It just wouldn’t seem like winter in Kelowna unless a certain rink was in the running for the B.C. women’s curling championship.
The Kelly Scott team will be making its eighth appearance in the last nine years at the provincials when the B.C. Scotties take to the ice next week at the North Shore Winter Club.
As always, the defending champs from Kelowna head to provincials with the same goal—to win it all.
And while expectations remain the same, there is one noticeable difference on the Scott rink from recent years as longtime third Jeanna Schraeder stepped aside this season to spend more time with her young family.
Taking her place has been Dailene Sivertson, a three-time B.C. junior champion.
“We’ve really only been together for a few months, so if you really look at it, this is a new rink,” said Scott, a four-time B.C. champ who is also joined by second Sasha Carter and lead Jacquie Armstrong. “With that in mind we’ve tried to speed up the process, we’ve been down to the rink a lot and we played in quite a few events before Christmas. For a new team, it hasn’t been a lot of time to get things figured out, but we’ve been working hard and Dailene has fit in really well.”
It’s been a season of mixed results for the Scott team which reached the quarterfinals of two World Curling Tour events—in Vernon and Winnipeg—while failing to qualify for the playoffs in the other four. On the WCT, the Scott rink has an overall 19-16 win-loss record.
“We’ve played great at times and have been very pleased, and we’ve also been to some events where we just couldn’t get it going, so we’ve been hot and cold, I guess you could say.
“We’re definitely going there to win, that’s our focus,” Scott said of her team’s goals at provincials. “But we also have to be realistic that it might not work out that way.”
The Kelowna rink hasn’t played in a major event since late November, but with some quality practice time and some fine tuning at a recent bonspiel in Winfield, Scott doesn’t expect the extended break to pose any problems.
Only a few rinks at provincials will have as much combined experience as the Kelowna women, but Scott said it’s difficult to know how that will play out until they take to the ice in North Vancouver.
“There’s been a learning curve and some adjustments for us this year, so it’s really hard to know what to expect. I really don’t know how we’ll do. We’re just going to give it everything we have, and see what happens.”
In addition to Scott, there are three other skips at this year’s provincials with B.C. titles to their credit—Kelley Law and Marla Mallett, both of Royal City, and Allison McInness from Kamloops.
Overall, Scott expects competition to be stiff in the 10-rink field.
“I think the field is really good,” said Scott, the 2006 and 2007 Canadian champion. “I think because they changed the format in the province to give teams more than one chance to qualify, you’re seeing most of the good teams coming. It’s probably the best field we’ve had in a few years.”
The 2012 B.C. women’s curling championship begins Monday at the North Shore Winter Club.
There will be two draws per day, with the playoffs to begin on Friday.
The provincial final will be played Sunday, Jan. 29 at 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Shaw T.V.