Curling

Njegovan confirms she'll be on site at Scotties

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Yesterday at 4:07 PM CST

After almost a week of uncertainty about event accessibility due to her pregnancy leave, Team Lawes vice Selena Njegovan has confirmed she plans to attend the Canadian women's curling championship.

Both Curling Canada and Njegovan said they have cleared things up after a miscommunication led to confusion about her role at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts while on leave.

Njegovan was told last week that she wouldn't have the same access as other athletes at the Feb. 17-26 event. The organization later clarified things with the team and granted her the access she desired as a non-playing alternate.

"I was really excited and we're happy that Curling Canada had changed their minds," Njegovan said. "It seemed like there was miscommunication around all that.

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Njegovan will be able to support team after all

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Preview

Njegovan will be able to support team after all

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023

Team Lawes vice Selena Njegovan will be able to serve in a support role at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts after all despite initially being told she'd have limited access on site while on pregnancy leave.

The change, confirmed Tuesday by Curling Canada's Nolan Thiessen, will likely put an end to a weeklong series of developments stemming from the organization's unveiling of a pregnancy exemption eligibility policy ahead of the national championship.

That policy was walked back twice last week to allow all teams — not just the top five in the national rankings — to apply for this year's event.

But the Njegovan situation — in particular her desire to support her team while on leave — didn't change until Tuesday afternoon.

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Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023

Wild Card 1 skip Selena Njegovan delivers a rock as they play Wild Card 2 at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Tuesday, Feb.1, 2022. Njegovan will be able to serve in a support role at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts after all despite initially being told she'd have limited access on site while on pregnancy leave. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

A lot on the line for Team Dunstone

Taylor Allen 6 minute read Preview

A lot on the line for Team Dunstone

Taylor Allen 6 minute read Monday, Feb. 6, 2023

As the No. 1-ranked team in the country, Matt Dunstone’s rink knows they can afford to fall short this week in Neepawa for the Manitoba men’s curling provincials.

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Monday, Feb. 6, 2023

JEFF MCINTOSH / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Matt Dunstone’s Fort Rouge foursome is the No. 1-ranked men’s curling team in the country heading into the Viterra Chmapionship in Neepawa.

Jones Manitoba’s greatest athlete

Mike McIntyre 5 minute read Preview

Jones Manitoba’s greatest athlete

Mike McIntyre 5 minute read Monday, Feb. 6, 2023

Jennifer Jones has already proven herself to be the greatest curler in Manitoba’s storied history. Her latest provincial championship last week only added to her lore, and the 48-year-old Winnipegger is now preparing to skip a team at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts for an absurd 17th time in her decorated career.

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Monday, Feb. 6, 2023

John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press files

Skip Jennifer Jones (second from left) is headed to her 17th Scotties Tournament of Hearts with teammates Emily Zacharias (left), Mackenzie Zacharias and Karlee Burgess (right).

Curlers ask for transparency and communication after pregnancy exemption uproar

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Preview

Curlers ask for transparency and communication after pregnancy exemption uproar

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Monday, Feb. 6, 2023

A Canadian interim rep for the Curling Players' Association has renewed a call for improved transparency and collaboration with Curling Canada after an uproar about pregnancy exemption rules resulted in an about-face from the organization.

"This is a classic example of a situation where I think if the players had been consulted, we might have come to a better ruling earlier," Team Homan's Emma Miskew said Monday.

After three days of outcry from several high-profile curlers, Curling Canada changed its exemption rule last Friday so that any team in this year's 18-team national championship field could apply.

The federation initially allowed just the top five teams in the national rankings to consider adding an out-of-province curler as a replacement for a pregnant player.

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Monday, Feb. 6, 2023

Wild Card 3 skip Emma Miskew calls the sweep as they play New Brunswick at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay, Ont., Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. A Canadian interim rep for the Curling Players' Association has renewed a call for improved transparency and collaboration with Curling Canada after an uproar about pregnancy exemption rules resulted in an about-face from the organization. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Early leaders emerge in U-18 Canadian curling championships

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Preview

Early leaders emerge in U-18 Canadian curling championships

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023

TIMMINS, Ont. - Teams skipped by Timothy Marin of New Brunswick, Zachary Davies of Alberta and Raphael Tremblay of Quebec will take 2-0 records into Monday's action at the Canadian Under-18 boys curling championship.

Marin defeated Simon Perry's Newfoundland and Labrador team 10-6 in Sunday's opening draw, then beat Brayden Snow's Prince Edward Island team 6-3 in the third draw.

Davies dumped Nolan Blaeser's B.C. foursome 8-3 in the opening draw, then beat Newfoundland and Labrador 7-3 in the third draw.

Tremblay outlasted Nicholas Rowe's Ontario team 5-3 in the opening draw, then scored three in the last end to edge Ronan Peterson's Manitoba foursome 6-5 in the third draw.

