Auger-Aliassime bumps slump to beat qualifier at Barcelona Open
B.C.’s Clancy Grandy and Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges both went to extra ends to collect their respective women’s provincial curling championships Sunday and qualify for the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Kerry Galusha of Northwest Territories also punched her ticket to the Canadian women’s championship, to be held Feb. 17-26 in Kamloops, B.C.
Grandy, St-Georges and Galusha joined already qualified defending champion Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., Nunavut’s Brigitte MacPhail and Yukon’s Hailey Birnie.
Grandy’s Vancouver Curling Club team recovered from giving up five points in the third end to Corryn Brown of Kamloops to prevail 10-9 in an extra end in the B.C. women’s final in Chilliwack.
“We played aggressively, so when you play aggressively, there’s always an opportunity for a big end,” Grandy told Curl BC. “We just said ‘stick with it, keeping playing our game’ and we felt we were able to do that.”
St-Georges, whose team curls out of the Laval-Sur-Le-Lac and Glenmore curling clubs, edged Lauren Horten 4-3 in an extra end to take Quebec’s women’s crown in Alma.
St-Georges got the playoffs and skipped Quebec to a 6-6 record in the 2021 national championship, which was held in a bubble in Calgary due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her Quebec team went 3-5 and missed the playoffs last year in Thunder Bay, Ont.
Galusha beated Reese Wainman 8-1 in the N.W.T. women’s final at Inuvik Curling Club.
Galusha will play in her 16th career national women’s championship.
Colleen Jones is the all-time leader at 21 followed by Jennifer Jones at 16.
Curling Canada does not include years where a player was an alternate, nor does it recognize the two years Galusha’s N.W.T. team travelled to the Hearts, but fell short of the main draw by losing in a pre-tournament qualifier, in its official count.
Curling Canada continues the 18-team fields for its men’s and women’s national championship in 2023 after two years of the format.
Wild-card entries increased from one to three starting in 2021, and are determined by the top three non-qualified teams in Curling Canada’s ranking system (CTRS).
The Hearts’ wild-card entries will be named when all provincial and territorial reps are determined later this month.
Einarson, Ontario’s Rachel Homan and six-time national champion Jennifer Jones of Manitoba currently rank first to third in the CTRS, but the wild cards will come from deeper in that list as Einarson already has automatic entry into the Hearts as defending champion.
Homan and Jones will also compete in their respective provincial championships later this month.
Jones’ former third Kaitlyn Lawes, Alberta’s Casey Scheidegger, B.C.’s Grandy and Ontario’s Isabelle Ladouceur ranked fourth to seventh respectively Sunday in the CTRS.
Provincial women’s championships in Alberta and New Brunswick conclude Jan. 22.
Provincial finals in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Northern Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador are Jan. 29 and Nova Scotia on Jan. 30.
The Hearts winner will represent Canada at the world championship March 18-26 in Sandviken, Sweden.