Posted at 11:38 am on February 16, 2013
Today marks the beginning of the 2013 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. For the next 8 days, the best women’s teams in Canada will fight for the chance to etch their name in history and book their ticket to the world championship. Here is a run-down of day one events and some key match ups you need to get excited about.
During the first draw (2pm EST), we’ll see Team Canada make their debut against New Brunswick. The defending champs, skipped by Heather Nedohin, need a strong start. Because Team Canada gets to bypass the provincial playdowns, the defending champs historically have a reputation for starting the Scotties cold. While Team New Brunswick isn’t a powerhouse in this field, skipper Andrea Crawford is has strong experience and should put up a good fight. This is a first great match-up for Nedohin to gain some momentum, because it will give them worthy challenge and force them to find their game early.
Rachel Homan‘s Ontario rink is another strong team to watch in the opening draw. They’ll be starting their Scotties against Team Newfoundland. Skipped by Stacie Devereaux, the rink from St. John’s needs to come out of the gate sharp. The head-to-head matchup between these two strongly favors Homan. But don’t count out Devereaux completely. She has previously won the Canadian junior title and took home a silver medal from the worlds. If they’re on top of their game, they may be able to give Homan a good fight. It will be a good opening match for Homan though, an opportunity to get a feel for the ice conditions and hone their shots for later match ups against the big contenders.
In the second draw, while it may not be an exception match up on paper, Nova Scotia’s opening game against Quebec will be the highlight of the day. Scotties legend Colleen Jones will make her return to the national stage with her old team mates from the golden years. Jones spent the better part of a decade known as the “Unbeatable Storm”, a title given to her because of her day job as a weather forecaster and her team’s reputation for success. Jones won the Tournament of Hearts five teams through 1999 to 2004, perpetually dominating the event. After several years away from the game, the Unbeatable Storm is back with her old crew. They may not be expected to have that same dominance from a decade past, but it will sure be great to see them curl together again.
Check back with Curling Scoops throughout the day for updates and analysis on the games.