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Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023

TIMMINS, Ont. - Teams skipped by Timothy Marin of New Brunswick, Zachary Davies of Alberta and Raphael Tremblay of Quebec will take 2-0 records into Monday's action at the Canadian Under-18 boys curling championship.

Marin defeated Simon Perry's Newfoundland and Labrador team 10-6 in Sunday's opening draw, then beat Brayden Snow's Prince Edward Island team 6-3 in the third draw.

Davies dumped Nolan Blaeser's B.C. foursome 8-3 in the opening draw, then beat Newfoundland and Labrador 7-3 in the third draw.

Tremblay outlasted Nicholas Rowe's Ontario team 5-3 in the opening draw, then scored three in the last end to edge Ronan Peterson's Manitoba foursome 6-5 in the third draw.

Saskatchewan’s Kelly Knapp, Jamie Koe of Northwest Territories punch tickets to Brier

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Preview

Saskatchewan’s Kelly Knapp, Jamie Koe of Northwest Territories punch tickets to Brier

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023

Saskatchewan's Kelly Knapp and Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories won their respective men's provincial and territorial curling finals Sunday to advance to the Tim Hortons Brier.

Knapp edged Steve Laycock 5-4 in Estevan to take Saskatchewan, while Koe was an 11-3 winner over Greg Skauge at the Fort Smith Curling Club to win in N.W.T.

Koe will skip a Territories team at a Canadian men's championship for the 16th time in his curling career, while Knapp is a relative rookie.

The Saskatchewan skip appeared in one game as an alternate in the 2011 Brier.

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Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023

Team Northwest Territories skip Jamie Koe makes a shot against Team Nova Scotia at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge, Alta., Saturday, March 5, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Curling Canada does about-face, offers pregnancy exemption to all Scotties teams

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 6 minute read Preview

Curling Canada does about-face, offers pregnancy exemption to all Scotties teams

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 6 minute read Friday, Feb. 3, 2023

With three members of Team Lawes trying to balance pregnancy with curling at times this season, Selena Njegovan was pleased her squad received an exemption to add an out-of-province replacement player for the national championship.

What was disappointing, Njegovan said, was that only the top five teams in the national rankings were allowed to apply.

The Curling Canada decision to limit eligibility for a pregnancy exemption at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts was a hot topic in the sport's circles after details were released with Tuesday's draw.

"It's just not fair to the other women and the other teams," Njegovan said from Winnipeg.

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Friday, Feb. 3, 2023

Wild Card 1 skip Selena Njegovan directs a shot as they play Newfoundland and Labrador at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Wednesday, Feb.2, 2022. With three members of Team Lawes trying to balance pregnancy with curling this season, Njegovan was pleased her squad received an exemption to add an out-of-province replacement player for the national championship.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Curling Canada says pregnancy exemption to be expanded in 2024

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Preview

Curling Canada says pregnancy exemption to be expanded in 2024

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Curling Canada says it is opening up its pregnancy exemption eligibility to all teams competing at next year's Canadian women's and men's championships, with the announcement coming a day after the organization came under fire for limiting the exemption to just the top five teams in the rankings.

In a release issued Thursday evening, Curling Canada said the expanded rule will take effect for the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary and will also be applied for the 2024 Brier in Regina.

The exemption allows a team to use a replacement player even if the athlete didn't play in the provincial/territorial championship or meet residency requirements.

Curling Canada's existing policy, which will remain in force for the 2023 women's and men's championships, allows the top five teams to add an out-of-province free agent at the national playdowns.

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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Play gets underway as cardboard cutouts of fans look on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Two-time world champion David Murdoch named Curling Canada high-performance director

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Preview

Two-time world champion David Murdoch named Curling Canada high-performance director

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Curling Canada has gone international to find a replacement for longtime high-performance director Gerry Peckham.

Two-time world champion David Murdoch, who has served as national and Olympic coach for British Curling since September 2018, was named to the post on Thursday.

"The talent pool in Canada is incredible and you have incredibly experienced athletes and incredibly experienced coaches," Murdoch said on a video call. "But maybe there's something different that I hope to offer.

"I'm certainly going to do my best to make sure that that brings success."

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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

Scotland skip David Murdoch makes a shot during the 10th draw against Netherlands at the Men's World Curling Championships in Edmonton,Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Two-time world champion Murdoch has been named Curling Canada's new high-performance director. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Team Wiebe confident of chances at men’s provincial curling championship

Taylor Allen 5 minute read Preview

Team Wiebe confident of chances at men’s provincial curling championship

Taylor Allen 5 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

Ryan Wiebe has learned there are some perks to having a hockey historian such as Ty Dilello on your team.

