Team Walker earns berth at Canadian Olympic Curling Trials with victory over Team Brown

The women’s and men’s fields for the Olympic Curling Trials in Saskatoon are getting a little clearer after two tournaments this weekend in Ottawa.

Kelsey Rocque and Laura Walker of Edmonton as well as Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta. All booked their prairie town tickets for the trials in late November after finishing in the top three in the direct entry events.

The three teams join former qualifier Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man., Rachel Homan of Ottawa and Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg.

Scheidegger was the first women’s team to earn their spot with a victory over Corryn Brown of British Columbia on Saturday.

“We are delighted to be back to practice. It’s been a really long offseason for us, but we did everything we could out of the ice, ”Scheidegger told CBC Sports.

“With the help of our trainer, Joan [McCusker], we worked on team dynamics, communication and mental preparation. I feel like it really paid off for us, and we’re excited to continue to build on everything we’ve started. “

After starting 2-0, Walker lost his next two games and needed a Sunday win over Brown to secure a spot in Saskatoon.

After losing the opener to Brown 9-8 in the extra set, it ended in a final showdown between the same two teams later on Sunday to decide last place.

But with the pressure, Walker was able to secure an 8-4 victory and advance to the Olympic Trials.

While there were three places available for the trials on the women’s side with five teams competing, only two places were available on the men’s side.

McEwen and Dunstone lock seats

Mike McEwen of Winnipeg and Matt Dunstone of Regina both secured their spots at the Olympic trials, with both teams finishing 5-1.

It wasn’t easy for the two quartets in their final matches with Dunstone taking an 8-6 win over Howard in an extra inning, while McEwen took a 9-8 win over Gunnlaugson.

“It means a lot. Last year I think we all faced a lot of pressure and anxiety in life,” McEwen frontman Colin Hodgson told CBC Sports.

“Qualifying for testing relieves a lot of that pressure and gives clarity on what’s to come rather than the uncertainty. Winning our spot is a huge boost in confidence and a relief to know that we belong to the best in Canada. We were prepared for direct entry and will now prepare for practice with more motivation than ever. “

Dunstone, who hails from Regina, will no doubt have the home crowd behind his quartet with the trials taking place in Saskatoon.

“After playing in the bubble last year in front of no fans, we are incredibly excited to be able to share this once in a lifetime opportunity with the world’s greatest curling fans who are cheering us on and sharing this moment with us,” Dunstone told CBC Sports.

“Closer to our final goal”

Dunstone’s quartet have finished third in the last two Briers.

“Obviously it’s great to get our spot and it allows us to prepare for two full months. It’s been in preparation for the last three and a half years and it’s great to be one more step towards our end goal. and that is to be Olympic gold medalists for Canada and Saskatchewan. “

Dunstone and McEwen join Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton, John Epping of Toronto, Brad Gushue of St. John’s NL and Kevin Koe of Calgary.

The final two women’s and men’s teams to win places at the Olympic Trials will be determined in a last-ditch qualifying match in Liverpool, Nova Scotia at the end of October.

The 14 women’s teams competing in Liverpool include:

  • Team Sherry Anderson (Saskatoon)

  • Team Penny Barker (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan)

  • Suzanne Birt Team (Charlottetown)

  • Jill Brothers Team (Liverpool, NS)

  • Team Hollie Duncan (Woodstock, Ont.)

  • Team Jacqueline Harrison (Dundas, Ont.)

  • Team Danielle Inglis (Mississauga, Ont.)

  • Team Krista McCarville (Thunder Bay, Ont.)

  • Team Jestyn Murphy (Mississauga, Ont.)

  • Team Beth Peterson (Winnipeg)

  • Team Darcy Robertson (Winnipeg)

  • Team Mackenzie Zacharias (Altona, Man.)

  • Team Kerry Galusha (Yellowknife, NT.)

  • Team Corryn Brown (Kamloops, BC)

The 14 men’s teams competing in Liverpool include:

  • Team Jonathan Beuk (formerly Team Scott McDonald; Kingston, Ont.)

  • Team Braden Calvert (Winnipeg)

  • Team Pat Ferris (Grimsby, Ont.)

  • Team Colton Flasch (Saskatoon)

  • Team Paul Flemming (formerly Team Jamie Murphy; Halifax)

  • Team Mike Fournier (Montreal)

  • Jason Gunnlaugson (Winnipeg)

  • Team Jeremy Harty (Calgary)

  • Team Glenn Howard (Penetanguishene, Ont.)

  • Team Pat Simmons (formerly Team Tanner Horgan; Winnipeg)

  • Team Karsten Sturmay (Edmonton)

  • Team Tyler Tardi (Langley, BC)

  • Team Vincent Roberge (Etchemin, Que.)

  • Team Sean Grassie (Winnipeg)

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