Wild ride to playing in Hearts for wild cards in Kamloops

Wild ride to playing in Hearts for wild cards in Kamloops

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Three wild cards in Canada’s males’s and girls’s curling championships apparently right here to keep means maintaining noses to grindstones to earn them.

Bumping up the variety of wild-card berths from one to three was a COVID-19 adaptation in Calgary’s 2021 curling bubble.

Introduced again by common demand in 2022 and 2023, wild cards are a Plan B ticket to each the Scotties Match of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier for groups that don’t win provincial or territorial championships.

Incomes a wild card is usually a wild ride.

Wild cards go to the highest three groups in Curling Canada’s Canadian Workforce Rating System (CTRS) that don’t win their provincial or territorial championship.

So it’s a matter of getting into sufficient occasions and successful sufficient factors through the season, whereas hoping a staff ranked increased wins its province or territory so a wild card lands on you.

When the mud settled, Kaitlyn Lawes at No. 4, Casey Scheidegger at No. 6 and Meghan Walter at No. 7 in the CTRS earned wild cards for this 12 months’s Hearts in Kamloops.

“We’re right here, in order that’s all that issues,” Walter mentioned.

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Defending champion Kerri Einarson topped Pool A at 3-0 forward of British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Kaitlyn Lawes’ wild card 1 all 2-1 heading into Monday’s attracts.

Northwest Territories, Ontario, Northern Ontario and Manitoba had been bunched atop Pool B at 2-1.

When Walter confronted Jennifer Jones in the Manitoba girls’s ultimate Jan. 29, Walter’s Hearts prospects additionally rested on Rachel Homan successful Ontario that very same day.

When Walter misplaced the ultimate to Jones, Walter’s supporters had been nonetheless completely satisfied due to a Homan win that dealt the third and ultimate wild card to Walter.

“It’s a really odd factor,” Walter mentioned Sunday in Kamloops.

There isn’t a relaxation for a staff that intends to pursue a wild card as a backup plan for entry into the Hearts and Brier.

“You may’t actually lay off in any respect,” Walter mentioned. “Subsequent season, we’ve talked about it, we’re playing the identical quantity of occasions, 14 or 13 we’ve performed.

“You’re not assured to qualify (for playoffs) in each occasion and earn these massive factors.

“You’ve bought to play in as many as doable and take a look at to get to playoffs more often than not. Generally you fall quick.”

Scheidegger, who misplaced to Kayla Skrlik in Alberta’s ultimate, chased factors this season with third Kate Cameron in cost of math.

“A lot of the groups which might be in the highest 10 in all probability have that person who’s calculating, and ensuring that you’re in a great state of affairs for that,” Scheidegger mentioned.

“We tried to play in ‘spiels that may give us essentially the most form of bang for our buck, so they might give us essentially the most factors.

“While you do come from a province that has had a number of wild cards come out of it the previous couple years, it’s good planning to have that in the again of your thoughts.”

Three wild cards had been a boon for Manitoba girls this 12 months.

Lawes and Walter took two for a complete of 4 Hearts entries from that province, together with Einarson and Jones.

“I do suppose everybody needs to win their provincials and everybody needs to put on their crest on their again, however realizing there are some provinces which have lots of nice groups, you do form of have your eye on wanting to be on the prime of the CTRS,” Lawes mentioned.

“You may see groups chasing factors. When you’re in the hunt and also you’re round that prime 5 in the CTRS, there’s an opportunity you may throw in an additional occasion in January.”

Additional wild cards supply a younger staff like Walter’s, who faces a gauntlet of Einarson, Jones, Lawes and Chelsea Carey in Manitoba, an opportunity to play in a Hearts early in their profession.

“I positively didn’t suppose I’d be playing in a Scotties at 20,” mentioned Walter, whose first win was an 8-6 choice over Northwest Territories on Sunday evening.

Brendan Bottcher and Reid Carruthers misplaced the Alberta and Manitoba males’s finals respectively, however are the primary and second wild cards in subsequent month’s Brier in London, Ont.

Alberta’s Karsten Sturmay snared the third wild card by simply 5 factors over veteran John Epping of Ontario.

Homan edged Northern Ontario’s McCarville 7-5, Jones defeated Stacie Curtis of Newfoundland and Labrador 7-4 and New Brunswick’s Andrea Kelly downed Yukon’s Hailey Birnie 14-3 in Sunday night’s draw.

Kelly and Casey Scheidegger’s wild card 2 had been each 1-1 forward of Walter and Curtis 1-2 in Pool B.

Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges was 1-1 adopted by Prince Edward Island’s Suzanne Birt and Saskatchewan’s Robyn Silvernagle at 1-2 in Pool A.

Alberta’s Kayla Skrlik, Nunavut’s Brigitte MacPhail and Yukon had been 0-2.

The highest three groups in every pool on the conclusion of the preliminary spherical Thursday advance to the championship spherical.

The 4 Web page playoff groups emerge from that group.

The winner Feb. 26 represents Canada on the world championship in March in Sandviken, Sweden, and returns to subsequent 12 months’s Hearts in Calgary because the defending champion.