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Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Ryan Wiebe (right) and Ty Dilello of the Fort Rouge Curling Club

Curling Canada under fire for limiting eligibility for pregnancy exemptions

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 6 minute read Preview

Curling Canada under fire for limiting eligibility for pregnancy exemptions

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 6 minute read Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

Residency rules. Pregnancy exemptions. Confusion, questions and ire.

A Curling Canada news release intended to confirm the draw for the national women's championship instead sparked a debate about inclusivity, equality and options for teams with players who are pregnant.

Prominent curlers from across the country took the national sports organization to task this week for the wording and creation of an exemption that only allowed teams ranked in the top five to apply.

When a fourth-ranked team was able to bring in an out-of-province free agent as a replacement for a player close to her due date, queries about the rules — along with some sharp criticism — started rolling in.

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Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023

Curling Canada was under fire Wednesday after limiting pregnancy exemption eligibility for teams hoping to add an out-of-province free agent at the national playdowns to just the top five rinks in the rankings. Curlers sweep a stone during a practice session at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge, Alta., Friday, March 4, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Four Manitoba teams to compete at Scotties

Taylor Allen 1 minute read Preview

Four Manitoba teams to compete at Scotties

Taylor Allen 1 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023

The field is set for the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kamloops, B.C.

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Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023

Kerri Einarson will represent Canada at the Scotties. (Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press files)

Lawes, Scheidegger, Walter get wild-card spots for Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Preview

Lawes, Scheidegger, Walter get wild-card spots for Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023

Laura Walker has felt quite comfortable in a substitute role on the Manitoba-based team skipped by Kaitlyn Lawes this season.

It made her a good fit to join the Lawes' lineup as Team Wild Card One at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. With vice Selena Njegovan being granted a pregnancy leave by Curling Canada, Walker will again fill in at third at the Feb. 17-26 event in Kamloops, B.C.

"They've just really welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like I was a part of the team from Day 1 and not just a spare or a fill-in," Walker said. "I've been on Team Lawes and that makes it really easy for me and makes it a lot of fun for me too."

Wild-card positions were finalized Tuesday after the national rankings were updated with results from recent provincial and territorial championships. The berths went to the three highest-ranked teams not already qualified.

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Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023

Canada's Kaitlyn Lawes reacts after throwing a rock during a women's curling match against the United States at the Beijing Winter Olympics Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Beijing. Manitoba's Lawes, Alberta's Casey Scheidegger and Manitoba's Meghan Walter appear set to fill the three wild-card positions at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Brynn Anderson

Team Manitoba with a taste of the Maritimes

Taylor Allen 5 minute read Preview

Team Manitoba with a taste of the Maritimes

Taylor Allen 5 minute read Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

Lauren Lenentine couldn’t wait to pick up the phone this past off-season to tell her family back home in Charlottetown, P.E.I., that Jennifer Jones, someone she grew up watching and idolizing, was now her teammate.

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Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Third Karlee Burgess of Team Jones delivers a shot at the Manitoba Scotties Tournament Hearts.

Team McEwen finds spark at Ontario Tankard to earn berth at Tim Hortons Brier

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Preview

Team McEwen finds spark at Ontario Tankard to earn berth at Tim Hortons Brier

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

After a mediocre first half of the season, Mike McEwen's new-look team finally found the spark it was looking for at the Ontario Tankard.

Now the foursome will wear home province colours at the March 3-12 Tim Hortons Brier in London, Ont.

"It just all came together," third Ryan Fry said Monday. "Hopefully we can ride that wave into London and make a bit of noise and see if we can find ourselves playing on the (last) weekend."

McEwen, Fry, Brent Laing and Jonathan Beuk endured a slow start to the campaign after forming the lineup in the off-season.

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Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

Team Manitoba skip Mike McEwen gestures to his teammates while playing Team Nunavut at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge, Alta., Monday, March 7, 2022. McEwen's new-look team finally found the spark it was looking for at the Ontario Tankard. Now the foursome will wear home province colours at the March 3-12 Tim Hortons Brier in London, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Matthew Manuel wins Nova Scotia men’s curling final to advance to Brier

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Preview

Matthew Manuel wins Nova Scotia men’s curling final to advance to Brier

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

Matthew Manuel's team booked a ticket to the Tim Hortons Brier with a 5-4 win over Owen Purcell in the Nova Scotia men's final Monday morning.

With the scored tied 4-4 coming home, Manuel stole a point in the 10th end for the victory at the Bluenose Curling Club. Manuel prevailed with a three-man team in the final because second Jeffrey Meagher was ill.

Manuel's third Luke Saunders is the son of six-time Canadian and two-time world champion Colleen Jones.

Purcell's 8-7 win in an extra end over Manuel on Sunday evening forced a rematch Monday to decide the province's representative at the national championship March 3-12 in London, Ont.

