The road to the 2016 Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Swift Current continues, with the playdown season kicking into high gear across Canada.
Eleven of the 15 teams for next month's Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Grande Prairie, AB, have been determined and there are some surprises... Despite a stellar season where she's won every event she's played in, Rachel Homan will not be going to the Scotties after losing the Ontario final to Jenn Hanna. I caught the SaskTel Tankard Southern Qualifier at the Swift Current Curling Club on Sunday, and there were some shocked faces among the fans when word got out that Homan didn't get out of Ontario. There were a few around here hoping she would perhaps represent Canada at the Worlds this spring, but in the end, anything can happen at playdowns.
Another surprise was Chelsea Carey, who only started curling for Alberta in 2014, winning that province by defeating 2015 Scotties runner-up Val Sweeting in the final. So far, with four provinces to come, only two skips from last year's Scotties will be returning for this year's event (Jennifer Jones for Team Canada and Suzanne Birt for PEI), so as it looks now, it could be a wide open competition in Grande Prairie.
Saskatchewan will determine its representative this week as the Viterra Scotties get underway in Prince Albert. Stefanie Lawton is the defending champion, and Swift Current's Kelsey Dutton will be part of the field after qualifying in the last-chance qualifier in Humboldt last week. We're wishing our curlers the best of luck as they try to capture the green jacket and punch their ticket to the Scotties!
In the meantime, you can still get your tickets for the Ford Worlds online at curling.ca/tickets or by calling the Broncos office at 306-773-1509, and stay tuned to Magic 97 for your chance to win your way to the Worlds!