Twelve teams came to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Alberta Provincial playdowns in Stettler, Ab. from Jan. 23 – 27 with the Casey Scheidegger rink, including Cary-Anne McTaggart, Jessie Haughian and Kristie Moore of the Lethbridge Curling Club, coming back to defend their 2018 title.
Scheidegger lost to Chelsea Carey in the ‘A’ side and Carey went on to win all her games, giving her the 2019 title.
Carey along with her brand new teammates from the Glencoe Club in Calgary, Sarah Wilkes, Dana Ferguson and Rachel Brown, will represent Alberta in the 2019 National Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Feb. 16 – 24.
A triple knockout giving Carey four points in the ninth end of the final game against Kelsey Rocque put the score to 8 – 3 to end the game. “It feels great. These finals are always so full of pressure because you want so hard to get back. The more you go to the Scotties, the more you want to go,” said Carey in an interview with Sportsnet broadcaster, Joan McCusker.
“We brought Sarah in the house and got Rachel back [from maternity leave], it started to click for us at the Canadian Open.
“The girls fought so hard all week they played so great. I’m so lucky. They made it easy for me.”
Carey had defeated the DeJong team from Sexsmith, Laura Walker rink from the Glencoe Club in Calgary and Scheiddegger rink that took her into the semi finals defeating the Kaufman rink of the Saville Curling Club in Edmonton that put her up against Kelsey Rocque in the final.
Other teams in the competition included Jodi Marthaller with Jody McNabb, Nicole Larson and Valerie Ekelund from the Garrison Curling Club, Lethbridge who made it into the semi finals before losing to Rocque.
Jodi Marthaller and Nicole Larson grew up in Hanna, Ab. giving a local touch to the playdowns.Team Stubbs of the Calgary Curling Club, Sherrer of the Lacombe Curling Club, Makichuk of the Spruce Grove Curling Club, and Teams Hilker and Kezama, both of the Sherwood Park Curling Club were the other five teams vying for the win.
As for community spirit, the Town of Stettler rised to the occasion.
Over 250 volunteers dedicated time to keep the event running smoothly from waiting tables to security to organization and more.
“It was fantastic. Right from the minute we organized it all the way through the planning stages and seeing it come to life and the amount of energy that was in the building,” said Steve Gerlitz, Stettler Curling Club president.
“The teams were fantastic to deal with. We were ecstatic to see the crowds that we got. We have certainly set the bar for future provincial championships in Alberta.”
Stettler Town Mayor Sean Nolls agreed saying, “I think Stettler showed Canada – maybe the rest of the world on how to put on a curling tournament. We came together. We had 250 volunteers, it looks like the stands were full.
Pretty much everyday if it was not full it was 95 per cent capacity and the venue itself was amazing. I think Stettler just put on an awesome show and they just showed everybody what community is.”
Girletz attributes much of the success to the welcoming community.
“We did the community and we did curling in Alberta proud. We have set the bar for future provincial championships,” he said.
Photos by T. Huxley