Varnes and Cathy Overton-Clapham, and the foursome has remained intact ever since.

“I think everybody saw the writing on the wall with some of the teams that it was time for a change, but we didn’t feel that way,” said Peterson.

“We’ve had a great four years and have the same goals and commitment and just thought it was our best option to stay together as a team.”

Outside of curling, Peterson works as a radiation therapist with CancerCare Manitoba. She and her husband, Dave Turnbull, a local radio personality and in-game host for the Winnipeg Jets, had a baby boy named Bennett more than a year ago. Peterson is currently four and a half months pregnant with their second child. Gordon is also pregnant, and on a similar timeline as the cousins are both expecting in June.

“At the Scotties in 2021, I was pregnant with Bennett and Cathy O was our fifth and she told me that she never had better draw weight than when she was pregnant. And then we had a pretty good run at the Scotties so I think there’s some truth to that,” said Peterson.

“That’s what we’re hoping for as we have the power of a couple pregnant people on our team.”

The Manitoba Scotties run Jan. 24-29 at the East St. Paul Arena.

News out East

Mike McEwen is shaking things up heading into his first appearance at Ontario’s provincial playdowns.

The Winnipeg resident announced last week that his new team has parted ways with lead Jonathan Beuk. On Wednesday, McEwen revealed Joey Hart — the son of Brier and world champion Richard Hart — will throw the first rocks at provincials in Port Elgin, Ont., Jan. 23-29. Richard is also joining the fold as a coach.

Manitoba juniors hit the ice

The men’s and women’s Manitoba Junior Provincial Championships kicked off on Tuesday in Portage la Prairie. The event wraps up on Saturday.

Defending champs Jordon McDonald out of Deer Lodge and Fort Garry’s Tansy Tober are both competing this week.

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen
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Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of...

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Updated on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 9:11 PM CST: Removes extra S from headline

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