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Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

A broom and curling rocks are shown at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge, Alta., Sunday, March 6, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Jones can win with anybody

Mike Sawatzky 6 minute read Preview

Jones can win with anybody

Mike Sawatzky 6 minute read Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023

EAST ST. PAUL — Jennifer Jones and her crew of twentysomething rock stars completed an unbeaten run at the provincial women’s curling championship Sunday afternoon.

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Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Skip Jennifer Jones, second left, and her team, from left, Emily Zacharias, Mackenzie Zacharias (hidden) and Karlee Burgess celebrate defeating Team Ackland in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at East St. Paul Arena Sunday.

Jennifer Jones returns to Canadian women’s curling championship in Manitoba colours

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Preview

Jennifer Jones returns to Canadian women’s curling championship in Manitoba colours

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023

Jennifer Jones will skip a team at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts for the 17th time in her career after beating Abby Ackland 10-5 to win Manitoba's women's curling championship Sunday.

Only Colleen Jones (21) and her vice Kim Kelly (18) have appeared in more national women's championships than Jones, who is a six-time winner.

Winnipeg's Jones scored deuces in four of the first six ends and iced the victory with another pair in the eighth end Sunday against Ackland.

Three-time Hearts winner Rachel Homan earned Ontario's berth at this year's women's championship Feb. 17-25 in Kamloops, B.C., with a 9-2 rout of Hollie Duncan.

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Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023

Skip Jennifer Jones competes at the Autumn Gold bonspiel in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

McEwen to wear Ontario colours in Canadian men’s curling championship

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Preview

McEwen to wear Ontario colours in Canadian men’s curling championship

The Canadian Press 2 minute read Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023

Mike McEwen defeated Glenn Howard 8-3 to win the Ontario men's curling championship Sunday and qualify for the Tim Hortons Brier.

McEwen stole four points over the first three ends and scored another three in the fifth in Port Elgin where Howard shook hands after seven ends. McEwen has represented Manitoba in seven Canadian men's championships during his career.

In other men's provincial and territorial finals Sunday, Nathan Young defeated Greg Smith 8-6 to win Newfoundland and Labrador, Tyler Smith earned Prince Edward Island's crown with a 9-5 victory over Darren Higgins, and Tanner Horgan beat Sandy MacEwan 7-5 to take Northern Ontario.

In Nova Scotia, Owen Purcell's 8-7 win in an extra end over Matthew Manuel forced a rematch Monday to determine that provincial champion.

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Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023

Team Newfoundland and Labrador skip Nathan Young makes as shot as he plays Team Alberta at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge, Alta., Saturday, March 5, 2022. Young defeated Greg Smith 8-6 on Sunday to win the Newfoundland and Labrador Tankard and qualify for the Tim Hortons Brier. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Jones shooting for ninth crown

Mike Sawatzky 4 minute read Preview

Jones shooting for ninth crown

Mike Sawatzky 4 minute read Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

St. Vital’s Jennifer Jones will be gunning for an unprecedented ninth provincial women’s curling title Sunday afternoon.

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Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jennifer Jones throws a rock at the Scotties Tournament on January 27, 2023, held at East St. Paul Arena. Reporter: Mike Sawatzky

Jones, Lawes to play for spot in Scotties final

Staff 1 minute read Preview

Jones, Lawes to play for spot in Scotties final

Staff 1 minute read Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

Kaitlyn Lawes of Fort Rouge and St. Vital’s Jennifer Jones will go head-to-head later today in an epic game at the provincial women’s curling championship.

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Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Jennifer Jones throws a rock at the Scotties Tournament on Jan. 27.

McLeod exceeds Scotties expectations

Mike Sawatzky 3 minute read Preview

McLeod exceeds Scotties expectations

Mike Sawatzky 3 minute read Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

Lisa McLeod had modest expectations at the beginning of this week’s provincial women’s curling championship.

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Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

Lisa McLeod’s team started the Scotties with three consecutive wins. (Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press)

Jones still at top of her game

Mike Sawatzky 4 minute read Preview

Jones still at top of her game

Mike Sawatzky 4 minute read Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

She may be a living legend but there is nothing past tense about Jennifer Jones. Manitoba’s top curlers are still playing catch-up.

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Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jennifer Jones’ team is a perfect 6-0 heading into Saturday’s action at the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts in East St. Paul.

Decorated skip, new mom makes quick return to pebble

Mike Sawatzky 6 minute read Preview

Decorated skip, new mom makes quick return to pebble

Mike Sawatzky 6 minute read Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

Kaitlyn Lawes was just being herself Thursday morning.

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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Kaitlyn Lawes throws a rock at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts women’s curling in East St. Paul on Thursday.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Kaitlyn Lawes throws a rock at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts womenճ curling in East St. Paul on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. For Mike Sawatzky story. Winnipeg Free Press 2023.

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